Extraterritorial Application

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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 a consequence, the protection from non-refoulement under Article 3 cannot be triggered.  This is a decision preceded by the CJEU judgment in X. and X. v Belgium that had a similar negative result, but on different grounds. As opposed to the ECHR, the EU Charter arguably has no jurisdictional threshold, but the Charter’s triggering does require that the EU member state implements EU law. This condition was not satisfied since CJEU found that an application for a visa on humanitarian grounds was not within the scope of EU. With M.N. and Others v Belgium it became clear that neither is it within the scope of Council of Europe human rights law, since the jurisdiction threshold cannot…

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(Not) Investigating Kunduz and (Not) Judging in Strasbourg? Extraterritoriality, Attribution and the Duty to Investigate

  A 2009 airstrike near Kunduz, Afghanistan, that led to more than 100 casualties and was ordered by a German colonel will be the subject of oral arguments in the Grand Chamber (GC) of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of Hanan v. Germany, tomorrow, 26 February 2020. On 4 September…

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Mandatory Derogation from Human Rights in Overseas Armed Conflicts? A Response to the Policy Exchange Proposals

    A recent paper published by Policy Exchange, Resisting the Judicialisation of War, sets out a range of policy and legislative proposals for the incoming UK government. In this blog post, I raise concerns over three recommendations in the paper. Contextualising the proposals In the background to the Policy Exchange paper is…

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The ECtHR on Disembarkation of Rescued Refugees and Migrants at Greek Hotspots

The storm-tossed question of disembarking rescued refugees and migrants The pressure of mass migration in the Mediterranean on EU sea-border states calls for other member states to contribute to humanitarian efforts at sea that respect the human rights of refugees and migrants. Article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC)…

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Turkey, Aggression, and the Right to Life Under the ECHR: A Reaction to Professor Haque’s Post

Professor Haque yesterday published a thought-provoking piece on this blog arguing that the Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces in Syria, beyond being a violation of the UN Charter, also amounts to a violation of the right to life under the ECHR. His reasoning, which is sound, is based on the Human Rights Committee’s rather controversial new…

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