Human Rights

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Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by Turkey: A Testing Problem for the Council of Europe

On Saturday 20 March 2021, Turkey woke up to a historic first – the announcement of its first withdrawal from a human rights treaty by the President. A presidential decision declared that Turkey was leaving the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This is the convention better known, most ironically, as the Istanbul Convention due to Turkey’s leading role in its creation. Published in the Official Gazette in the early hours of 20 March 2021, Presidential Decision 3718 reads: ‘It is decided that the Council of Europe Treaty on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence signed on 11/5/2011 and ratified on 10/2/2012 with the Council of Ministers Decision No 2012/2816 is to be terminated based on Presidential Decree No 9 paragraph 3.’ The Istanbul Convention was ratified by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 24 November 2011. Its ratification was unanimous. On 10 February 2012, it was approved by the Council of Ministers, an organ now replaced…

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Drowning Migrants, the Human Rights Committee, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations

In this post I will analyse more extensively the two decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee that I flagged previously (A.S. and others v. Malta, CCPR/C/128/D/3043/2017 ; A.S. and others v. Italy, CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017), dealing with the failure of Malta and Italy to rescue a group of more than 200…

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EJIL:The Podcast! Episode 7: “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?” ‬

In this episode of the podcast, Sarah Nouwen is in conversation with Laurence Helfer (Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law, Duke Law School) and Erik Voeten (Peter F. Krogh Professor of Geopolitics and Justice in World Affairs, Georgetown University) about their article “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?” which was published in the…

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Proposed EU Sanctions Against Uganda: Thoughts on This New Extraterritorial Human Rights Regime

On 11 February 2021, the European parliament adopted three resolutions on human rights situations in Uganda, Rwanda and Kazakhstan. Notably, for Uganda, it called for sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations. My claim is that sanctions are an interplay between international relations and international human rights law regimes. Whereas they have the potential…

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Extraterritorial Investigations in Hanan v. Germany; Extraterritorial Assassinations in New Interstate Claim Filed by Ukraine against Russia

In this post I will discuss two recent developments on the extraterritoriality of human rights front – the judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Hanan v. Germany, no. 4871/16, on the compliance with Article 2 ECHR of the investigation by German authorities into the Kunduz incident in Afghanistan,…

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