Electoral rights in Russia
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Electoral rights in Russia book
This chapter describes the current state of affairs with cases concerning breaches of electoral rights lodged with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against Russia. The Court treats 'soft-law' and individual opinions of international bodies as guidance, but does not always feel compelled to follow them in its practice. Distinguishing a Convention provision from the Venice Commission Code, the Court noted that 'Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 was not conceived as a code on electoral matters, designed to regulate all aspects of electoral process'. The majority of novel and complex issues resolved by the Court in the past decade have arisen from Eastern and Central European countries, plus Turkey. The Court's limited practice in respect of Russia follows these trends. The latest development in the prisoners' vote case decided by the Constitutional Court has suggested a possible way-out of a constitutional deadlock, but also risked undermining the very essence of international supervision by the ECtHR.