9 Jan 2018 13:20

Lawyer asks Supreme Court to hear motion on ban on Russian prisoners' voting rights

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) - Lawyer Igor Trunov has filed a personal appeal with the Russian Supreme Court against its earlier decision to return a motion regarding prisoners' voting rights.

"I have filed an appeal today, in which I ask for overturning the decision to return the December 25, 2017 administrative motion on the protection of voting rights and obliging the court to accept it for hearing," Trunov, who represents the interests of a number of prisoners, told Interfax.

Trunov had earlier demanded that the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) eliminate the violation of prisoners' voting rights, referring to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) July 2013 judgment qualifying the Russian constitutional provision banning prisoners from voting as "automatic and indiscriminate" and therefore disproportionate and violating the European Convention on Human Rights.

Trunov insisted that the CEC had evaded the implementation of the ECHR judgment, which is why he appealed to the Supreme Court.

In motivating its decision to return the administrative motion, the Supreme Court said the matter was not within its jurisdiction as the first instance court.

"I believe this position doesn't reflect the real legal essence of the norms to which the court refers in its decision. In particular, the Supreme Court hears administrative cases as the first instance court if they dispute the Central Elections Commission's decisions or its evasion of making decisions, regardless of the level of elections," Trunov said.