Human Rights

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Russia Files Interstate Complaint Against Ukraine in Strasbourg

This, I think, is a first – after many years of being sued by other states (most notably Ukraine and Georgia) before the European Court of Human Rights and other international courts and tribunals, Russia has struck back last week by filing an interstate application of its own against Ukraine (no. 36958/21). Here’s an excerpt from the Court’s press release: The case concerns the Russian Government’s allegation of an administrative practice in Ukraine of, among other things, killings, abductions, forced displacement, interference with the right to vote, restrictions on the use of the Russian language and attacks on Russian embassies and consulates. They also complain about the water supply to Crimea at the Northern Crimean Canal being switched off and allege that Ukraine was responsible for the deaths of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 because it failed to close its airspace. This case is a direct reaction to the most recent interstate claim brought by Ukraine against Russia on the latter’s alleged pattern…

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The (Gay) Elephant in the Room: Is there a Positive Obligation to Legally Recognise Same-Sex Unions after Fedotova v. Russia?

On the 13th of July, the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section) decided the case Fedotova v. Russia, nos. 40792/10 etc, holding that the Russian State violated Art. 8 ECHR for not having provided same-sex couples with the opportunity to have their relationships formally acknowledged in form of a marriage, or in any other form. The judgment, which…

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Relinquishment of jurisdiction contra legem: The European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Grzęda v. Poland

The European Court of Human Rights, like any international court, is bound by its founding treaty. In particular, the jurisdiction and powers of the Court are prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). A recent case of judicial self-empowerment concerning the relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber has triggered concerns that the Court is not…

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The First Parliamentary Debate on Human Rights at Sea: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

On Tuesday, 22 June 2021, the House of Lords debated for the first time the steps the UK has taken to protect human rights at sea. The debate was initiated by an oral question raised by Lord Teverson of Tregony who has been acting as Patron of the UK-based charity Human Rights…

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SCOTUS Further Narrows Parent Corporate Liability under the Alien Tort Statute: Ambiguities and Evidentiary Thresholds in the June 2021 Judgment in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al.

Introduction On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Nestle USA, Inc. v. Doe, __ S. Ct. __ (2021), which involved six former child slaves (“Respondents”) who had been kidnapped and forced to work on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast. Nestle USA, Inc. and Cargill, Inc. (together, “Petitioners”) purchased, processed,…

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