Strasbourg, 31 October 2006

CEPEJ (2006) 11

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

Non-enforcement of court decisions against the state and its entities in the Russian Federation: remaining problems and solutions required

Round Table - Strasbourg, Palais de l'Europe, 30 – 31 October 2006 - CONCLUSIONS

Concerned at the high number of the violations of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights in the Russian Federation revealing an important structural problem of non-compliance by the State and its entities with domestic court decisions;

Recalling that the findings of such violations by the European Court of Human Rights impose a legal obligation to adopt general measures preventing new similar violations;

Bearing in mind the provisions of the Recommendation Rec(2003)16 on the execution of administrative and judicial decisions in the field of administrative law;

Having thoroughly considered the Memorandum prepared for the Committee of Ministers by the Department for the execution of the European Court’s judgments1 and the report prepared by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice2, which provide useful guidelines for adoption of the necessary reforms to remedy the above-mentioned structural problem,

The Participants in the Round Table:

welcomed that all authorities concerned in the Russian Federation agreed to meet and discuss, in an open and constructive manner, the ways and means for improving the existing procedures for execution of domestic court decisions against the state and its entities,

stressed the strict obligation of any public authority to comply with enforceable court decisions;

noted that the special execution procedure introduced by Law No. 197-ФЗ since January 2006 had not solved all the difficulties;

expressed their support for a more simplified and uniform procedure treating on an equal footing the federal state and its entities funded by different budgets, containing notably appropriate control mechanisms at all levels and adequate rules on compensation for delays in execution;

welcomed the on-going discussions on these issues and noted already at this stage the following proposals, aimed at improving the existing system, in particular:

- the need to improve budgetary planning and procedures to ensure, through extraordinary budgetary allocations, that funds available at any given moment correspond to the state's payment obligations;

- the need to properly articulate the respective functions and responsibilities of all authorities involved at federal and entities’ level;

- the large support given to the idea of setting up a special fund, to ensure timely compliance with judicial decisions, with a subsequent possibility to recover from the debtor the relevant sums together with default interest,

- the necessity to improve the special execution procedure, namely the need:

§ to remedy excessive formalities for the individuals both when identifying the relevant authority to execute the decision and when rectifying writs of execution and to further develop simplified mechanisms in this respect at the level of the administration and courts;

§ to introduce a mechanism for automatic compensation for delays in execution through appropriate default interest to be determined by a specific act and reviewed at regular intervals so as to remain at a reasonable rate (e.g. in line with the Central Bank's rate); this default interest should be calculated and imposed automatically without requesting individuals to go back to courts;

§ to consider further developing the mechanism of punitive default interest or monetary penalties in the case of excessive delays in the execution;

§ to further develop the mechanism of freezing accounts by the Federal Treasury and to consider the possibility of entrusting to it other compulsory enforcement functions in case of non execution;

§ to strengthen state civil liability for non-execution to be established by court as well as the individual responsibility (disciplinary, administrative and criminal where appropriate) of decision makers in case of abuse of power:

· welcomed in this respect the recent positive developments in domestic case-law imposing default interest on state debts and engaging the State’s civil liability including in the case of lack of funds;

· invite the public procurators to efficiently use all means available with a view to ensuring timely and proper execution of courts decisions by the State and its entities;

underlined that, awaiting the necessary improvements of the execution procedure, special diligence should be displayed in the execution of decisions concerning vulnerable persons, (e.g. victims of radiation);

underlined that mechanisms for compulsory enforcement against the State and its entities should be introduced as subsidiary means guaranteeing full compliance with court decisions and the state assets be defined to guarantee such compulsory execution;

supported the idea of introducing a set of common rules governing all execution procedures, including an appropriate role for bailiffs and judicial review;

decided to report these conclusions to the Committee of Ministers, the CEPEJ and to convey the proposals to the Russian authorities concerned, with a view to taking the necessary measures;

proposed that in 2007 this work focus, considering the wealth of material, notably on the obligations of municipalities and regions, including within the framework of the activity programme of CEPEJ;

agreed to resume consideration of progress achieved in appropriate format at the earliest opportunity.

List of participants

DELEGATION OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Mr Pavel Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights (Head of Delegation),

Mr Anton Ivanov, President of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation,

Mr Vasily Nechaev, Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation,

Mr Yury Berestnev, Senior Legal Adviser, State Legal Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation,

Mr Dmitry Spirin, Head of the Secretariat of the Aide to the President of the Russian Federation,

Mr Nikolai Vinnichenko, Director of the Federal Bailiff Service,

Mr Mikhail Vinogradov, Consultant, State Legal Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation,

Ms Ekaterina Sedova, Consultant, State Legal Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation,

Ms Nadezda Zakharova, Director of the Legal Department, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation,

Ms Artem Simonyan, Deputy Director of the Legal Department, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation,

Ms Svetlana Saul, Director of the Legal Department, the Federal Treasury,

Mr Alan Kasaev, Head of the Division, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation,

Ms Larisa Kopteva, Head of the Department for Supervision over compliance with rights and freedom of Nationals of the Main Department for Supervision over Execution of Federal Law, General Prosecutor's office of the Russian Federation,

Ms Olga Prokhorova, Deputy Head of Division, Department of Social Protection Development, Ministry of Health Protection and Social Development,

Mr Ilia Skvortsov, Deputy Head of the Division, Federal Bailiff Service,

Ms Maria Molodtsova, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe,

Mr Ivan Volodin, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe,

Mr Konstantin Kosorukov, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe.

Experts of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

Mr Michael Vrontakis, the CEPEJ member in respect of Greece, Vice-President of the State Council (Greece), (Head of the expert group),

Mrs Mireille Heers, Vice-President of the Aministrative Court of Appeal of Versailles (France),

Mr Hans Peter Schmieszek, Head of the Office of Administrative Procedural Law at the Federal Ministry of Justice (Germany),

Mr Theo Simons, Senior Vice-President of Utrecht Administrative Court of Appeal (the Netherlands).

Secretariat of the Council of Europe

Directorate General I - Legal Affairs

Mr Roberto Lamponi, Director of the Directorate for Legal Co-operation,

Mr Stéphane Leyenberger, Secretary of the CEPEJ.

Directorate General II - Human Rights

Mr Jan Kleijssen, Director,

Mrs Geneviève Mayer, Head of the Department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,

Mr Fredrik Sundberg, Principal Administrator, Department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,

Mr Mikhail Lobov, Legal Officer, Department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,

Mrs Anna Stepanova, Legal Officer, Department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

1 Non enforcement of domestic judicial decisions in Russia: general measures to comply with the European Court's judgements, CM/Inf/DH(2006) 19 Rev. 2
2 Examination of problems related to the execution of decisions by national civil courts against the state and its entities in the Russian Federation, CEPEJ (2005) 8

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