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  • Author: Alan Desmond
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article critically examines the evolving practice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) towards the definition and use of the concepts of family life and private life in cases involving migrants who seek to resist deportation by invoking Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The examination reveals an approach on the part of the Court that has the effect of shrinking the protection potential of Article 8 for migrant applicants, allowing state interest in expulsion to carry the day. This is symptomatic of Strasbourg’s deference to state sovereignty in the realm of migration. While the ECtHR has issued a number of landmark rulings roundly vindicating migrants’ rights, these are the exception to the rule of Strasbourg’s deference to state powers of immigration control. This approach has far-reaching implications for migrants in the member states of the Council of Europe. The article concludes by highlighting the tools at the Court’s disposal that could be employed to construct a more human rights-consistent approach in this strand of jurisprudence, which is an issue all the more relevant in light of the growing number of migrants seeking to establish a life in Europe.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Migration, Sovereignty, Courts
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Itamar Mann
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article explores the trope of the ‘legal black hole’ to reveal questions of legal theory arising from contemporary migrant drownings. The theme was popularized during what was then called the ‘war on terror’, but its trajectory is longer and more complex. Its material history, as well as its intellectual history within legal scholarship, suggest three distinct ‘legacies’ of legal black holes: the counterterrorism legacy; the migrant-detention legacy; and the legacy of the maritime legal black hole. The tripartite division provides a conceptual typology of instances where persons are rendered rightless. While the two former types are characterized by de facto rightlessness due to a violation of international law, the latter exposes a seldom acknowledged, yet crucial, characteristic of international law; the age-old doctrine on the division of responsibilities between states and individuals at land and at sea is now creating the conditions in which some people are rendered de jure rightless. Moreover, the typology sheds light on the specifically legal reasons for the seeming failure to end mass drowning of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Tracing the ways in which people become de jure rightless is ultimately suggested as a broader research agenda for scholars of international law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Migration, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Mediterranean
  • Author: Veronika Fikfak
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Regardless of the efforts undertaken through the many reforms of the European Convention on Human Rights system, non-compliance with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) remains a major problem for the Council of Europe. This article asks how we can change state behaviour and what role, if any, could damages play in this context. First, the article focuses on how the choice of remedy affects compliance and why aggravated or punitive damages look like an ideal option to nudge states into compliance. I explore recent arguments by scholars and judges who argue that the ECtHR should actively shift its approach (or perhaps already has) to nudge state behaviour towards compliance and prevention of future violations. Based on my empirical research, I show that the current case law presents several obstacles to the introduction of such damages. Building on the economic analysis of the law and insights from behavioural sciences, I reveal how the Court’s approach fails to comply with any of the elements needed to incentivize states to change their behaviour. I finally question to what extent aggravated or punitive damages can be efficient within a system that relies on voluntary compliance.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Reform, Courts
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Noëlle Quénivet
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article investigates whether international law prohibits the prosecution of children for war crimes and, if it does not, whether it should do so. In particular, the interplay between restorative and retributive post-conflict justice mechanisms, on the one hand, and juvenile rehabilitative justice mechanisms, on the other, is discussed in detail. The article suggests that in certain, narrow, circumstances children having committed war crimes should be prosecuted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, International Law, Children, War Crimes, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Merris Amos
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: National debates concerning the appropriate role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the United Kingdom (UK) recently intensified with the suggestion by the government that the UK might leave the European Convention on Human Rights system. It has been argued that a British Bill of Rights, to replace the current system of national human rights protection provided by the Human Rights Act 1998, would provide better protection than the ECtHR, making its role in the national system redundant. Claiming that the ECtHR is legitimate and has an impact that is usually illustrated by the transformative power of judgments more than 10 years’ old, have not provided a convincing answer to this claim. In this article, rather than legitimacy or impact, the value of the ECtHR to the objective of protecting human rights through law is assessed. Three different levels of value are identified from the relevant literature and then applied to the judgments of the Court concerning the UK from 2011 to 2015 to determine what has happened in practice. It is concluded that given that the UK government’s objective remains to protect human rights through law, although some types of value are now more relevant than others, overall the potential value of the Court to the UK in achieving this objective is still clearly evident.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Courts
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Luke Glanville
