Extraterritorial Application

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Can the ECHR Encompass the Transnational and Intertemporal Dimensions of Climate Harm?

The irreversible harm caused by greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) transcends national borders and time, challenging traditional concepts of law. In this blog post, we discuss the applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to these overarching consequences of climate change, based on new reports issued by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the Norwegian NHRI. It is well established that the ECHR does not, as such, guarantee a right to a “clean and quiet environment” (Hatton, para. 96). The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is also yet to pronounce on the applicability of Convention rights to mitigate climate harm. It will have occasion to do so, should any of the two complaints from Portugal and Switzerland currently fast-tracked in Strasbourg, or a recent complaint from Norway, surmount the significant procedural hurdles they face (discussed here, here and here). Meanwhile, cases concerning…

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The Grand Normalization of Mass Surveillance: ECtHR Grand Chamber Judgments in Big Brother Watch and Centrum för rättvisa

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its most important judgments on electronic mass surveillance (or bulk interception) post-Snowden: Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom, nos. 58170/13 etc and Centrum för rättvisa v. Sweden, no.

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Drowning Migrants in the Mediterranean and the ICCPR, Again

Last week 130 migrants perished off the coast of Libya, as their rubber boat capsized in the stormy Mediterranean. Some 750 migrants have died this year in trying to make the crossing. (See here for the IOM report, and here and here for the recent posts we had on this topic…

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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…

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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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