Human Rights

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Cyber Operations against Vaccine R & D: Key International Law Prohibitions and Obligations

By August, COVID-19 had killed 700,000 people world-wide, while at least 18 million have been infected by the virus. It now appears that the best hope for battling the pandemic may lie in multiple vaccines. This reality has sparked vaccine nationalism, as states compete for the supplies that hopefully will become available early next year. For instance, the United States has paid for the right to hundreds of millions of vaccine doses from domestic and foreign companies in Operation Warp Speed. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, are following suit.  Another almost predictable response has been “vaccine espionage.” In mid-July, a consensus report of the UK’s National Cyber Security Center, the US National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment alleged that “[t]hroughout 2020, APT29 has targeted various organisations involved in COVID-19 vaccine development in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, highly likely with the intention of stealing information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19…

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Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence in times of COVID-19

The lockdown measures imposed following the COVID-19 outbreak have generated novel and significant challenges for businesses.  As firms redouble their efforts to ensure business continuity and redirect supply chains – and, in some jurisdictions, transition back to normal operating conditions – there is heightened risk of adverse human rights impacts materialising throughout the value chain, where such risk…

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Has ‘Control over rights doctrine’ for extra-territorial jurisdiction come of age? Karlsruhe, too, has spoken, now it’s Strasbourg’s turn

The German Constitutional Court (GCC) declared, in its ruling on May 19th, that the surveillance of non-German individuals outside of Germany was unconstitutional. The Court’s judgment on the German Act on the Federal Intelligence Service (Gesetz über den Bundesnachrichtendienst, or the BND-Gesetz) has not attracted enough legal commentary in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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‘Racism will not pass’…

In her excellent recent post, Sejal Parmar takes us through the UN Human Rights Council’s ‘urgent debate’ on racism in US law enforcement that took place in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May. That debate was initiated by a draft resolution from Burkina Faso (on behalf of the Group of African…

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The Lhaka Honhat Case Of The Inter-American Court Of Human Rights: The Long-Awaited Granting Of 400,000 Hectares Under Communal Property Rights

On 6 February 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) delivered a judgment in which it declared the international responsibility of the Argentine Republic for the violation of diverse rights of 132 indigenous communities of the Salta province, organised under the Lhaka Honhat Association. This is the first time the Court has condemned…

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