Extradition

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M.N. and Others v Belgium: no ECHR protection from refoulement by issuing visas

 With its inadmissibility decision in M.N. and Others v Belgium delivered on 5 May 2020, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR made it clear that individuals who apply for visas at embassies with the intention to seek protection, do not fall within the jurisdiction of the ECHR State Parties in the sense of Article 1 ECHR. As a consequence, the protection from non-refoulement under Article 3 cannot be triggered.  This is a decision preceded by the CJEU judgment in X. and X. v Belgium that had a similar negative result, but on different grounds. As opposed to the ECHR, the EU Charter arguably has no jurisdictional threshold, but the Charter’s triggering does require that the EU member state implements EU law. This condition was not satisfied since CJEU found that an application for a visa on humanitarian grounds was not within the scope of EU. With M.N. and Others v Belgium it became clear that neither is it within the scope of Council of Europe human rights law, since the jurisdiction threshold cannot…

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Romeo Castaño v Belgium and the Duty to Cooperate under the ECHR

With a judgment of 9 July 2019, in the case of Romeo Castaño v Belgium, the second section of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) held unanimously that Belgium had fallen short of its procedural obligations under article 2 of the Convention for failing to cooperate with the Spanish authorities in securing the surrender of…

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The Assange case and the UK’s global defence of media freedom

Human rights advocates often point to the lack of consistency and coherence between states’ stated commitments, on the one hand, and their actions, on the other. Even then, the tensions surrounding the UK’s recent approach to the goal of protecting media freedom globally and its projection seem striking. Within less than a week, the UK government…

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A Cold War like Thriller in Summer – Icy Times Between Vietnam and Germany

If “all options are on the table” in the international arena, it is a reliable indicator that the stakes are high. We still recall when President Trump put all options on the table in August last year responding to North Korean missile tests. Just a few days before, Germany, usually not known for Trumpish rhetoric, also placed…

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The European Arrest Warrant against Puigdemont: A feeling of déjà vu?

On 2 November 2017, the Spanish State Prosecutor asked Carmen Lamela, a Spanish judge, to issue a European Arrest Warrant against Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers following the vote of secessionist Catalan MPs to declare independence. They face potential charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds. Carles Puigdemont, who arrived in…

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