The issue also contains an interesting editorial by Chief Editor, Professor Dmitry Maleshin, about the challenges faced by discussing Russian law outside of its national jurisdiction.
Here is the abstract for my article:
It can be found here:
'Treating violence and brutality with a discriminatory intent on an equal footing with cases that have no such overtones would be turning a blind eye to the specific nature of acts that are particularly destructive of fundamental rights. A failure to make a distinction in the way situations that are essentially different are handled may constitute unjustified treatment irreconcilable with Article 14 of the Convention' (para. 67).The combination of Articles 3 and 14 therefore provide a framework through which to robustly assess whether a state has taken sufficient measures to protect LGBT individuals from 'torture' or 'inhuman and degrading treatment' administered by those who are motivated by homophobic hatred.
'it was essential for the relevant domestic authorities to conduct the investigation [...], taking all reasonable steps with the aim of unmasking the role of possible homophobic motives for the events in question. The necessity of conducting a meaningful inquiry into the discrimination behind the attack [...] was indispensable given, on the one hand, the hostility against the LGBT community and, on the other, in the light of the clearly homophobic hate speech uttered by the assailants during the incident. The Court considers that without such a strict approach from the law‑enforcement authorities, prejudice-motivated crimes would unavoidably be treated on an equal footing with ordinary cases without such overtones, and the resultant indifference would be tantamount to official acquiescence to or even connivance with hate crimes' (para. 77).The Court's language is extremely clear and sends a strong and powerful message to all contracting states: when there are negative attitudes towards sexual minorities in society and there is a known likelihood of homophobic abuse, then law-enforcement authorities are under a 'compelling positive obligation' (para. 80) to protect LGBT individuals. Furthermore, states have a procedural obligation to investigate homophobic hatred 'with particular emphasis on unmasking the bias motive' (para. 80). As the Court said, if states do not take such action then 'it would be difficult [...] to implement measures aimed at improving the policing of [...] peaceful demonstrations in the future' (para. 80).
'that the question of whether or not some of the applicants sustained physical injuries of certain gravity becomes less relevant. All of the thirteen individual applicants became the target of hate speech and aggressive behaviour, which facts are not in dispute by the Government [...] Given that they were surrounded by an angry mob that outnumbered them and was uttering death threats and randomly resorting to physical assaults, demonstrating the reality of the threats, and that a clearly distinguishable homophobic bias played the role of an aggravating factor [...], the situation was already one of intense fear and anxiety. The aim of that verbal – and sporadically physical – abuse was evidently to frighten the applicants so that they would desist from their public expression of support for the LGBT community [...]. The applicants’ feelings of emotional distress must have been exacerbated by the fact that the police protection which had been promised to them in advance of the march was not provided in due time or adequately' (§ 70).On this basis, the Court concluded that the treatment of the applicants 'must necessarily have aroused in them feelings of fear, anguish and insecurity' (§ 71) which were not compatible with respect for their human dignity and reached the threshold of severity within the meaning of Article 3 taken in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention.
'that the domestic authorities failed to ensure that the march [...], which was organised by the first applicant and attended by the thirteen individual applicants [...], could take place peacefully by sufficiently containing homophobic and violent counter-demonstrators. In view of those omissions, the authorities fell short of their positive obligations under Article 11 taken in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention' (§ 100).The Court held unanimously that there was no need to examine the complaint under Article 10 of the Convention, and that there had been a violation of Article 11 taken in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention.