On October 5, 2021, the ECtHR ruled in Shavlokhova and Others v. Georgia that the application is inadmissible. According to an information note on the Court’s case law, the case concerned the Russian applicants’ complaint of violations with regard to Georgian armed forces’ military actions that took place during the conflict between the two states that took place on August 8- 9, 2008.
According to the ECtHR, the violations took place in and around the administrative capital of South Ossetia. The ECtHR stated that the area fell within Georgia’s territorial jurisdiction under Article 1 of the ECHR. However, the Court then considered “whether or not there had existed a valid limitation of the normal exercise of that jurisdiction.”
The Court explained that, due to various reasons, it is not possible to track “either direct and immediate cause or even sufficiently close proximity between the actions of the Georgian army proper and the effects produced on the applicants.” The Court concluded that the events between Georgia and the Russian Federation that had taken place in certain areas between August 8 and 12, 2008, constituted “acts of war,” that prevented Georgia from exercising its authority over the area.
The Court stated that Georgia’s inability to exercise its authority was a limitation on the normal exercise of its territorial jurisdiction. Therefore, even though in theory, Georgia would have been expected to take diplomatic, judicial, economic, or other measures during the active phase of the hostilities; given the ongoing massive armed conflict, such measures would be impossible to implement and would be of no value. The Court declared the application inadmissible (ratione materiae), in light of its earlier decision in Georgia v. Russia (II).