European Convention on Human Rights

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Has ‘Control over rights doctrine’ for extra-territorial jurisdiction come of age? Karlsruhe, too, has spoken, now it’s Strasbourg’s turn

The German Constitutional Court (GCC) declared, in its ruling on May 19th, that the surveillance of non-German individuals outside of Germany was unconstitutional. The Court’s judgment on the German Act on the Federal Intelligence Service (Gesetz über den Bundesnachrichtendienst, or the BND-Gesetz) has not attracted enough legal commentary in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Granted, the judgment is not as dramatic as that of the Karlsruhe-Luxemburg debacle. Yet, it is also a case where the GCC is interpreting an international treaty, which already has its authoritative interpreter: the European Convention on Human Rights. Significantly, unlike its decision on EU law, what the GCC offers may be a seen as a very welcome development by European and international human rights lawyers. There is much to discuss beyond what the judgment says to Strasbourg. Two comments on Verfassungsblog here and here, as well as a post on Lawfare here discuss the reasoning of the GCC in this case and what…

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Attribution, Jurisdiction, Discrimination, Decapitation: A Comment on Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary

You know how, every once in a while, you read a case that has everything? I mean really everything? Great facts. Grisly facts even, for those so inclined – say involving a beheading by a state agent. Great law. Not just some genuine legal innovation worthy of scholarly commentary – that’s fine obviously, but not all that uncommon.

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M.N. and Others v Belgium: no ECHR protection from refoulement by issuing visas

 With its inadmissibility decision in M.N. and Others v Belgium delivered on 5 May 2020, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR made it clear that individuals who apply for visas at embassies with the intention to seek protection, do not fall within the jurisdiction of the ECHR State Parties in the sense of Article 1 ECHR. As…

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The Whos, the Whats, and the Whys of the Derogations from the ECHR amid COVID-19

 Issues concerning the derogation form the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’ or the ‘Convention’) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the question whether the notification is a pre-requisite for making a valid derogation, have been examined in other EJIL:Talk! posts here, here, and here. This post attempts to provide a more detailed account of the…

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Derogating to Deal with Covid 19: State Practice and Thoughts on the Need for Notification

In her blog post on EJIL: Talk! (9 April 2020), Dr Stevie Martin drew attention to an interesting development concerning States' measures to deal with Covid 19 and their impact on human rights. She discusses a decision of the England and Wales Court of Protection in which a judge appeared to find that the UK was…

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