Berkovich and Others v. Russia (European Court of Human Rights)

Information Note on the Court’s case-law 216
March 2018

Berkovich and Others v. Russia5871/07, 61948/08, 25025/10 et al.

Judgment 27.3.2018 [Section III]

Article 46
Article 46-2
Execution of judgment
Individual measures
General measures

Committee of Ministers to identify measures required by Russia regarding ban on foreign travel

Article 2 of Protocol No. 4
Article 2 para. 2 of Protocol No. 4
Freedom to leave a country

Long-term absolute ban on private foreign travel for persons who had had access to “State secrets”: violation

Facts – The applicants were prevented from travelling abroad for several years, owing to the absolute restriction on the right to leave Russia for persons having had access to “State secrets”.

Law – Article 2 of Protocol No. 4: The Court had already found the impugned prohibition to lack justification, given that the confidential information which the applicants possessed could be transmitted in a variety of ways which had not required their presence abroad or even direct physical contact with anyone (see Bartik v. Russia, 55565/00 and 55565/00, 21 December 2006, Information Note 92; and Soltysyak v. Russia, 4663/05 and 4663/05, 10 February 2011, Information Note 138).

Conclusion: violation (unanimously).

Article 46 of the Convention: At the date of this judgement, the relevant provisions of domestic law had not been amended or repealed.

The Russian authorities’ prolonged failure to implement their accession commitment and to execute two of the Court’s judgments was at variance with their obligations under Article 46. It was incumbent on the Committee of Ministers to address the issue of what might be required of the respondent Government by way of compliance, through both individual and general measures

Article 41: sums ranging from EUR 3,500 to EUR 5,000 to each applicant in respect of non-pecuniary damage; claims in respect of pecuniary damage dismissed.

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