Ad hoc judge in Yukos case may represent Russia in European Court

Andrei Bushev, an ad hoc judge in the Yukos vs. Russia case in the European Court of Human Rights, was nominated as Russia’s next national judge in the court, Russian business daily Kommersant said.

In late September, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed the political motivation allegations in the Yukos case in a ruling which the Western media described as a victory for the Russian government.

Bushev was sitting in the seven-judge panel as an ad hoc judge, appointed by the government concerned when the national judge is unable to sit in the case for some reason. The panel of judges ruled that the Russian authorities had violated the rights of the now-defunct Yukos company, but rejected claims that the break-up of the oil giant was politically motivated.

In the judgment, Bushev expressed “a partly dissenting opinion,” saying among other things that the oil company failed to use all the available domestic remedies before submitting the case directly to the ECHR.

Kommersant said, citing informed sources, that Bushev was among six people – two women and four men – nominated to replace Russia’s national judge Anatoly Kovler, whose term expires on Tuesday. Bushev refused to comment on his possible nomination.

Other candidates on the list include a counselor to the Constitutional Court and a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov and a Supreme Court criminal judge Olga Vedernikova.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will nominate three finalists in February and the new national judge will be chosen by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) in May.

A national judge in the ECHR is selected for one nine-year term without the possibility of reelection.

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