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Роль регионального уполномоченного по правам человека Анна Деменева, консультант Уполномоченного по правам человека в Свердловской области (тезисы выступления на английском языке)




   Talking points on the Regional Ombudsman's activity in public interest
   law sphere

   Anna Demeneva, consultant to the Ombudsman of Sverdlovsk Region
   Describing  the  process of formation of public interest law in Russia
   it  is  important  to  start  with  the activity of NGOs in the middle
   nineties  (1990s) when the Russian Constitution was adopted and it was
   necessary to bring all these social and political rights into practice
   and to test them in real life.

   Brining  law  suites against the state authorities was the only way to
   adjust  a  new  legal  system  to  implementation  of  human rights in
   practice   because   every   social  or  political  right  requires  a
   correspondent  obligation of the state. It can require the active role
   of  the  state,  for  example,  providing  for  the   system of social
   benefits,  or  the  passive  role of the state for example, to refrain
   from the interfering to the freedom of association.

   There  was a certain distinction in the process of formation of public
   interest  law  in  Russia.  If  the  starting  point in the US was the
   disbalance  between individual and the strong corporations, Russia had
   this  disbalance between individual and the strong state as there were
   no corporations those time.

   The  most  effective  activity  of  NGOs  in  public law sphere is the
   challenging of the law provisions which restrict individual rights and
   contradict  to  the  federal  laws, Constitution and international law

   The main judicial obstacles in dealing with public interest cases are:

    1. The class actions are not allowed by the russian legislation:
       2.  The  continental  law system is not flexible enough to operate
       with  the  categories of public interest and balance of interests,
       judges  have  rather narrow margin of appreciation to refer to the
       public interest policies;

   3.  In practice there is a certain resistance from the national courts
   to apply the international human rights standards.

   There  are  some  possibilities for the Regional Ombudsman to overcome
   the mentioned obstacles.
   1. The first role of the Ombudsman in dealing with public interest law
   sphere  is  to  IDENTIFY  what  the public interest is in every single
   situation. What is the object of protection and how it will impact the
   certain category of people? If there is a conflict, how to balance the
   The  main  source  of information here is a huge amount of written and
   oral complaints from people to Ombudsman. Also we initiate monitorings
   on  certain  topics  by  the  ombudsman's  initiative (it concerns for
   example, conditions of detention)
   2. Raising the public awareness on the issue is the second role of the
   3. The third stage is to choose the strategy including but not limited
   to litigation:
   -to  provide  for  LEGAL  SUPPORT in public law interest cases when we
   expect  the  positive impact to the massive human rights violation (or
   example,   in   protecting   disabled  people's  right  to  accessible
   environment, in protecting rights to social benefit);
   -to  provide  for  WRITTEN  OPINION of the Ombudsman for the court. We
   consider  this  document  as  so  called  amicus  curiae - third party
   intervention to assist the court to obtain the relevant information in
   the  human  rights  context  and  interests  balance. (Migrants cases,
   freedom  of expression cases, right to family life cases, guardianship
   -to   initiate  a  JOINT  INVESTIGATION  with  other state agency -for
   example  getting  many complaints from women about violation of  their
   right  to  maternity benefit  by the employers the Ombudsman initiated
   the  investigation  together  with  the  prosecutor' s office  and the
   state  social  security fund. Another violations were established as a
   structural  problem  -the  rights  were  protected  and the analytical
   report with special recommendations to state bodies was prepared;
   -ANNUAL  AND  SPECIAL  REPORTS of the Ombudsman contain the analytical
   information  on  the facts and the sources of human rights violations,
   and  the  detailed recommendations to law implementors and legislative
   bodies  how  to  improve the practice and the law. The recommendations
   include the international human rights provisions to apply.
   The  reports  are  sent  to  state  bodies  and  agencies and they are
   published  in the regional newspaper and the web-site so it is open to
   -LOBBYING  THE  IMPROVEMENTS to the regional and federal law on public
   interest  issues  is also a strategy to handle gaps in legislation. We
   successfully   initiated  the improvements to the regional regulations
   of  the  employment  of  disabled  people,  the  regional  health care
   program, regional program of pro bono legal aid  and others.
   The  main  task  of  the Regional Ombudsman in the public interest law
   sphere  is the coordination and cooperation between all the actors who
   are  involved  to  the  public interest law development - such as NGOs
   doing  strategic litigation cases, legal clinics, lawyers who take pro
   bono  cases and also the journalists to provide for the media coverage
   of the cases and changes in social life.

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15.05.2015г. распоряжением Минюста РФ СРОО "Сутяжник" включена в реестр иностранных агентов.