Human Rights

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Part I: Due Diligence and COVID-19: States’ Duties to Prevent and Halt the Coronavirus Outbreak

This is a 3-Part post on the international legal framework relevant to the prevention of, response to and mitigation of the global public health crisis engendered by the outbreak of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Part I introduces the concept of due diligence which characterises the said legal framework and looks at relevant rules of general international law and international human rights law. Part II focuses on the International Health Regulations and the international rules applicable to the protection of persons in the event of disasters. Part III assesses some reported government measures to address the crisis in light of the analysed legal framework and suggests a way ahead. The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly around the world with hundreds of lives claimed every single day. Although the measures imposed to control the spread of the disease have varied across countries, it is evident that they have and will continue to hit us hard, whether it is the psychological toll of social distancing and self-isolation,…

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Kalma v African Minerals: English Court of Appeal Judgment Cuts Against the Grain of Common Law Cases on the Responsibility of Businesses for Overseas Human Rights Impacts

Over the last three years, the English courts have demonstrated an increasing willingness to accept jurisdiction over tort claims brought against UK multinationals in relation to human rights impacts in their overseas operations. This culminated last year in the Supreme Court’s judgment in Vedanta – heralded by some respected commentators as “the most important…

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Do the containment measures taken by Italy in relation to COVID-19 comply with human rights law?

Italians, like the citizens of other democratic countries in times of peace, have learned to take for granted certain civil liberties and freedoms, such as the freedom of movement and assembly. It suddenly became evident to them that the enjoyment of these rights can be limited as the country has now been put on lockdown by the government,…

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NGOs and ECtHR judges: A Clarification

The 5 March blog post by Grégor Puppinck is not really a result of academic research, nor does it manage to identify an actual problem of public policy. Despite its civility in style and appearance of balance, the blog post, as well as the underlying European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) report written by the…

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Public Interest Litigation Before Domestic Courts in The Netherlands on the Basis of International Law: Article 3:305a Dutch Civil Code

In recent years, the domestic courts in The Hague (Netherlands) have produced a series of judgments on matters of global concern, adjudicated on the basis of international law. All of these judgments have immediately been heralded as “a new classic” or “the most important court decision […] in the world…

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