Rodnik Legal Centre, a regional public organisation
Yuliya Yakel, Head of the Rodnik Legal Centre
Summarised by the Editor of ANSIPRA Bulletin (the complete, original article is found on the Russian page of this website)
Information on the organization
The Rodnik Legal Centre, established in December 1999, is an organisation aimed at uniting professional lawyers and jurists, specialists in the field of human rights protection.
Legal experts at the Rodnik Legal Centre are specialised in the protection of fundamental constitutional rights of citizens such as the right to access information, the right to a favourable environment, the rights of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East to lead a traditional way of life and to protect their natural environment, and the right to justice.
The main objectives of our organisation are: to contribute to the formation of effective legal mechanisms to protect fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens; and to help Russian citizens to become aware that it is necessary and possible to protect their constitutional rights and civil freedoms on the basis of the prevailing legislation.
The Rodnik Legal Centre is one of few professional legal organisations rendering juristic aid to representatives of indigenous peoples and their associations. In this respect, the centre works in close cooperation with the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON) as well as with regional associations of indigenous peoples. The centre has instituted a number of legal proceedings aimed at changing the attitude of authorities towards legal guarantees for indigenous peoples of the North to their traditional way of life and the protection of their natural environment.
Today Rodnik’s legal specialists are handling a series of cases concerning the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights. One of these concerns a complaint about the refusal of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economic Development and Commerce to establish the significant Territory of Traditional Nature Use, “Tkhsanom”, in Kamchatka. As it is known, the current Russian legislation guarantees the right of indigenous peoples and their communities to establish Territories of Traditional Nature Use where they can lead traditional ways of life on lands with protected environments. Such areas have a specially protected status in the Russian Federation.
A consultation centre at the Rodnik Legal Centre was established to offer NGOs and individuals free legal aid and assistance in handling their legal cases. Rodnik’s lawyers advise citizens and NGOs’ representatives personally, by post, e-mail and telephone. Such support stirs up citizens’ and NGOs’ activities as they handle their cases on their own using procedural documents prepared by the centre’s lawyers. The consultation centre permanently advises activists and representatives of associations of indigenous peoples of the North on concrete problems. Both indigenous peoples’ rights protection and their legal education are among the main directions of the centre’s activities. To increase people’s civic activity in the field of protection of their fundamental rights, the Rodnik Legal Centre has developed programs of training seminars and tests for civic activists, NGOs and indigenous peoples representatives.
Our organization has published practical textbooks and manuals on human rights protection:
Имеем право знать, чтобы жить, практическое руководство по праву на информацию для активистов и общественных объединений коренных малочисленных народов России. (We have a right to know to live. Practical manual devoted to the right on information for activists and public organisations of indigenous peoples of Russia.) Moscow, edition MGUP, 2001;
Судебная защита права на информацию, практическое руководство по праву на информацию для активистов и общественных объединений коренных малочисленных народов России. (Court protection of the right on information. Practical manual devoted to the right on information for activists and public organisations of indigenous peoples of Russia.) Moscow, Edition MGUP, 2001;
Община путь к объединению и возрождению, практическое руководство по созданию общин коренных малочисленных народов России. (A community the way to integration and revival. Practical manual devoted to establishing of communities of indigenous peoples of Russia.) Moscow, edition MGUP, 2003;
Учредительные документы общин коренных малочисленных народов (образцы правовых документов). (Constitutive documents of communities of indigenous peoples [examples of legal documents]). Moscow, edition MGUP, 2003;
Обжалование незаконных решений власти практическое руководство по обжалованию в суд незаконных решений органов государственной власти, нарушающих экологические права граждан. (Appeal of illegal decisions of authorities. Practical manual the appeal of illegal decisions of authorities infringing citizens’ rights with respect to the environment.) Moscow, Edition MGUP, 2003.
Rodnik Legal Center
Russia, 127411, Moscow, Box 1
phone/fax: (+7) 095-165-07-54