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Amicus Curiae Brief re MH17; Human Rights Committee on Search and Rescue at Sea

Recent weeks have been something of an extraterritoriality extravaganza. So let’s continue with that theme, hopefully not ad nauseam. First, readers might be interested in the amicus curiae brief that my colleague Sangeeta Shah and I co-authored and which we submitted this week to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia (nos 8019/16, 43800/14 and 28525/20). Our brief deals exclusively with the 2014 downing of the MH17 airliner over Ukraine. By way of procedural background, in July 2020 the Netherlands filed a case against Russia re MH17 (press release; post by Risini and Ulfstein), which in December the Court joined with two other applications by Ukraine (press release). There is also a communicated individual case pending before the Court on MH17 (Ayley and others v. Russia). The first part of our brief addresses issues of attribution and state jurisdiction in the sense of Article 1 ECHR, providing guidance on the…

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Georgia v. Russia No. 2: The European Court’s Resurrection of Bankovic in the Contexts of Chaos

Last week the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the second interstate case brought by Georgia against Russia (no. 38263/08), dealing with the August 2008 conflict between the two states (see my brief preview here ; for a summary of the judgment see the Court’s press…

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The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko Before the European Court of Human Rights

In more extraterritoriality news, the Guardian recently reported that the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London in 2006 by Russian agents using a radioactive poison, has revived the claim she had previously filed against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights: The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has submitted…

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Armenia v Azerbaijan before the European Court of Human Rights

On 28 September 2020, Armenia lodged a request for interim measures against Azerbaijan in view of the recent reignition of the conflict in and around the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. One day later, the European Court of Human Rights decided to apply Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court. While…

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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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