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Imperfect Judiciary To Blame For Human Rights Problems - Medvedev


Russia does have human rights problems and flaws in the judicial system are one of the causes of this, President Dmitry Medvedev told Swiss media on the eve of his visit to Switzerland.

"Once we are on the subject of the human rights situation, I must say it is not quite sterile, of course, human rights abuses are many and they must be eliminated," he said. "They are so numerous because there is no effective judiciary system. And it is these institutions that we've got to develop first and foremost. Also, it is a problem of people's mentality. Far from all problems that there exist today are being resolved in a legal way."

"We must reform our judicial system and adjust it to the interests of our state and, what is still more important, to the interests of our people," Medvedev said.

In his opinion the judicial system that there exists today does not open up all opportunities for effective protection, for going through all instances and achieving a fair solution.

At the same time, it allows for appealing to the human rights court in Strasbourg rather easily.

"On the one hand, it is good. On the other, it is a disincentive to bettering our own judicial system," he acknowledged.

"We are to make our own courts work better, and not saddle the Strasbourg Court with ever more tasks," he said. "I believe that as the Russian judicial system develops, the number of cases taken to Strasbourg will dwindle. But if people see no resort other than going there, it is their right."

Asked about the Russian parliament's refusal to ratify protocol 14 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, which concerns the reform of the Strasbourg Court, Medvedev said the question should be addressed not to the president, but to the State Duma and the Federation Council.

The president had submitted the bill, but "the parliament has turned it down, because it saw some aspects violating the interests of our country."

"But that does not mean that the process has been stopped. A number of positions are being coordinated. We resumed work on this subject and our counterparts are working on the protocol, too. We are thinking about how to join that process," Medvedev said.

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