A recent example of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (the ECHR
) by Rinat Akhmetov in June 2022 regarding compensation for gross violations of property rights by the aggressor state during the war. A claimant is seeking a compensation for the destruction of the Mariupol factory «Azovstal» and PJSC Ilyich iron and steel factory in Mariupol. Damages caused by Russians are around USD 17-20 billion.
The main point is the issue of jurisdiction according to the European Convention on Human Rights
and the practice of the ECHR. The ECHR made a decision on the full-scale military aggression between Georgia and the Russian Federation and the separatist groups of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the case Georgia against Russia (II) [GC] - 38263/08 dd 21.01.2021
: «The events that had occurred during the active phase of the hostilities did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation for the purposes of Article 1; inadmissible (eleven votes to six)».
The EHCR had established several criteria for the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction by a State, which had to remain exceptional, the two main criteria being that of «effective control» by the State over an area (spatial concept of jurisdiction) and that of «State agent authority and control» over individuals (personal concept of jurisdiction).
Subsequently, in Medvedyev and Others v. Russia
the ECHR explicitly reiterated, with reference to the Banković and Others
decision, that a State's responsibility could not be engaged in respect of «an instantaneous extraterritorial act, as the provisions of the Article 1 did not admit a cause and effect» notion of «jurisdiction» (see also M.N. and Others v. Belgium
Therefore, damages caused by the active phase of the hostilities (a violation of the right to peaceful possession of one's property, guaranteed by the Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention) did not fall within the jurisdiction of the ECHR. The decision can be positive if there is evidence that the territory on which the damage was caused was under control of the Russian Federation.
However, the issue of the ECHR's jurisdiction is controversial because Russia was excluded from the Council of Europe. Moreover, the Russian Federation adopted a law on non-enforcement of the ECHR' decisions made after 15 March 2022.