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Werkstattgespräch mit Samantha Besson: The Extraterritoriality of the European Convention on Human Rights - Why Human Rights Depend on Jurisdiction and What Jurisdiction Means

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What
  • Werkstattgespräche
When May 15, 2012
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Juristische Fakultät, Altes Palais, Raum E 25 Unter den Linden 9, Berlin-Mitte
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The extraterritoriality or extraterritorial application of international and European human rights treaties refers to the recognition of international and European human rights by those treaties’ states parties to individuals or groups of individuals situated outside of their territory and, in a second stage, to the identification of their corresponding duties to those individuals. Examples of extraterritoriality abound in international human rights practice, and in particular in the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law. Except for vague and often misleading gestures to the universality of human rights that allegedly requires their extraterritorial application, many of the normative considerations underlying the extraterritorial applicability of human rights have not been broached in the human rights law literature. Nor, conversely, have human rights theorists, even among those who take the supply-side of human rights seriously, devoted much attention to the threshold criteria for the abstract recognition of human rights and the trigger of the corresponding duties. To remedy some of those shortcomings, this article endeavours to bring some normative human rights theorizing to bear on the European Court of Human Rights’ recent practice on extraterritoriality. It hopes thereby to provide a coherent and convincing reading of the Court’s case-law and show that it has been wrongly depicted by some authors as fragmented and even contradictory. More specifically, the article dwells deeper into the notion of ‘jurisdiction’ that is the threshold criterion for the applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights both within and outside its states parties’ territories, distinguishes it from related notions such as authority, coercion, power or control, and explains what its normative consequences are