Human Rights

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The Moscow Mechanism Expert Report: On the Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty of Ukrainian Civilians by the Russian Federation

Introduction When, in 1991, the Participating States of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CBSE) at their meeting in Moscow established the so-called Moscow Mechanism, nobody could have anticipated the pivotal role that this mechanism would have some three decades later in holding to account its “country of origin”, the Russian Federation. Yet, this is exactly what we have witnessed and continue to witness. While the first three decades of Mechanism’s existence, 1991-2021, were characterised by its very rare invocations, leading to some rumours of it becoming redundant, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the radical worsening of the human rights situation in the Russian Federation and its close “partner in crime”, Belarus, have completely revitalised and indeed revealed the true potential of the Moscow Mechanism, giving it a new lease of life. Since March 2022, the Mechanism has been activated already six times – four times with respect to the violations of international law committed during the conflict in Ukraine and twice concerning the human rights situation…

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Animal Welfare Beats Freedom of Religion

Sien Devriendt and Carla M. Zoethout have recently presented, in this blog, the ECtHR judgment of 13 February 2024 in Executief van de Moslims van België et al. v. Belgium (16760/22 et al.), welcoming the change in ethical thinking regarding animal welfare reflected in that judgment. In this post, which is based on a comment forthcoming, in…

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Wa Baile c. Suisse: A victory against racial profiling?

Mohamed Wa Baile, a Swiss citizen of Kenyan origin, was stopped by the municipal police in the Zurich train station when he was on his way to work. According to the police officer in charge, he stopped Mr Wa Baile because of his behaviour, which appeared suspicious to him as Mr Wa Baile looked away when he realised…

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Did the Court in Klimaseniorinnen create an actio popularis?

Perhaps the thorniest issue that the European Court had to address in Klimaseniorinnen was how to square the prohibition on actio popularis with the granting of standing to the applicant association, but not to the individual applicants. How can the four individual applicants lack victim status, as the Court held, yet the association, of which the applicants were…

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On Whose Authority? Freedom of Navigation and Protests in the 2023 NORI-D Area Incident

Introduction The activities of Greenpeace vessels have a habit of triggering the further illumination and development of international law. Greenpeace’s “Stop Deep Sea Mining” campaign is no exception. It effectively raises questions on the scope of Greenpeace’s individual right to protest (international human rights law) and the scope of the Netherland’s flag State right to…

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