Extraterritorial Application

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The Netherlands’ inter-State application against Russia six years after MH 17

Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down in July 2014 over the territory of Eastern Ukraine, killing 298 persons. On 10 July 2020, almost exactly six years later, the Dutch government lodged an inter-State application against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) under Article 33 ECHR, citing “the pursuit of truth, justice and accountability”. The step met with media interest well beyond Europe. Antoine Buyse reported the case to the legal blogosphere. This contribution first provides some perspective on how remarkable, even if not surprising, the Dutch step is. Then, we turn to some of the challenges this case raises, including the issues of extra-territorial jurisdiction and the overlap with individual applications. We conclude that the Dutch application can be read as an open invitation to other States to join the proceedings as additional parties under Article 33 ECHR or third parties under Article 36 ECHR. The inter-State application in perspective There are currently…

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Cyber Operations against Vaccine R & D: Key International Law Prohibitions and Obligations

By August, COVID-19 had killed 700,000 people world-wide, while at least 18 million have been infected by the virus. It now appears that the best hope for battling the pandemic may lie in multiple vaccines. This reality has sparked vaccine nationalism, as states compete for the supplies that hopefully will become available early next year. For…

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Attribution, Jurisdiction, Discrimination, Decapitation: A Comment on Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary

You know how, every once in a while, you read a case that has everything? I mean really everything? Great facts. Grisly facts even, for those so inclined – say involving a beheading by a state agent. Great law. Not just some genuine legal innovation worthy of scholarly commentary – that’s fine obviously, but not all that uncommon.

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Cyber Attacks and Cyber (Mis)information Operations during a Pandemic

Hot on the heels on the Oxford Statement on international law rules and principles relating to malicious cyber operations targeting healthcare facilities, just a quick teaser that the next episode of EJIL: The Podcast! will be dealing precisely…

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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…

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