Disrespect for ECtHR rulings: if Russia can do it, so can the UK

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has today promulgated a new law that secures the supremacy of the Russian Constitution over Decisions issued by the European Court of Human Rights. In case of conflict, the first will prevail over the latter.

The Western press and public opinion are highly critical of this new measure, noting (probably not without reason) that it was motivated by ECtHR rulings on Yukos and on the freedom of speech of certain dissidents –  cases in which the Russian government’s action indeed stood at odds with widely recognized international human rights standards. (In the context of the subject matter of this blog, we note that the ECtHR’s increasingly aberrant opinions on issues such as surrogacy, transgender and sodomy, abortion, etc. did not seem to play a role here.)

Mere coincidence? Just on the same day where this new law was enacted in Russia, the renowned European Journal of International Law has a blog post in which it bemoans the apparent inertia of the UK in giving effect to the ECtHR’s controversial decision on the right of criminal convicts to participate in elections, Hirst v. UK.

Clearly, with the prestige of the Court rapidly withering away, States feel less and less obliged to implement its rulings…