Extraterritorial Application

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Drowning in the Mediterranean: Time to think and act regionally

Europe, that is, the EU and its institutions, currently asserts the right to manage the movement of people across the Mediterranean, and with that comes responsibility, for special protection is owed to those whom it would manage. ‘Responsibility’ is multi-dimensional. Fault, in the sense of wilful or negligent conduct, may be relevant; or responsibility may follow from the breach of due diligence obligations; and actual liability itself may be contingent on circumstances, as demonstrated years after the event by the HRC decisions in Malta and Italy (on which Marko Milanovic commented so astutely). But responsibility is not only individual; it is also collective, and the present system is full of holes. On 26 March, the EU Common Security and Defence Policy military operation in the Mediterranean – EUNAVFOR MED IRINI – was extended for two years, tasked with continuing to secure the implementation of the UN arms embargo to Libya and disrupting human smuggling and trafficking operations. But just two weeks before, the UN’s Panel of Experts on Libya noted that the…

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Drowning Migrants, the Human Rights Committee, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations

In this post I will analyse more extensively the two decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee that I flagged previously (A.S. and others v. Malta, CCPR/C/128/D/3043/2017 ; A.S. and others v. Italy, CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017), dealing with the failure of Malta and Italy to rescue a group of more than 200…

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Proposed EU Sanctions Against Uganda: Thoughts on This New Extraterritorial Human Rights Regime

On 11 February 2021, the European parliament adopted three resolutions on human rights situations in Uganda, Rwanda and Kazakhstan. Notably, for Uganda, it called for sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations. My claim is that sanctions are an interplay between international relations and international human rights law regimes. Whereas they have the potential…

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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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Some Vaccination Questions, Ethical and Legal

It’s difficult to think of a more pressing problem today than how scarce coronavirus vaccines should be distributed between and within states. Newspapers are full of discussions of ‘vaccine nationalism,’ of the EU-UK-Astra Zeneca row, or of the limited availability of vaccines in the developing world. For us as international lawyers, obviously, the further issue – one to…

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