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: While histories of human rights have proliferated in recent decades, little attention has been given to the history of thinking about duties to protect these rights beyond sovereign borders. We have a good understanding of the history of duties of sovereign states to ensure the safety and well-being of their own citizens and of the right of other states to forcefully intervene when these duties are violated. But the story of the development of thinking about duties to assist and protect the vulnerable beyond borders remains to be told. This article defends the importance of excavating and examining past thinking about these duties. It then sketches key aspects of Western natural law thinking about such duties, from Francisco de Vitoria through to Immanuel Kant, claiming that such study holds the promise of exposing from where ideas that prevail in international law and politics have come and retrieving alternative ideas that have been long forgotten but that may reward renewed consideration. It concludes by briefly outlining how three such retrieved ideas might be of particular use for those seeking to push international law and politics in a more just direction today.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Sovereignty, History, Humanitarian Intervention, Philosophy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Nora Markard
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The EU and its member states are progressively involving third countries in their border control measures at sea. Relevant instruments of cooperative migration control range from capacity building measures to joint patrols in third-country territorial waters and shared surveillance intelligence on ship movements. So far, the discussion on migration control at sea has mainly focused on the illegality of ‘push-backs’ of migrant boats by EU member states to their point of departure. By contrast, the increasing incidence of departure prevention or ‘pull-backs’ by third countries in the service of EU member states has been largely neglected. In particular, such measures raise grave concerns with respect to the right to leave any country, including one’s own. Of central importance during the Cold War, this human right is of no lesser relevance at Europe’s outer borders. This paper explores to what extent departure prevention and pull-back measures are compatible with the right to leave and the law of the sea and discusses the responsibility of EU member states for internationally wrongful acts committed by third countries in such cooperative migration control scenarios.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Migration, Border Control, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Building on the heightened attention that the optic of judicial selection receives in the world of international courts, this article focuses its attention on one particular criterion that is gaining in importance in that respect: gender. By choosing the European Court of Human Rights as a case in point, the article provides a unique analysis of the history of the 2004 Resolution of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly that formulated a rule of gender balance on the list of candidates presented by states for the post of judge at the Court. It first unearths the dynamics that allowed the adoption of the rule as well as all of the fierce opposition it triggered as well as the ways in which counter-mobilization eventually prevailed and watered down the initial rule, with the help of states, the Committee of Ministers and the Court itself (which delivered its first advisory opinion on the topic in 2008). It then looks beyond the static analysis of the rule as a mere constraint and addresses in a more dynamic fashion the multiple interpretations, strategies and, ultimately, politics it opens up. By providing a unique qualitative, comparative and exhaustive analysis of the curriculum vitae of all the 120-odd women who were ever listed as candidates to the Strasbourg judicial bench (1959–2012), the article delivers original data and analyses both the features that women candidates put forth when listed for the job and the strategies of states with regard to the gender criterion. It concludes that while there is a strong proportion of candidates that support the notion that states do not differentiate according to gender or require different qualities from men and women candidates, there is a comparable proposition that contrarily indicates that the world of international judicial appointments is far from gender neutral.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Françoise Tulkens
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Having spent almost 14 years as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, the author responds to and shares the critical view expressed by Hennette Vauchez in her article on the presence of women judges at the European Court of Human Rights. Some steps forward have admittedly been made through the voluntary action of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, but there has also been resistance in the implementation of these new rules. The gains are fragile and there are risks of regression. This situation confirms Kenney's analysis: women's progress is not natural, inevitable nor irreversible. A reaction is all the more necessary and urgent since, in the coming months of 2015 and subsequently, many elections of judges to the Court will take place, due in particular to the non-renewable nine-year term of office of judges introduced by Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article responds to a thoughtful intervention by Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez documenting the selection process for women seeking judicial appointment to the European Court of Human Rights. Written in the context of the author's experience as candidate for appointment to the Court, the analysis concentrates on the gendered dimensions of international institutional cultures, habits and practices that frame selection to judicial office as much as any formally applicable rules. I explore the ways in which ostensible access to international judicial bodies conceals the manifold ways in which Courts are coded masculine, and how female candidacy requires careful deliberation on performance, presentation and identity. Drawing on 'new institutionalism' theory, I underscore that female presence alone rarely undoes embedded institutional practices. Rather, transforming institutional practices and values must parallel female presence, thereby redefining the institution and the forms of power it exercises. The article concludes by reflecting on the importance of feminist judging, and argues that it is precisely the transformative political and legal changes sought by self-defined feminists that may stand the best chance of undoing the structures, habits and practices that continue to exclude women from being appointed and from engaging on terms of full equality when they arrive.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe