Articles: European Journal of Int’l Law and Goettingen Journal of Int’l Law

Fighting Maritime Piracy under the European Convention on Human Rights, European Journal of International Law, Volume 22, Issue 3, by Stefano Piedimonte Bodini, Head of Division at the Programme and Budget Department of the Council of Europe (author’s opinions are strictly personal).  (subscription required)

Abstract: “On the basis of real examples of anti-piracy operations conducted in the Indian Ocean by European navies, the article examines the legal implications of such military actions and their judicial medium- and long-term consequences in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. The only existing authority directly addressing maritime piracy, although from the sole perspective of state jurisdiction, is the recent Grand Chamber judgment in Medvedyev and Others v. France. The Court’s approach and conclusions in Medvedyev will be analysed in section 2. Section 3 will explore other important issues likely to be raised under the Convention by anti-piracy operations. Section 4 will consider the question of state responsibility, i.e., jurisdiction and attribution, in the context of anti-piracy operations carried out on the high seas or on the territory of third states.”

Refugees on the High Seas: International Refugee Law Solutions to a Law of the Sea Problem,” Goettingen Journal of International Law, by Killian S. O’Brien. (open access)

Abstract: “Following in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Europe’s southern marine borders have been the showplace of human tragedies previously unseen on this scale and the issue of refugees on the high seas has assumed a newfound importance. This article examines the flawed system provided by the ‘Constitution of the Oceans’, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the protection of the lives of migrants at sea. It submits that international refugee law is well-equipped to assume a greater responsibility in ensuring the protection of those involved. Although the concept of non-refoulement cannot be stretched ad absurdum, it may still be reasonably interpreted as providing a temporary right to disembark for the purpose of processing possible asylum applications. In the long-term, a system of burden-sharing and permanent, yet flexible, reception agreements remain the only sustainable solution.”

Rights at the Frontier: Border Control and Human Rights Protection of Irregular International Migrants,” Goettingen Journal of International Law, by Julian M. Lehmann. (open access)

Abstract: “In light of recent events causing people’s movement into Europe, continued misuse of the term “migrant” in policy making and public discourse, and at the occasion of events celebrating the international regime of refugee protection, the human rights protection of irregular migrants is explored in relation to irregular migrants’ entry/admission and expulsion/deportation. The term “migrant” has, in contrast to the term “refugee”, no bearing on whether or not an international migrant has a need for international protection. While many irregular migrants have no such need, other migrants may be refugees or be in need of international protection “outside” the framework of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The paper analyses the international human rights law framework applying to individuals with and without need for international protection, when their claims have a socio-economic dimension. The principle of non-refoulement remains the most important source of protection for irregular migrants; it is not concerned with the irregular status of a migrant and also has a bearing on procedural rights in status determination. Socio-economic motivations for flight are not a bar to being a refugee within the meaning of the 1951 Convention, if their underlying cause is persecution, or if motives are mixed. Refugee law can accommodate such claims and overcome a strict dichotomy but is currently only rarely and restrictively applied in this regard. In expulsion cases, virtually only the prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment is relevant. For individuals that have no need for international protection there are mitigating individual circumstances which a state has to take into account. All pertinent norms of international human rights law apply without distinction and irregular migrants may have, just as refugees may have, humanitarian needs that states should meet.”

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Filed under Analysis, European Court of Human Rights, European Union

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