Human Rights

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Briefly Noted: New Report on Somali Piracy

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee released its report on Somali piracy on 5 January 2012.* I acted as a specialist advisor to the committee, so I will not offer a full analysis but simply highlight some points of interest: the report is critical of the failure to contain piracy in the Indian Ocean; however, it acknowledges that absent further naval resources the only effective way to protect vessels is to allow them to protect themselves – it thus supports the use of armed guards in some cases; indeed, the committee notes that UK government policy on armed guards appeared to shift during its inquiry, with the release last December of a Department of Transport policy allowing the use of armed security on UK flag vessels for the first time; the committee calls on the government to issue clear guidance on when armed guards may use potentially lethal force, noting that Crown Prosecution Service guidance on self-defence was not drafted with armed security guards in mind (paras 35-37); the…

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New Discussions on UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Reform: Using the Momentum while Acknowledging Financial and Political Realities

John Morijn, PhD (EUI (Law)) is senior human rights adviser, Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and assistant professor of human rights law, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Views expressed in this post, based on ‘Reforming United Nations Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Reform, Netherlands International Law Review, LVIII: 295-333, 2011 and further inspired by discussions during the…

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Important Cases Against Russia before the European Court

Just before the holidays the European Court of Human Rights rendered two important decisions in cases against the Russian Federation. First, a Chamber declared admissible the second interstate application filed by Georgia against Russia (Georgia v. Russia No. 2, App. No. 38263/08, available here). The case arises out of the 2008 armed conflict between Georgia and Russia;…

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Reply to Shany, Lowe and Papanicolopulu

My thanks go out to Yuval Shany, Vaughan Lowe and Irini Papanicolopulu for their comments on my book. It is truly a pleasure and a privilege to engage them in this discussion. Let me begin by responding to some of the points made by Vaughan. I fully agree that the rights set out in human rights treaties could perhaps be…

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A Response to Milanovic on Extraterritorial Application of Human Treaties: The Significance of International Law Concepts of Jurisdiction

Irini Papanicolopulu is Marie Curie Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and a Senior Researcher in international law at the University of Milano-Bicocca (on leave). In his book, Marko Milanovic addresses the fascinating topic of the extraterritorial application of human rights treaties. The strengths of this book are numerous. In a style that is clear, well-structured…

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