Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Olga Pushina (University of Lapland, Finland)

The Principle of Fair Balance in Protection of Property Rights: Examples of ECHR Judgments Concerning the Russian Federation

In the Welfare State the rule of law ideology guarantees legal protection of citizens’ rights. In respect of housing issues it is presumed that owners of dwellings are protected against violations of their titles, and at the same time the State is obliged to provide social housing to welfare recipients in need. The proposed paper focuses on the European Court of Human Rights judgments (in particular Gladysheva, Stolyarova, Medvedev and Gerasimov cases) concerning the Russian Federation that have raised the issue of finding a balance between public and private interests in protection of property rights. In Gladysheva, Stolyarova and Medvedev cases the Court held that the discovery of fraud by a third party in the procedure of privatization of flats in Moscow must be borne by the State and that public interest of protecting the rights of welfare recipients, to whom the flats should had been reallocated, was not sufficient justification for revocation of the title, taking into account the applicants’ attachments to these particular flats. In Gerasimov pilot judgment the applicants obtained binding judicial decisions ordering the State authorities to provide them with housing or various services in kind, but the enforcement of those judgments was considerably delayed. The Court declared that the prolonged delays in the enforcement of those judgments constituted an unjustified interference with the applicants’ right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions and that Russia was experiencing major structural problems of the enforcement of judgments in kind. The Court did not limit the Russian state by specific methods of judgments’ execution, having regard to the respondent State’s discretion to choose the means it will use to comply with the judgment. The paper analyses the impact of the Court decisions on Russian legal system and the methods of their execution chosen by Russian authorities.