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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, according to the chamber’s database.
The document was signed on September 19, 2016. Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov signed it on behalf of Russia.
The protocol, among other things, amends the convention’s preamble to affirm that "the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, have the primary responsibility to secure the rights and freedoms defined in this Convention and the Protocols thereto, and that in doing so they enjoy a margin of appreciation, subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights established by this Convention."
According to the Justice Ministry, the protocol was intended ‘to streamline the ECHR activities and to achieve the balance between a state’s responsibility for fulfilling its commitments under the Convention and the role of the court that it is designed to fulfill."
According to Dmitry Vyatkin, the former State Duma representative in the Russian Constitutional Court, the protocol "does not question the provisions of the Russian law that allows the Constitutional Court to decide on whether it is possible or not to fulfill the European Court ruling in Russia."
Vyatkin added that the European Court for Human Rights initially was not intended "to replace national justice systems," let alone to be vested "with the right to cancel legal decisions or to review verdicts passed in states parties to the Convention."
"On the contrary, the European Court was to detect and decide on these or that facts of human rights violations under the convention. However, the court started to expand its powers on its own whim," he said.
According to Vyatkin, the court’s decision have been becoming more and more politicized, and the institution was eventually turned into an instrument of political pressure on certain governments, including Russia.