Right to Life

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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 Crotone Migrant Shipwreck: A Cat-and-Mouse Blame Game and the Role of Technologies at External Borders

There are myriad ways States could exercise effective remote control over the rights of persons, including detrimental rescue instructions, as well as policy and operational arrangements that can hinder human rights protection. On 26 February 2023, a migrant shipwreck off the Italian coast of Crotone, yet again ‘shocked’ the European Union (EU). Indeed, it has been quite a…

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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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A new variety of rights-based climate litigation: a challenge against the Energy Charter Treaty before the European Court of Human Rights

In the last couple of years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has become a hotspot for rights-based climate change litigation. At the time of writing, seven cases are pending before the Court, with applicants seeking to challenge various aspects of domestic climate change laws and policies in the various respondent states, arguing that they violate their…

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