Human Rights

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Klimaseniorinnen: the Innovative and the Orthodox

In his dissenting opinion in Klimaseniorinnen, Judge Eicke argues that the majority has gone “well beyond … the permissible limits of evolutive interpretation” in finding a violation of Article 8 [3]. In his view the majority took three innovative steps: (i) expanding the concept of victim status/standing to allow NGOs to have standing even where their members would not have victim-status if taken individually; (ii) creating a “new” right to protection from the effects of climate change; and (iii) imposing a new duty on states to adopt measures to mitigate those effects. For Judge Eicke, none of these three innovations had “any basis in Article 8 or any other provision of or Protocol to the Convention” [4]. Indeed, it is not just the critics of the majority’s judgment who think it innovative – counsel for the applicants labelled it “ground-breaking”. Moreover, the Court itself said that although its existing environmental jurisprudence could “offer guidance up to a point” [414], climate change cases had special features which justified the adoption of a “tailored approach”…

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Inter-generational Equity, Future Generations and Democracy in the European Court of Human Rights’ Klimaseniorinnen Decision

It was immediately evident that the European Court of Human Rights judgment in Verein  KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland was groundbreaking in multiple regards and will prove fundamentally important in terms of shaping and, in many ways, advancing climate justice litigation at the European, international and domestic law levels. That decision, as well as those in…

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Climate Change and the ECHR: The Results Are In

To much media attention, excitement and general anticipation, the European Court of Human Rights finally handed down judgments in the three climate change cases relinquished to the Grand Chamber. The three cases are Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland (application no. 53600/20), Carême v. France (no. 7189/21) and…

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People from La Oroya vs Peru, Inter-American Court of Human Rights: How Effective is International Law to Protect the Environment in Extractive Contexts?

On March 22nd, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled a landmark decision on the protection of the right to a healthy environment in the context of mining activities. The Court declared the international responsibility of the Peruvian State for breaching the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, specifically for violations of the right to a…

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Gender Persecution and Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan: Seeking the Appropriate Legal Basis for International Accountability

From as early as 1980, Afghanistan signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a decisive step in protecting women’s rights to equality, notably in education. Additionally, since 1994, Afghanistan has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which explicitly…

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