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Drowning Migrants in the Mediterranean and the ICCPR, Again

Last week 130 migrants perished off the coast of Libya, as their rubber boat capsized in the stormy Mediterranean. Some 750 migrants have died this year in trying to make the crossing. (See here for the IOM report, and here and here for the recent posts we had on this topic by Guy Goodwin-Gill, and Niamh Keady-Tabbal and Itamar Mann). There is little I can usefully add here in discussing a human tragedy such as this one – again, again and again. But I was particularly struck by the following passage from the Guardian’s report on the incident, in light of the Human Rights Committee’s recent decisions regarding Italy and Malta and the extraterritorial application of the duty to protect life under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: [The NGO] Alarm Phone said: “The people could have been rescued but all authorities knowingly left them…

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The Decentralisation of International Crimes: A shift from the central criminal apparatus at the ICC?

In her statement to the UN Security Council on November 2018, Fatou Bensouda vowed to search ‘outside of Libya’ for accountability of global actors in the migration context. This is one of the many moves by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in their prosecutorial trajectory towards a more holistic approach. Such an approach widens the accountability…

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Time to Investigate European Agents for Crimes against Migrants in Libya

In March 2011, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor of the international criminal court opened its investigation into the situation in Libya, following a referral by the UN Security Council. The investigation concerns crimes against humanity in Libya starting 15 February 2011, including the crimes against humanity of murder and persecution, allegedly committed by Libyan agents. As…

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Torture in Libya and Questions of EU Member State Complicity

Amnesty International has reported that ‘tens of thousands’ of refugees and migrants are being subject to torture and other human rights abuses at the hands of Libyan state officials and non-state actors operating in, and out of, Libya (the full report can be accessed here). The publication of the report has led to allegations that…

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Repressing Migrant Smuggling by the UN Security Council and EU Naval Military Operation Sophia: Some Reflections on Jurisdiction and Human Rights

On 5 October 2017, the UN Security Council through S/RES/2380 (2017) renewed for the second time the enforcement powers that S/RES/2240 (2015) granted to states in order to fight migrant smuggling and human trafficking off the coast of Libya. In a previous blog post that I wrote here in October 2015, I concluded by…

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