Budayeva and Others v. Russia

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that the Russian Federation violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to maintain mudslide defense and warning infrastructure in the mudslide-prone town of Tyrnauz, where applicants' filed a claim after suffering from destruction of property and loss of life resulting from a mudslide. Article 2 recognizes the right to life. The Court found that, despite possessing knowledge that the area was prone to mud-slides and rendered relatively defenseless due to the state of disrepair of the mudslide defense system following a previous mudslide, Russian authorities failed to take steps to repair the system or show diligence in informing the citizens and preparing evacuation plans. In spite of numerous warnings of increasing risk of mudslides, the State failed to fulfill its positive obligation to establish a legislative and regulatory framework designed to provide effective deterrence against threats to life, as required by Article 2. Additionally, the Court determined that the State violated Article 2 procedurally due to the failure of the judiciary to examine the question of State responsibility for the accident.