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Proposed EU Sanctions Against Uganda: Thoughts on This New Extraterritorial Human Rights Regime

On 11 February 2021, the European parliament adopted three resolutions on human rights situations in Uganda, Rwanda and Kazakhstan. Notably, for Uganda, it called for sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations. My claim is that sanctions are an interplay between international relations and international human rights law regimes. Whereas they have the potential to greatly contribute to the fight against impunity in targeted states, they also risk creating unintended consequences within the ambit of human rights. Therefore, a closer analysis of the effectiveness of sanctions is needed. This EU parliament resolution is premised on the new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EUGHRSR), that was adopted by the Council of the European Union (EU Council) on 7 December 2020. This followed a proposal by the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. Lawyers regard this as a significant development due to its exterritoriality. The sanctions regime comprises three distinct measures- prohibitions against listed individuals entering…

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Diplomats or fonctionnaires? The Contested Status of the EU’s ‘Embassy’ in the UK

May the European Union have a full diplomacy, on a par with States? This issue has been problematic since 1954, when the European Coal and Steel Community opened its first delegation – in London. Already in 1961, Pescatore wrote that ‘it is clear why the use of the term “diplomatic” to designate the Community’s missions in third…

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Is the EU Engaging in Impermissible Indirect Regulation of UN Action? Controversies over the General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a robust and ambitious framework for the protection of the personal data of natural persons adopted by the European Union in 2016, has found an unlikely stakeholder. On 14 May 2020, the United Nations Secretariat sent an eloquent and detailed set of comments to the European…

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Belgium asks European Court of Justice to opine on compatibility of Energy Charter Treaty’s investor-State arbitration provisions with EU law

On 3 December 2020, the Government of Belgium announced that it was submitting a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on ‘the compatibility of the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty with the European Treaties.’ This is major news, potentially sounding the death knell…

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Why it is so Hard to Hold Frontex Accountable: On Blame-Shifting and an Outdated Remedies System

On Friday 23 October, a joint investigation conducted by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD, and TV Asahi revealed that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has been complicit in human rights violations at the Greek maritime border. Videos and satellite photos show how arriving migrant boats are forced to turn back…

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