European Convention on Human Rights

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The Law Lords’ Final Judgments

Yesterday the House of Lords delivered its last judgments as the final court of appeal in England and Wales. For many, many, many years (as with all thing English), the House of Lords had a dual function, sitting as both a part of the legislature and the judiciary. From 1 October this year, the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will be sitting on Parliament Square, comprised of twelve current Lords of Appeal in the Ordinary. Among the various domestic high courts, the Law Lords were probably without peer in their application of international law, particularly human rights law. It is thus fitting that they went out with a bang, rather than a whimper. Among their final judgments is Purdy v. DPP, where their Lordships unanimously held that the Director of Public Prosecutions (who as in other common law system has a discretion, rather than an ex officio duty to prosecute), had to publish a clear statement of policy as to when and under what circumstances he would prosecute persons assisting their terminally ill…

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Who Uses the European Court of Human Rights, and Who Wins? Evidence from New Studies

Gabriel Swain is Research Associate, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent.  Previously, he worked as a researcher for the Council of State Governments, a US-based public policy think tank, where he wrote on topics including climate change, natural resource policy, energy policy and federalism. The…

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Response to Alison MacDonald’s and Dapo Akande’s comments

We thank Alison MacDonald for her illuminating and extremely useful perspective on the developments in the approach of the British courts to adjudication based on international law. In many respects the changing attitude toward international law,  headed by the House of Lords under the unmistakable leadership of Lord Bingham, has provided an example for other national courts…

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Peacemaking or Discrimination: Bosnia’s Dayton Constitution before the European Court of Human Rights

A hearing will be held this Wednesday before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sejdic and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (application nos. 27996/06 and 34836/06) (press release here). A Venice Commission amicus brief is available here. A webcast of the hearing will be a…

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Norm Conflicts and Human Rights

Consider the following scenario: the United Kingdom, together with the United States and other allies, invaded Iraq in 2003. From that point on, there was an international armed conflict between the UK and Iraq. Further, as it obtained effective control over certain parts of Iraqi territory, the UK became the occupying power of these territories. Under Art. 21 of the…

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