Human Rights

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The Mauritius Oil Spill: Using Africa’s ‘judicial environmentalism’ as an avenue for redress?

Since the MV Wakashio ship ran aground on 25 July this year, Mauritius has been facing an unfolding human and environmental disaster. Up to 100,000 Mauritians took to the streets in late August to protest against the State’s handling of the disaster, one of the largest protests in the country in over 40 years. In this post we explore the potential for Mauritians to use the African human rights system to address the State’s handling of the oil spill, and whether the acts and omissions of Mauritius potentially violated the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter), which includes environmental rights. Such a route may be underexplored but it is not without precedent. This post will review the occurrence of ‘Judicial environmentalism’ before Africa’s Regional Economic Community (REC) Courts and two of the main bodies in the African human rights system: the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court). Context There were thousands…

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Why it is so Hard to Hold Frontex Accountable: On Blame-Shifting and an Outdated Remedies System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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The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko Before the European Court of Human Rights

In more extraterritoriality news, the Guardian recently reported that the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London in 2006 by Russian agents using a radioactive poison, has revived the claim she had previously filed against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights: The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has submitted…

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Persons at Sea, International Law and Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect people around the world, the scholarly debate on how to uphold the rule of law amid the crisis remains relevant. A significant aspect of this debate has focused on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on human rights (see, for example, here, here and here). However, it is not…

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The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’s Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Procedures

Over this past weekend during the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by Viet Nam, the ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Viet Nam) finally signed, together with five other trading partners - Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand…

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