European Convention on Human Rights

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The Law and Tech of Two Targeted Killings

The New York Times recently published two fascinating pieces on two separate instances of targeted killings. The first is on the tragic denouement of the 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan – a drone strike conducted on 29 August by the US military in Kabul, purportedly against terrorists planning a second deadly attack against the international airport there. Instead of terrorists, however, the drone strike killed 10 civilians, including seven children; Zemari Ahmadi, the driver of the car struck by the drone was in fact an aid worker for a US NGO, who had hoped to seek asylum in the United States. The US military admitted its error after an investigation by the Times and journalists on the ground. The second piece is a detailed exposé of the 27 November 2020 assassination by Israeli agents of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist leading the Iranian nuclear programme. This was the culmination of a series of such targeted killings of scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear programme,…

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European Court Finds Russia Assassinated Alexander Litvinenko

On Tuesday a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights found Russia responsible for violating the right to life of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006 (Carter v. Russia, no. 20914/07, 21 September 2021). The Court found Article 2 ECHR to have been violated in both its substantive…

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Russia Files Interstate Complaint Against Ukraine in Strasbourg

This, I think, is a first – after many years of being sued by other states (most notably Ukraine and Georgia) before the European Court of Human Rights and other international courts and tribunals, Russia has struck back last week by filing an interstate application of its own against Ukraine (no. 36958/21). Here’s an excerpt from the Court’s…

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The (Gay) Elephant in the Room: Is there a Positive Obligation to Legally Recognise Same-Sex Unions after Fedotova v. Russia?

On the 13th of July, the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section) decided the case Fedotova v. Russia, nos. 40792/10 etc, holding that the Russian State violated Art. 8 ECHR for not having provided same-sex couples with the opportunity to have their relationships formally acknowledged in form of a marriage, or in any other form. The judgment, which…

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Relinquishment of jurisdiction contra legem: The European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Grzęda v. Poland

The European Court of Human Rights, like any international court, is bound by its founding treaty. In particular, the jurisdiction and powers of the Court are prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). A recent case of judicial self-empowerment concerning the relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber has triggered concerns that the Court is not…

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