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Manuela et al. v. El Salvador: The Pitfalls of a Landmark Case for Reproductive Justice from a Torture Perspective

On November 30, 2021, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published its judgment in Manuela et al v. El Salvador. ​​The case concerned El Salvador’s responsibility for the arbitrary detention, torture, and conviction of a woman who experienced an obstetric emergency and lost her pregnancy in 2008. The dispute took place in the context of El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion and its disproportionate impact on impoverished, young, and rural women who experience pregnancy complications or are suspected of having had abortions. According to the Court’s findings, these women were often reported to law enforcement by healthcare personnel, which led to their detention during medical care. Subsequent criminal investigations focused on proving an inculpatory theory for aggravated homicide, resulting in convictions of 30 to 50 years. The IACtHR found El Salvador responsible for a series of violations relating to pre-trial detention, due process, medical confidentiality, gender-based violence, and discrimination. While this ruling is a welcome development in terms of establishing standards to protect women…

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What’s at Stake in the Abortion Case Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights?

El Salvador’s punitive treatment of women through its absolute criminalization of abortion will come under scrutiny by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the “Court”) on March 22-23, in a case involving the state’s treatment of a woman in need of a life-saving abortion. Beatriz was a young woman from the impoverished state of Usulután,…

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“Friends of the court” making the most of Amicus Curiae with UN Treaty Bodies

The practice of submitting Third Party Interventions (TPIs) – also known as Amicus Curiae briefs - is well established in Commonwealth jurisdictions, and it has become common practice within regional mechanisms such as the Inter-American and European Courts of Human Rights, and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights. Similarly, most of the eight UN…

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: Concluding Thoughts

Having canvassed the various conceptual questions of state complicity in the prior posts in the series, we can now return to the two basic intelligence sharing scenarios I outlined in my first post – the sharing of intelligence facilitating a wrongful act, and the receipt of intelligence that was unlawfully collected and/or shared. In both scenarios the causal…

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: State Fault in Complicity

In my previous post in the series I explained how the fault element of state complicity rules is the single most important determinant of the scope of these rules, in the intelligence sharing context or otherwise. In this post I will elaborate on the different possible modes of fault, starting with the question of how fault…

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