EJIL Analysis

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Should the ECtHR Invoke Article 17 for Disinformation Cases?

Increasingly, legal debates surrounding disinformation in Europe have questioned how this problem can be tackled while preserving fundamental rights to freedom of expression. Under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), freedom of expression is protected. Throughout the extensive Article 10 jurisprudence in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it has been well established that legal interferences with political debate are among the most challenging for domestic legal authorities to justify (Sunday Times v. The United Kingdom, 1979; Lingens v. Austria, 1986). In this connection, there are growing concerns about how disinformation can be curtailed while protecting Article 10. However, less attention has been paid to whether Article 10 should even be applied at all. In tackling certain hate speech, the ECtHR has often refused admissibility of Article 10 applications on the grounds that Article 10 is not meant to protect certain categories of expression, and has instead applied an "abuse clause" under Article 17 (Hannie and Voorhoof, 2011). As reasoned by the Strasbourg Court in such cases, freedom of expression must not be…

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Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by Turkey: A Testing Problem for the Council of Europe

On Saturday 20 March 2021, Turkey woke up to a historic first – the announcement of its first withdrawal from a human rights treaty by the President. A presidential decision declared that Turkey was leaving the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This is the convention better known, most ironically,…

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Drowning Migrants, the Human Rights Committee, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations

In this post I will analyse more extensively the two decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee that I flagged previously (A.S. and others v. Malta, CCPR/C/128/D/3043/2017 ; A.S. and others v. Italy, CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017), dealing with the failure of Malta and Italy to rescue a group of more than 200…

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The ICC Prosecutor’s statement on the Situation in Palestine: A Hand Stretched forth in Friendship?

On 3 March the OTP of the ICC confirmed that it had initiated an investigation regarding the Situation in Palestine. The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014. The OTP statement was no surprise: according to Article 18…

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Making Humanity Greater Again: Self-evolving and self-perfecting

January 20, 2021 is an important date in the history of the United States.  It could be an important date in the history of the human world.  The neo-isolationism of the previous administration was unusual even by American standards.  It succeeded in disrupting all kinds of international system from the UN and UN Specialised Agencies and WTO to…

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