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10 Jun, 2008 07:19

Frustrated Russians head to European human rights court

Russia’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform and new funding, according to President Dmitry Medvedev. He made the statement after a receiving a report on complaints made by citizens.

The study, by Russia's Human Rights Ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, shows that ordinary Russians are increasingly turning to the European Court of Human Rights for help after failing to see justice done at home.  

According to Lukin, people often complain that sentences handed down by the courts are not being carried out, which prompts them to turn to the human rights court.

However, Medvedev pointed out that the number of appeals is also on the rise, because the process of getting to the European court is fairly simple in Russia. 

“The large number of appeals is linked to the fact that we have a very liberal system in working with complaints. In a number of countries, you need to get through a large number of channels to get to the European court, but in our country, it all happens quite quickly. But maybe there's a reason for that, because our system is only just getting more stable, and our justice system is developing.

If we had a full, tried-by-centuries system, then there would be no need for this speed. But now, it's like this. Of course, this is a worrying symptom, for you to deal with,” he said.