European Court of Human Rights

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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. I mean proper, nerdy, esoteric legal stuff. It doesn’t have to be hugely important; it doesn’t have to concern the world’s most powerful states and its most pressing issues; but it still sticks in your head, it really does. And thank God it’s not about Covid. That’s the kind of case I mean. So let me tell you about one such case that has everything – Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary, a Chamber judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, decided last month. As we will see, while focused primarily on the substantive and procedural obligations of states arising from the right to life, the case also raises significant systemic questions of…

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The Whos, the Whats, and the Whys of the Derogations from the ECHR amid COVID-19

 Issues concerning the derogation form the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’ or the ‘Convention’) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the question whether the notification is a pre-requisite for making a valid derogation, have been examined in other EJIL:Talk! posts here, here, and here. This post attempts to provide a more detailed account of the…

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Derogating to Deal with Covid 19: State Practice and Thoughts on the Need for Notification

In her blog post on EJIL: Talk! (9 April 2020), Dr Stevie Martin drew attention to an interesting development concerning States' measures to deal with Covid 19 and their impact on human rights. She discusses a decision of the England and Wales Court of Protection in which a judge appeared to find that the UK was…

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A Domestic Court’s Attempt to Derogate from the ECHR on behalf of the United Kingdom: the implications of Covid-19 on judicial decision-making in the United Kingdom

It is perhaps trite to note that for many countries throughout the world Covid-19 represents an unprecedented (as least in terms of modern peacetime history) public health emergency. It is inevitable that during this time some decisions will be made that are controversial, both ethically and legally. It will take careful reflection in the wake of the pandemic…

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Supervision of Derogations in the Wake of COVID-19: a litmus test for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

The pandemic COVID-19 has triggered a record number of derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights (the ‘ECHR’ or the ‘Convention’). By now, Albania, Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, North Macedonia and Romania have notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (the ‘Secretary General’) of their derogations from the ECHR. More States may…

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