European Convention on Human Rights

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Should the ECtHR Invoke Article 17 for Disinformation Cases?

Increasingly, legal debates surrounding disinformation in Europe have questioned how this problem can be tackled while preserving fundamental rights to freedom of expression. Under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), freedom of expression is protected. Throughout the extensive Article 10 jurisprudence in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it has been well established that legal interferences with political debate are among the most challenging for domestic legal authorities to justify (Sunday Times v. The United Kingdom, 1979; Lingens v. Austria, 1986). In this connection, there are growing concerns about how disinformation can be curtailed while protecting Article 10. However, less attention has been paid to whether Article 10 should even be applied at all. In tackling certain hate speech, the ECtHR has often refused admissibility of Article 10 applications on the grounds that Article 10 is not meant to protect certain categories of expression, and has instead applied an "abuse clause" under Article 17 (Hannie and Voorhoof, 2011). As reasoned by the Strasbourg Court in such cases, freedom of expression must not be…

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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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The ECtHR in Georgia v. Russia – a farewell to arms? The effects of the Court’s judgment on the conflict in eastern Ukraine

On 21 January 2021, the ECtHR rendered its judgment on the merits in Georgia v. the Russian Federation (II). The complaint lodged by Georgia concerned grave human rights violations committed by Russia or non-state armed groups under its control in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the ‘buffer zone’. In its consideration of the question as to…

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Amicus Curiae Brief re MH17; Human Rights Committee on Search and Rescue at Sea

Recent weeks have been something of an extraterritoriality extravaganza. So let’s continue with that theme, hopefully not ad nauseam. First, readers might be interested in the amicus curiae brief that my colleague Sangeeta Shah and I co-authored and which we submitted this week to the European Court of Human Rights in…

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Georgia v. Russia No. 2: The European Court’s Resurrection of Bankovic in the Contexts of Chaos

Last week the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the second interstate case brought by Georgia against Russia (no. 38263/08), dealing with the August 2008 conflict between the two states (see my brief preview here ; for a summary of the judgment see the Court’s press…

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