Extraterritorial Application

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UK Supreme Court Decides R (Smith) v SSD

Today the UK Supreme Court decided R (Smith) v Secretary of State for Defence [2010] UKSC 29 (press summary), yet another fascinating addition to the unfolding saga on the extraterritorial application of human rights treaties. The plaintiff was the mother of a UK soldier stationed in Iraq who died there from a severe heatstroke. She demanded an inquiry into her son's death that would be compliant with Article 2 ECHR, that would be able to expose what in her view were systemic faults in the UK's provision of equipment and facilities to its soldiers in Iraq which ultimately led to her son's death. In other words, the case is a mirror-image of Al-Skeini, which also dealt with Art. 2 procedural obligations in Iraq, but that time with respect to inquiries into the deaths of Iraqi nationals at the hands of UK troops. As the readers are aware, the Grand Chamber of the European Court held hearings in Al-Skeini just a few weeks ago (see my old post for more background). With regard to extraterritoriality, the…

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Grand Chamber Hearings and Preview of Al-Skeini and Al-Jedda

Today the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held joint hearings in  Al-Skeini and others v. UK (no. 55721/07) and Al-Jedda v. UK (no. 27021/08) - webcast available here, statements of facts available here. It would be no exaggeration to say that these are some of the most important cases to come before the Court…

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ECHR Rights at Sea: Medvedyev and others v. France

Dr Douglas Guilfoyle is a Lecturer in Law at University College London.  His research has focussed on the law of the sea and international and transanational criminal law. His book Shipping Interdiction and the Law of the Sea was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. His previous EJIL Talk! posts can be found by clicking on…

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Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi Merits Judgment

The Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi v. United Kingdom (no. 61498/08) judgment by a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights is now out (HUDOC). For our previous coverage, with links and background, see here and here. The shortest possible summary - the applicants won, and the Chamber judgment is a valuable contribution to human rights jurisprudence. Now…

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Canadian Supreme Court decision in Khadr

Late last year, we posted some reflections by myself and Elizabeth Prochaska on the pending Canadian Supreme Court case of the Prime Minister & Ors v Omar Khadr. The court handed down its decision today, allowing the Prime Minister's appeal in part. The court held that the trial court's remedial discretion had miscarried…

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