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Monday, February 19, 2018

The ECHR decision on the case of adoptive parents-Americans comes on the “toes” of the Russian society

The ECHR upheld the plaintiffs-Americans about Russia banning adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens. Thus created another stumbling block between Strasbourg and Russia. The situation is compounded by the fact that the Kremlin can not ignore the opinion of society that Western attempts to dictate to Russia “children’s” politics are like a red rag to a bull.

The European court of human rights decided that Russia violates the European Convention on human rights, prohibiting Americans by the “law of Dima Yakovlev” – to adopt Russian children.

“Essentially, the verdict pushes Moscow to the next step in the severance of relations with the ECHR”

The plaintiffs in the case were 45 of US citizens and 27 Russian children. American couple applied to the court, were in the final stages of the adoption procedure.

The ECHR found that the Russian ban on adoptions for foreigners in violation of article 14 of the European Convention of human rights (“Prohibition of discrimination”). In this case, the court held that “children’s rights were not violated”, as article 8 of the European Convention on human rights (“Right to respect for private and family life”).

It is noteworthy that the decision was made almost on the eve of the expected 19 January verdict of the constitutional court of Russia on request of the Ministry of justice about the possibility of non-execution of ECHR ruling in the Yukos case. As you know, in December 2015 was adopted and entered into force the Federal law, according to which the constitutional court may fully or partially ignore the resolutions of the ECHR in the case of their discrepancy with the Constitution of Russia.

Fresh decision of the Strasbourg court on the adoptions in Russia is adding fuel to the fire, dealing another serious blow to Russia’s relations with the ECHR.

Formally, the ECHR decision on adoption is not too harsh. According to him, Russia should pay the plaintiff 3,000 euros in compensation for moral damages and US $ 600 to cover legal costs.

However, essentially the verdict is pushing Moscow to the next step in the severance of relations with the ECHR.

Indirect evidence of this could be instantly followed harsh reaction of Russian institutions and the public on the decision of the ECHR decision. The Russian Ministry of justice promised to appeal the verdict. The political nature of this step and its inadmissibility stated in the Public chamber of Russia, State Duma and the Federation Council.

The “law of Dima Yakovlev” since its adoption in 2012 and to this day is one of the most discussed and controversial topics in the public field of Russia. Although formal communication there is no secret that this law was essentially a response to American “Magnitsky act”.

As a result, it became an occasion for the opponents and the opposition to accuse Russia of punishing their own children, who could have a chance at a better life when adoption abroad.

In turn, supporters of the law say that the whole business of the foreign adoption was extremely corrupt and criminalized, and numerous deaths of Russian children by American adoptive parents ‘ fault was a direct consequence of this state of Affairs.

It should be noted the consensus that has emerged in Russian society about this law. If, after its adoption the number of his supporters, according to the poll, was slightly more than half of the respondents (with a quarter undecided), by the end of 2015, 76% of Russians supported the law.

There is no doubt that the decision of the ECHR will strengthen the position of supporters of law and negative attitude to this court as in public opinion and in government.

On the one hand, we can predict a new round of irritation due to the fact another intervention by the international court in the internal Affairs of Russia. On the other hand, and this is even more important, the main problem in this case is concentrated in the nature of things.

Russia’s traditional negative attitude toward government intervention in family Affairs in recent years has dramatically actualized. The introduction of the mechanisms of juvenile justice is a strong public resistance, as a result, the theme of “skewed standards of juvenile justice” occurs regularly in the rhetoric of top leaders of the state. However, even causing social discontent juvenile domestic practices do not stand next to the Western policy, which in the eyes of Russians just looks evil from the removal of children from parents for the slightest punishment to a resolution of adoptions to homosexual couples.

In this situation, the attempt by Western agencies to claim their right to give instructions in terms of the family and the “child” policy comes on the “toes” of the Russian society.

As a result, the state settled on its position regarding the decision of ECHR would have to consider not only formal foreign policy aspects, but also domestic public opinion that will not tolerate “weakness” of the state in such a fundamental question for themselves.

And this, in turn, allows to expect a tightening of Russia’s position in relations with the ECHR as a whole.


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