Human Rights

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HF and Others v France: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction without Duty to Repatriate IS-Children and their Mothers

On 14 September 2022 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) issued its judgment in HF and others v France, a case concerning the repatriation of IS-children and their mothers from Syrian camps. This judgment is interesting for various reasons: it addresses an issue that is controversial in many countries; it is the latest episode in the saga of the ECtHR and extraterritorial jurisdiction; and it is the first time that the Court clarifies the meaning of Article 3(2) of Protocol 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (right to enter one’s own country). This post focuses on the Court’s approach to extraterritorial jurisdiction and compares it with the recent decisions of the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child on the same issue. The Facts The applicants in this case are the (grand)parents of two women who travelled to Syria with their partners in 2014 and 2015 in order to join the Islamic State in Iraq and…

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Western Sahara before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights:  Is there a “brother’s keeper” obligation for the Member States of the African Union?

In the current international context where States are ‘(re)discovering’ the virtue of international judicial litigation tools (before the ICJ or before the European Court of Human Rights), the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights was presented with a unique request against the backdrop of protecting the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people. The latter…

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Women, Life, Freedom: Have international lawyers run out of words?

We have entered the fourth week into the Iranian protests (under the moto of “women, life, freedom” ) sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman from Iranian Kurdistan, following her arrest by the Iranian morality police for allegedly breaching the veiling laws. Since then, Amnesty International has reported that the government’s ultra-violent response…

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Legal Imagination, and the Turn to Rights in Climate Litigation: A Rejoinder to Zahar

In the most recent issue of EJIL, I discuss whether anthropogenic climate change can and should be understood as a human rights issue, particularly at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In a reply to my piece, Alexander Zahar has voiced concerns about the over-extension of human rights law, invoking the perils of the ‘wish…

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EU – New Zealand FTA: Towards a new approach in the enforcement of trade and sustainable development obligations

 On 30 June 2022, the President of the EU Commission and the New Zealand Prime Minister jointly announced the successful termination of the negotiations for the creation of a new free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and New Zealand. As for New Zealand, the commercial liberalization provided by the new FTA would determine a…

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