1. Materiality of violations of law.
2. Significance for certain groups united on various grounds (place of residence, ethnicity, professional affiliation, social status, etc.).
3. Difficulty or impossibility of objective and fair consideration of the case inside the country for various reasons (corruption of judges, law enforcement officers and officials, shortcomings of law enforcement practice, gaps in legislation, etc.).
Stages of consideration of case
Stage 1. Submission of appeal to consider the case
At this stage, you need to write appeal to mу with a request to consider the case. It is necessary to briefly summarize the problem, whose rights are violated, etc.
Stage 2. Submission of materials on the compliance with criteria
It is necessary to provide an evidence base (court decisions, documents of state bodies, information from the media, own materials, etc.), that is, materials that substantiate compliance of the case with criteria.
Stage 3. Development of a legal position on the case
Development of a legal position on the case is carried out jointly. Applicants can offer their option. I run my own version. After that, a joint solution is developed.
Stage 4. Development and submission of appeals to UN bodies and international organizations
The UN is a priority for international cooperation.
Since it is the main human rights organization in the world, within the framework of which universal human rights are adopted.
However, in some cases, it may be more expedient to interact with other international and intergovernmental organizations depending on the territorial significance and profile of the problem.
For example, with the European Union, the Organization of American States, the African Union, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency and others.
Interaction with the UN and international organizations in order to confirm a legal position includes the following main formats.
1. Submission of appeals to the UN bodies.
The main recipients of appeals are:
— Human Rights Council;
— Special Rapporteurs;
— Treaty bodies.
In case of compliance with the eligibility criteria and after passing the established procedures, appeal with a proposal to take measures to eliminate violations of human rights is submitted to authorities of the country.
It contains the UN legal assessment that would be a confirmation of legal position of applicants.
2. Participation in UN events.
Depending on the agenda, We can make a written statement or an oral report on the case at events of various UN bodies. In the following, information is included in official UN materials that can be referenced.
It is necessary to use all the possibilities to direct negotiations with all interested parties and to active participation in discussion with a view to promoting the case at international level.
In the course of negotiations and discussions, it is necessary to seek a legal assessment of the case from experts and UN officials as well as its inclusion in official UN materials for further use.
3. Submission of materials for inclusion in reports of UN bodies.
The Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteurs, Treaty bodies and other UN bodies can include materials in thematic reports, analysis and other documents that can be referenced.
In accordance with the regulations, it is possible to provide a description or analysis of the information submitted that may contain legal assessment of the case.
The priority is to include the case materials in the Universal Periodic Review of the country — the main report on the human rights situation that highlights all the human rights violations.
Thus, submission of appeals to the UN bodies, highlighting the cases at UN events and publication of information on the cases in reports of UN bodies are a powerful tool to promote the case and pressure on the authorities to resolve the problem situation, although it does not directly lead to revision of court decisions and other real changes as measures are recommendatory in nature.
UN documents can be used as arguments in the course of consideration of a case at the national and international level.
The pressure of the world community, coupled with wide media coverage, can lead to the cancellation or revision of previously adopted decisions.
Thus, the proper use of international legal instruments can make a difference for the better.
Stage 5. Obtaining confirmation of legal position in the form of documents of the UN and international organizations
Confirmation of legal position can be obtained in the form of various documents of the UN and international organizations.
Please note that:
— some international treaties do not operate in a number of countries due to their non-ratification;
-most decisions of international organizations are recommendatory in nature.
In this regard, it is necessary to ensure:
— adequate correlation (interrelation) between international and national standards of law;
-effective use of the human rights potential of international law.
This can be done through active use of documents of the UN and international organizations during:
— development of legally valid documents (expertises, legal actions, criminal complaints, submissions to state bodies, etc);
— implementation of human rights activities in the courts, state and law enforcement agencies.
Stage 6. Application to the courts, state and law enforcement bodies of the country with the requirements to eliminate violations in accordance with international law
There are provisions on supremacy of international law and legal equality between norms of international law and constitutional norms in the constitutions of a number of countries.
It is necessary to ensure that the courts, state and law enforcement bodies are guided by the need to respect human rights guaranteed by international law. We need direct indicating presence of international norms in national law.
In order to restore the violated rights and bring to justice the perpetrators, development of legally valid documents (expertises, legal actions, criminal complaints, submissions to state bodies, etc) is carried out for work at the national level.
Also,violators must be brought to justice under the laws of foreign states and international law on the territory of foreign states when they legalize (launder) stolen assets abroad by investing in legal business, conducting fictitious transactions and buying various assets.
In order to improve law enforcement practice and national legislation, we need developing proposals to bring legislation and law enforcement practice in line with international law is carried out, as well as to eliminate corruption and other risks.
