Flight MH17: European Court to hand down decision on admissibility of the Netherlands’ inter-State application against Russia
On 25 January 2023 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will issue a decision on whether it will consider the merits of the Netherlands’ inter-State application against Russia regarding the downing of flight MH17. The decision will be read out at a hearing in Strasbourg.
The European Court and flight MH17
The mandate of the European Court of Human Rights is to hold states accountable for human rights violations. In 2020 the Netherlands lodged an application with the Court regarding Russia’s role in the downing of flight MH17 above eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. All 298 people on board were killed, including 196 Dutch nationals.
MH17: The Netherlands’ application against Russia
The Netherlands is arguing that Russia played a key role in the downing of flight MH17. The Netherlands also believes that Russia has not conducted an adequate investigation and that it has failed to cooperate with the Netherlands’ requests for a criminal investigation. In the view of the Netherlands this, combined with Russia’s repeated denial of any involvement in downing flight MH17, has caused the victims’ next of kin additional suffering.
One step closer to justice
In its decision of 25 January 2023 the ECtHR will determine if the Netherlands’ application against Russia is admissible, in other words: whether the Court will consider the merits of the application. This is a major step towards establishing the truth and achieving justice and accountability for all the victims and their loved ones.
The admissibility decision will depend on factors such as whether it was submitted on time, whether domestic legal remedies have been exhausted, and Russia’s role in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and in the downing of MH17. This will be the first time that an international court has given a ruling on this matter.
The hearing, which is public, will be held on Wednesday 25 January at 14.30 at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Afterwards a video of the hearing will be available on the ECtHR website.