Deprivation of Liberty

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The right to enter his or her own country

The tension between the right of the State to regulate entry into its jurisdiction and the right of the individual to move freely has come to the fore in the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to contain the transmission of COVID-19, it has been reported that Samoa denied entry to eight of its nationals, and India prohibited the travel of individuals (including Indian nationals) to India from many States. This post examines whether it is lawful for a State to deprive an individual of the right to enter his or her own country. The issue is examined principally through the lens of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) but, where instructive, regional treaties are considered. Article 12 of the ICCPR provides that: Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own. The above-mentioned rights shall not…

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Counter-terrorism control orders come to Switzerland: is assigned residence for ‘potential terrorists’ compatible with art. 5 ECHR?

The legislative responses to terrorist violence in Europe over the past several years have shown a new trend of circumventing proper judicial review and protections of criminal law by relying on ‘administrative measures’. Broadly, such measures can be defined as restrictions of a non-criminal nature, ordered by the executive in the name of terrorism prevention, and…

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We Can’t Breathe: UN OHCHR Experts Issue Joint Statement and Call for Reparations

No one on this planet could have failed to see the 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which George Floyd was killed. The United States signed the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1966, ratifying the same in 1994.  Article 2 of ICERD contains fundamental obligations assumed by parties to…

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The Myth and Mayhem of ‘Build Back Better’: Human Rights Decision-Making and Human Dignity Imperatives in COVID-19

Human rights were already under siege everywhere around the world before COVID-19.  But there is also a dawning race now against reaching the ‘twilight of human rights law’, due to: 1) authoritarian regimes’ dismissal of the relevance of human rights while using this pandemic to expand and consolidate their power, such as to silence speech,…

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Contact-tracing Apps and Human Rights

The Covid-19 pandemic engages the full spectrum of states’ human rights obligations. In addressing the virus itself, states are required to protect the rights to life and the highest attainable standard of health (right to health) and ensure that no-one suffers discrimination in access to and the nature of healthcare. States’ (in)action in meeting their obligations to fulfil…

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