As a result of the consideration of cases, an open database of cases where problems and methods for solving them will be systematized will be formed.
Everyone could gain positive experience and take advantage of unified methodological recommendations for solving actual problems.
Stage 7. Initiation of implementing all possible measures provided by international law in the absence of positive results and exhaustion of legal remedies inside the country
In some cases, our efforts may not produce positive results and domestic remedies may be exhausted.
Therefore, the full range of coercion tools provided by international law can be used as as an extreme measure,
International coercive measures may be:
In particular, the UN Charter states:
— Article 41
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
— Article 42
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
The world community should force the authorities of country where human rights are violated to stop arbitrariness and to restore law and order, and, if necessary, bring to justice those responsible.
Let’s consider three main action lines.
Non-military coercive measures
In order to stop human rights violations, it is necessary to apply to the UN bodies and other international organizations to consider the issue of introducing coercive measures against a country where rights are violated, that is, apply diplomatic, procedural, trade, financial and other sanctions until elimination of human rights violations.
It is also necessary to apply targeted sanctions against specific individuals responsible for human rights violations.
Military coercive measures
In the event of unmanageable situation, escalation of violence and armed conflict, genocide, humanitarian catastrophe, it is necessary to claim:
-deploying international security forces into the country;
-conducting military operation on peace enforcement and respecting human rights.
For this, it is necessary to appeal to the UN bodies and the UN member countries to propose considering situations threatening international peace and security at the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.
It is necessary to seek that the UN Security Council sanction use of military force to suppress dictators, corrupted officials and criminals who illegally seized power and commit international crimes.
Prosecution of international criminals
Often, usurpers launch local wars on the territory of their country and other countries, engage in genocide and other crimes against humanity, wishing to retain power in any way.
Over the past decades, such negative processes have occurred in a number of East European post-communist countries, countries of the Middle East and Africa. Those responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity are subject to criminal prosecution and trial.
War and other crimes of dictators, corrupted officials and criminals from different countries should be considered by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
To restore justice, it is necessary to strive for creation of an International Tribunal — an international body established for the trial of violators and states on charges of committing international crimes.
In this case, civil activists may be witnesses of war and other crimes of persons in power at the court.
In most countries human rights defenders and civil activists face the problem of funding. It is practically unrealistic to conduct human rights activities that require significant material, human and time resources without money.
Level of their own income and sponsorship often does not allow for effective activity.
One of the few ways to finance is to apply to international foundations that fund human rights projects.
So the following phases of consideration of the case are highlighted depending on availability of funding:
1. Initial phase
(1-5 stages of consideration of the case are implemented in full or in part);
2. Active phase
(all stages of consideration of the case are implemented).
I carry out the following activities at the initial phase.
1. Consideration of appeals and joint development of legal position on the case, development and submission of appeal of up to 10 pages to UN bodies and (or) international organizations, obtaining confirmation of legal position.
These activities may be preliminary in nature if, after receiving funding, newly discovered facts and new information appear that change or expand the case.
Therefore, appeals may be supplemented by new information or filed again in the light of newly discovered facts and the legal position may also be corrected.
2. Writing applications for grants to international foundations financing human rights projects.
Implementation of active phase begins after obtaining funding.
In any case, prior to funding I carry out possible work on the case, including within my own international activities.
Salary conditions and cost structure
After obtaining funding remuneration of the project participants is provided.
Suppose 5 people from different countries would participate in our 1-year project. Let us take as the grant size an average level of 50 thousand dollars. The project operator would be our organization. Remuneration would be made on a contractual basis.
We set the average monthly salary for project participants at the level of 300-400 dollars on a part-time basis. It is sufficient for people living in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. For example, for Eastern European countries, such as Russia, where my activities are carried out.
Of course, it is not sufficient for people from developed countries. They can join the work if they share our goals and wish to work for a nominal fee.
However, it is worth noting that developed countries have effective courts, state and law enforcement bodies. So rights violations are eliminated most effectively. Consequently, civil activists from developed countries have far fewer reasons to appeal to international organizations.
Thus, remuneration of project participants would amount to half of project expenditures. About 40% of the funds would be spent on funding travels for the events of international organizations and to the countries whose cases are under consideration. 10% of the total amount would be expended to other expenses (computer equipment, communications equipment, paper, stationery, Internet and communication fees, other materials necessary for the project).
Thus, after receiving the average grant (50 thousand dollars), the cost structure would be approximately as follows:
— 50% — wages;
— 40% — travels for the events of international organizations and to the countries whose cases are under consideration;
— 10% — other expenses.
In the case of receiving grant of more than 50 thousand dollars, it would be possible to increase the costs of remuneration and travels, as well as introduce new types of expenses, for example, purchase of furniture and rental of offices.