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Using the European Court of Human Rights

Using the European Court of Human Rights to Promote Human Rights in the Post-Soviet Space in Eastern Europe
Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Program Fee: Free for Members | $15 for Non-Members
In the wake of the fall of the Soviet Empire, almost every European country in the post-Soviet space, including the Russian Federation, signed onto the European Convention on Human Rights, thereby subjecting itself to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Within a short time, the ECHR was inundated with complaints against these countries’ governments. The flood of complaints has only intensified in recent years as many governments in the post-Soviet space have turned away from democracy and embraced authoritarianism. How ECHR litigation works as an international legal human rights mechanism and whether it has proven to be effective in promoting human rights in the countries of post-Soviet space are among the topics that will be explored in this panel discussion.


Richard Winfield,
a former partner at Clifford Chance US LLP and co-founder of the ISLP.  Mr. Winfield has among other things served as general counsel for Associated Press, has taught mass media law at Columbia and Fordham Law Schools, has trained lawyers from Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere in eastern Europe.  He will discuss the crisis facing independent media in eastern Europe, responses from the west and efforts to protect freedom of the press.

Natasha C. Lisman, a civil litigator recently retired from the Boston law firm of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. Ms. Lisman, born in the Soviet Union and having spent her childhood in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Poland, has handled pro bono cases on behalf of the ACLU, the NAACP, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the International Senior Lawyers Project (“ISLP”). She is a past President of the ACLU of Massachusetts and a past co-chair of the Litigation Section and International Law Section of the Boston Bar Association.  Ms. Lisman will discuss her two decades of work with Russian human rights lawyers on a broad range of human rights cases before the ECHR.

Masha Gessen, a well-known Russian-American journalist and commentator on post-Soviet Russia. Ms. Gessen is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a prolific contributor to the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Washington Post and numerous other publications, and winner of the 2017 National Book Award. She has written on such subject as Vladimir Putin, Pussy Riot and LGBTQ rights in Russia. Ms. Gessen will provide her counterpoint to the issues discussed by Ms. Lisman and Mr. Winfield.

Sponsoring Association Committee:
European Affairs Committee,  Victor P. Muskin, Chair

Co-Sponsoring Association Committees:
Communications and Media Law Committee, Katherine M. Bolger, Chair
Foreign and Comparative Law Committee, James G. Hunt, Chair 
International Human Rights Committee, Lauren Melkus, Chair
International Law Committee, Anibal Sabater, Chair

42 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036 UNITED STATES

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