Human Rights

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Why it is so Hard to Hold Frontex Accountable: On Blame-Shifting and an Outdated Remedies System

On Friday 23 October, a joint investigation conducted by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD, and TV Asahi revealed that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has been complicit in human rights violations at the Greek maritime border. Videos and satellite photos show how arriving migrant boats are forced to turn back towards Turkey with Frontex vessels and planes watching or participating in the manoeuvre. Initially refusing to launch an investigation into the matter entirely, on Tuesday 27 October, Frontex confidently tweeted that their internal inquiry into the matter showed all was perfectly fine. After pressure from the Commission, the Frontex Management Board held an extraordinary meeting on 10 November in which it decided to set up an internal sub-group to look into the matter. While the mandate is still to be fleshed out later this month, the current focus is on clarifying some legal questions regarding surveillance at sea and ‘hybrid threats’, rather than on investigating the alleged human rights violations and Frontex’s role…

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The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko Before the European Court of Human Rights

In more extraterritoriality news, the Guardian recently reported that the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London in 2006 by Russian agents using a radioactive poison, has revived the claim she had previously filed against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights: The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has submitted…

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Persons at Sea, International Law and Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect people around the world, the scholarly debate on how to uphold the rule of law amid the crisis remains relevant. A significant aspect of this debate has focused on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on human rights (see, for example, here, here and here). However, it is not…

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The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’s Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Procedures

Over this past weekend during the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by Viet Nam, the ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Viet Nam) finally signed, together with five other trading partners - Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand…

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People v Arctic Oil before Supreme Court of Norway – What’s at stake for human rights protection in the climate crisis?

During the past week, the Norwegian Supreme Court has been hearing the People v Arctic Oil case, a rights-based challenge to the Norwegian State’s grant of petroleum exploration licenses. The case raises myriad questions of significance regarding States’ human rights obligations in the context of climate change. Here, we consider two of them: the geographic scope…

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