Russian Justice Initiative prioritizes litigation before the European Court of Human Rights.According to statements from a lawyer at the Court and information from other legal representatives, a total of over 500 cases regarding grave human rights abuse in Chechnya and other North Caucasus republics had been submitted to the Court by December 2015. At this point the Initiative represented clients from North Caucasus in almost 355 of those cases.

By the end of 2015 RJI had won 179 cases at the European Court of Human Rights finding Russia responsible for grave violations of human rights in Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria and Ingushetia. 

Over the past years RJI’s cases have set precedents in the area of the right to life in disappearance cases, the standards for effective investigations, the suffering of the relatives of the disappeared and the use of force in counter-terrorism operations. It also brought the first case concerning torture in Chechnya to the European Court. 

By the end of 2015 RJI was representing over 2000 applicants mainly from Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan, and over 250 from Georgia and South Ossetia. Many of the judgments handed down by the European Court contain strong evidence as to the identity of the perpetrators. These cases form the basis from which we continue to advocate for accountability through our advocacy and litigation work on implementation of judgments.