Extraterritorial Application

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Targeted Killings: New Allegations Against India and Ukraine

Yesterday, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, stood up in Parliament and formally accused the government of India of committing a targeted killing on Canadian territory. The victim, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was a prominent leader of a Sikh separatist movement in India, who was designated as a terrorist by the Indian government. He was assassinated in June in front of a Sikh temple. From an international law standpoint, this kind of public accusation raises two sets of issues. The first is attribution, which can be legal, technical, and political; for our purposes, the key question is the identity of the assassins and the nature of their link to the Indian government (were they, for example, individuals who worked for Indian intelligence services, i.e. state organs, or were they contractors of some kind, acting allegedly under the Indian state’s instructions, direction or control). Related to this question, but conceptually distinct from it, is the issue of the evidence supporting an attribution claim. In the context of an accusation of this…

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Justifying Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations and Climate Change as a Counterexample

Why and What to Justify Extraterritorial human rights obligations are contentious. In the UK, for example, the ECtHR’s findings that armed forces deployed abroad have human rights obligations have met with criticism. Extraterritoriality is also routinely named as one of the most difficult aspects of the next generation of potentially groundbreaking human rights litigation:…

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Amicus Curiae Brief in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights recently joined two major interstate cases pending before it – the interstate case filed by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia that concerned the downing of the MH17 airliner and events in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which it declared admissible in January, with the new interstate application filed by Ukraine…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part II

In the first part of this post I talked about the (many) good things about the European Court’s admissibility decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia. In particular, the conclusion that Russia controlled the separatist areas of Eastern Ukraine from 2014 up to the oral hearing in the case in 2022 and…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part I

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its much-anticipated decision on jurisdiction and admissibility in the interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia (nos 8019/16, 43800/14 and 28525/20 – decision; press release). The Court declared the applications admissible, in a clear win for the applicant…

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