Extraterritorial Application

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Amicus Curiae Brief in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights recently joined two major interstate cases pending before it – the interstate case filed by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia that concerned the downing of the MH17 airliner and events in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which it declared admissible in January, with the new interstate application filed by Ukraine against Russia that concerns the full-scale invasion from February 2022 onward. The joined case will essentially require the Court to decide on whether Russia has violated the right to life in the conduct of hostilities in Ukraine, which are from Russia’s perspective largely taking place extraterritorially. At the admissibility stage of the first case the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham filed an amicus curiae brief, co-authored by Sangeeta Shah and myself, dealing solely with the downing of the MH17. The HRLC was invited by the Grand Chamber to file a brief on the merits as well, which we have now done. It’s available on SSRN for any readers who…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part II

In the first part of this post I talked about the (many) good things about the European Court’s admissibility decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia. In particular, the conclusion that Russia controlled the separatist areas of Eastern Ukraine from 2014 up to the oral hearing in the case in 2022 and…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part I

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its much-anticipated decision on jurisdiction and admissibility in the interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia (nos 8019/16, 43800/14 and 28525/20 – decision; press release). The Court declared the applications admissible, in a clear win for the applicant…

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HF and Others v France: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction without Duty to Repatriate IS-Children and their Mothers

On 14 September 2022 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) issued its judgment in HF and others v France, a case concerning the repatriation of IS-children and their mothers from Syrian camps. This judgment is interesting for various reasons: it addresses an issue that is controversial in many countries; it…

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The Sad and Cynical Spectacle of the Draft British Bill of Rights

It is a habit peculiar to autocracies to choose names for themselves that are the exact opposite of their true nature – viz. the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ – and to have constitutions loudly proclaiming the protection of individual rights that are routinely trampled upon in practice. You would have hoped that one of the world’s oldest…

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