This article focuses on the potential of the elderly as a distinct social group capable of changing the direction of state policies. As far as the elderly have special rights and, also, expectations that these rights will be protected, they are capable of generating their own political preferences. In effect, they can be identified as a special group empowered to take part in the conduct of public affairs. It is a known fact that the political views of citizens are formulated long before individuals come to vote at polling stations. The author will examine which opportunities are provided for the elderly by the Russian state, so that these people can freely discuss public policies and remain politically active for an extended period of time.
These issues are dealt with in the context of Russian international legal obligations. This study is based on the praxis of international treaty-monitoring bodies. Russian statutory law and its application by courts and administrative organs are also explored.
From the perspective of the rights of minorities in Europe, this section overviews international developments concerning economic and socio-cultural entitlements, including those related to education and the media. It is thematically structured around two clusters related to the minority rights: (a) cultural activities and facilities, including the media; and (b) economic and social life, including education, which are covered by the provisions of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ETS. No. 148). This review starts with an analysis of the 2016 developments at the UN level, and continues with an overview of advancements at the levels of the OSCE, the EU, and the Council of Europe. The adoption of the Thematic Commentary No. 4 “The Scope of Application of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities” by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ACFC) is among the most important highlights.
This section gives an overview of international developments from the perspective of minority rights concerning cultural activities and cultural facilities, as well as the issues of the media and, more broadly, freedom of expression. In dealing with cultural activities and facilities, it departs from the provisions of Article 12 of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ETS No. 148). Although the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages provide the conceptual point of departure, this section does not limit its analysis to only language issues but addresses a wider framework of cultural rights of persons belonging to minorities. International developments in the said fields are tracked not only at the European level of minority rights regulation but also at the level of the United Nations. By examining the UN praxis in the area of minority rights, we remain focused on minority issues, including indigenous issues, within the European legal context. This section starts with the analysis of the 2015 developments inside the un, and continues to address those of the OSCE, the EU, and the Council of Europe.
This article provides an overview of international developments in the area of the sociocultural and economic rights of European minorities, including access to and portrayal in the media, throughout 2017. The year brought several significant advancements in these areas. The adoption of the 2017 UNESCO Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change acknowledged the role of indigenous knowledge in counteracting the challenge of climate change. Protection and integration of Roma was addressed in the activities of the human rights organizations and bodies at the level of the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered a series of significant judgments specifying the factors that would allow a court to classify an act as a hate crime. The ECtHR also instituted procedural rules protecting people from violence based on ethnic and racial motives.
A series of protests across Russia, triggered by procedural violations during the 2011 parliamentary elections and results of the 2012 presidential elections, culminated on 6 May 2012 with a demonstration at Bolotnaia Square in Moscow. That demonstration led to violent clashes between protesters and the police. The dispersal of this demonstration and the subsequent criminal and administrative trials conducted against some of the protesters, as well as the controversy regarding the severity of some of the penalties imposed by the courts, became known as the Bolotnoe Affair. The Bolotnoe Affair is analyzed from the perspective of implementing the right to freedom of assembly in Russia. The main goal is to conduct a contextual legal analysis clarifying whether the right to freedom of assembly is adequately implemented in the legal order of the Russian Federation, in order to illustrate whether the protesters in the Bolotnoe Affair were able to express their opinions with regard to the procedure and results of the elections. The leading court cases relevant to the participatory rights of the protesters as exemplified by the appellate decisions of the Moscow City Court will also be examined. In particular, twelve decisions of the Moscow City Court during the period 2012–2014 (full texts of which are reproduced in publicly available legal databases) are reviewed, as well as two recent judgments in European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) cases closely related to these earlier cases. Analyzing the Moscow City Court decisions vis-à-vis the judgments of the ECtHR, the author concludes that the Moscow City Court’s rulings did not conform with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (echr) regarding the right to freedom of assembly and the right to liberty.
The aim of this article is to study the nexus between the autonomy of minors in implementing the right to peaceful assembly and the best interests of the child in safety. We consider the issue, taking Russia as an example, where the past tradition of denying children’s legal personality still surfaces in modern legislation dealing with the rights of the child. Pursuing child-sensitive practices of minors’ participation in protest are of special importance for Russia, where the legislation uses the term, “the legitimate interest of the child”, different in scope to, “the best interests of the child”. Our meta-question, hence, is whether the legal system of the Russian Federation allows full respect for minors’ autonomy in implementing participation rights while adequately addressing vulnerability of children. The article scrutinises a body of rules governing participation of under-aged persons in protest rallies which are stipulated by constitutional and administrative law going back to the practices of the Soviet era and referring to the standards of international law.