International Tribunals

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The withdrawal mystery solved: how the European Court of Human Rights decided to move forward with the cases against Russia

At the end of January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered judgments on the issues that have been occupying the minds of the Court’s aficionados. On January 25, the Court ruled on the admissibility and partly on the jurisdiction in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia, where the ECtHR mostly focused on the issues of effective control and the downing of the MH17 flight. Awaiting a rather extensive scholarly response to that case, this post instead focuses on the other two judgments from January 24 – Kutaev v. Russia and Svetova and Others v. Russia. While both cases touch upon important aspects of human rights violations (right to fair trial and prohibition of torture in Kutaev and right to private life and freedom of expression in Svetova), what makes these cases special is the Court’s explanation of how it plans to procedurally act further with regard to the complaints lodged against Russia.  …

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Basu v. Germany and Muhammad v. Spain: Why the first European Court of Human Rights’ judgments on racial profiling in identity checks are disappointing  

Racial profiling by the police is a mounting concern in Europe. It has been defined by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) as “the use by the police, with no objective or reasonable justification, of grounds such as race, colour, language, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin in control, surveillance or investigation activities” (ECRI…

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Milestone or missed opportunity? The ECtHR Grand Chamber judgment in Fedotova v. Russia on the legal recognition of same-sex couples

On the 17th of January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights issued its long-awaited Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Fedotova v. Russia (nos. 40792/10, etc). Although the Court has dealt numerous times with the rights of same-sex couples, this was the first time that the Grand Chamber had to deal with the…

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Will history repeat itself? Anticipating the ICJ advisory opinion on the legal status of Israel’s occupation and its consequences

The Request for Advisory Opinion On 30 December 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/77/247, containing the annual indictment of Israeli practices in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In addition, the resolution contains one novelty, a request addressed to the ICJ to render an Advisory Opinion on the following…

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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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