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Legal Remedies for Human Rights Violations in the Armed Conflict in Chechnya: The Approach of the European Court of Human Rights in Context

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The article discusses the efficacy of the remedies offered to successful applicants by the European Court of Human Rights in the cases coming from the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. It submits, firstly, that proper establishment of facts constitutes a remedy in itself for victims of human rights violations in an armed conflict. It then analyses the establishment of facts by the Court in the Chechen cases and argues that the assessment of evidence under the Court's burden of proof 'beyond reasonable doubt' was applied unevenly in different cases. The paper suggests that the Court obtains evidence proprio motu, which it has never done in the Chechen cases. Secondly, this paper evaluates the European Court's practice to limit the just satisfaction by monetary awards and to consistently deny the applicants' requests for non-monetary awards. It then discusses the developments in the international law on reparations for human rights violations under the ECHR and in the Inter-American and UN systems, and argues for a need to enhance the European Court's awards of just satisfaction. Finally, the paper assesses the supervision of the execution of judgments in the Chechen cases, finds it ineffective, and suggests that more actions are required from the Court in order to deal effectively with alleged human rights violations arising from armed conflicts.


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