EJIL Analysis

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Climate change and the European Court of Human Rights: The Portuguese Youth Case

On 3 September, six Portuguese children and young adults (aged 8 to 21) issued an Application to the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) against 33 Council of Europe Member States (all of the EU 27, plus the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine) in respect of the profound, ongoing, and worsening impact that climate change is having upon them. The effects that the Applicants are suffering, and will suffer in the future, are squarely within the ambit of their rights to life and private and family life, under Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). They also argue that the increasing effects that they are set to suffer over the course of their lifetimes entail discrimination on grounds of age, and therefore breach Article 14, when read with Articles 2 and 8. The Applicants allege specifically that the Respondents are failing to sufficiently reduce their “territorial” emissions and, further, to take responsibility for their contributions to “overseas” emissions entailed by (a) their export of fossil fuels, (b) the import of goods…

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Challenging the Olympic Charter at the Swiss OECD National Contact Point

In January 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued guidelines to clarify the content of the controversial Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter (OC). Rule 50 prohibits any ‘kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas’. It was introduced to the OC during the 1970s, following one of…

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Armenia v Azerbaijan before the European Court of Human Rights

On 28 September 2020, Armenia lodged a request for interim measures against Azerbaijan in view of the recent reignition of the conflict in and around the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. One day later, the European Court of Human Rights decided to apply Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court. While…

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? Part III: Looking beyond the WTO – possible avenues to raise a Judicial Challenge against Secondary Sanctions

Judicial remedies at the domestic and international level In our two previous posts we examined the legality of secondary sanctions in light of customary law on the exercise of State jurisdiction, on the one end (here), and conventional law, specifically the IMF Articles of Agreement, on the other hand (here). Having established that, depending…

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon Out of Control? Part II: The legality of secondary sanctions under conventional law and the IMF’s tacit approval procedure for payment restrictions inspired by security concerns

The legality of so-called ‘non-UN’ or ‘autonomous’ sanctions has been amply debated in recent years. Discussion has arisen, for instance, on their compliance with the principle of non-intervention (see here), or their potential qualification as ‘third-party countermeasures’ (see e.g. here and here). The legal challenges are further compounded when…

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