Georgia vs. Russia: Georgia’s bittersweet victory at the European Court of Human Rights

A 2021 European Court of Human Rights ruling found Russia responsible for violations in the five-day war with Georgia in 2008. The result of this twelve-years long legal battle may set a precedent for other cases, including those concerning Nagorno Karabakh and Eastern Ukraine.

Prague (Brussels Morning) On 21 January, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered an important judgement on the inter-state case GEORGIA v. RUSSIA (II). The Court ruled in favour of Georgia and found Russia responsible for violating various articles of the European Convention of Human Rights in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. The violations included detaining and torturing individuals and preventing Georgian nationals from returning to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia after the war. The Court further found that Russia has not carried out an effective investigation into the violations that took place.

The August 2008 war ended in less than a week, with Russian soldiers remaining in the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow would later pronounce those regions independent states. In response, Georgia filed a number of lawsuits, trying to hold the Kremlin accountable for violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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