Jurisdiction

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The ECtHR in Georgia v. Russia – a farewell to arms? The effects of the Court’s judgment on the conflict in eastern Ukraine

On 21 January 2021, the ECtHR rendered its judgment on the merits in Georgia v. the Russian Federation (II). The complaint lodged by Georgia concerned grave human rights violations committed by Russia or non-state armed groups under its control in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the ‘buffer zone’. In its consideration of the question as to whether the violations occurred within Russia’s jurisdiction under Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the ‘Convention’), the Court analysed separately the period of active hostilities between Russia and Georgia and the subsequent occupation phase. It asserted Russia’s jurisdiction during the occupation, but opined that Russia did not exercise effective control during the 5-day military operation in 2008. The Court’s restricted approach on the matter, albeit understandable, is troubling. Most importantly, it undermines human rights protection during active hostilities. Logically, the Court’s findings have provoked lively debates among the academia (see, for example, here and here). This post considers the implications of the ECtHR’s recent judgment…

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A Study in Contrasting Jurisdictional Methodologies: The International Court of Justice’s February 2021 Judgments in Iran v. USA and Qatar v. UAE

The International Court of Justice issued two significant Decisions on Jurisdiction in early February: its 3 February 2021 Judgment in Iran v. United States (where the Court accepted jurisdiction over a dispute in which Iran alleged that the United States breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity between these two States) [hereafter, Iran v. US Judgment on Preliminary…

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ECtHR Grand Chamber Declares Admissible the Case of Ukraine v. Russia re Crimea

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights rendered its admissibility decision in the interstate claim brought by Ukraine against Russia regarding systematic human rights violations allegedly committed by the latter in Crimea. This is one of several interstate cases brought by Ukraine against Russia; others deal, for example, with the situation…

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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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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon Out of Control? Part I: Permissibility of the sanctions under the law of jurisdiction

Lately, the US has increasingly been ‘weaponizing’ economic sanctions to push through a foreign policy agenda. Making use of the centrality of the US in the global economy, it has forced foreign states and their firms to choose between halting trade with US sanctions targets or forfeiting access to the lucrative US market. In addition, the US…

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