The Telegram v. Russia case will be tried by the European Court of Human Rights. A complaint was also filed with the Moscow City Court.

Published on May 14, 2018

The Telegram v. Russia case will be tried by the European Court of Human Rights. A complaint was also filed with the Moscow City Court.

    A month ago - April 13, 2018 - the Tagansky court of Moscow, after a 19-minute trial, granted the requirements of Roskomnadzor to block the Telegram messenger . This historic decision triggered a chain of events that affected thousands of companies and ordinary users. In an attempt to comply with the judgment, Roskomnadzor blocked up to 20 million IP addresses (now there are 10.99 million IP addresses left in the registry ).

    The interests of Telegram are represented by the law firm Agora, whose leader Pavel Chikov has recently become a Telegram star - 17,760 subscribers, more than many entertainment channels.

    Yesterday and today, Pavel reported two good news. First, the European Court of Human Rightsregistered a Telegram complaint for a fine of 800,000 rubles. for refusing to provide the FSB with encryption keys. In addition, the court was notified of the decision authorizing the blocking of Telegram - and proposed to file a full complaint on this in a separate form. According to Agora lawyers, this suggests that the ECtHR is, in principle, ready to consider this case, because at the registration stage most of the complaints to Strasbourg are now rejected.

    Secondly, on May 11, 2018, an appeal was sent to the Moscow City Court for the decision of the Tagansky court in Moscow ( text ).

    The complaint indicated four “gross violations of the procedural law” that the lower court allowed, according to the lawyers of “Agora”:

    • the application was submitted by an unauthorized person (neither the federal legislator nor the Government of the Russian Federation granted Roskomnadzor the authority to appeal to the courts),
    • the application was unlawfully examined in the special proceedings (in this case there was no dispute about the fact),
    • the court violated the principle of adversarial process and the company's right to defense (the lawsuit took 19 minutes and passed without the participation of a company representative),
    • the court avoided checking and evaluating the legality and necessity (proportionality) of the restrictions imposed on the company (mandatory judicial control).

    It is difficult to be surprised at such a gross violation by the Tagansky court, given the fact that the lawyers of this court were previously convicted of ignorance of the civil process : “It's no secret that Moscow courts do not have adequate knowledge of substantive and procedural law. But to publicly demonstrate your own lack of professionalism is to make the legal community laugh. The Tagansky court succeeded, ”Pavel Chikov commented on the situation.

    “In addition, the measures taken by Roskomnadzor to restrict access to Telegram led to the fact that from April 16, 2018 to the present, telecom operators blocked up to 20 million IP addresses, millions remain blocked at present,” appeal. - Most of the blocked addresses belong to international Internet companies, including Google, Amazon, Digital Ocean and Microsoft. This massive blocking of IP addresses has had a detrimental effect on a wide range of Internet services that have nothing to do with Telegram. Dozens of enterprises suffered and continue to incur losses ... In deciding to block, the Tagansky District Court of Moscow had to take into account the various interests involved and the negative effect,

    Based on the above violations, the plaintiff’s representatives asked to cancel the decision of the Tagansky District Court of Moscow dated April 13, 2018 in case No. 2-1779 / 18, in accordance with part 5 of article 330 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation to consider the case under the rules of procedure in the court of first instance, to accept the decision provided for in paragraph 3 of Article 328 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation (to terminate the proceedings).

    Despite possible gross violations of the procedural law, the chances of the Moscow City Court overturning the Tagansky court ruling do not look absolute. Perhaps more likely an objective review of the matter by the European Court of Human Rights. Its jurisdiction extends to all Council of Europe member states that have ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, including Russia. Decision by the ECHRMandatory for the respondent State in the case. A significant part of the judgments of the ECHR is not made in favor of the Russian authorities. For example, in February 2017, a court awarded Russian activist Alexei Navalny compensation in the total amount of EUR 63,678 for seven detentions during rallies in 2012-2014.