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Limits of Control - Extraterritorial application of the European convention on Human Rights

Lager, Maria LU (2013) JUR092 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Extraterritoriell tillämpning av traktater gällande mänskliga rättigheter väcker många frågor och är idag högaktuell inom både internationella domstolar och arbetsområdet för mänskliga rättigheter i stort. Min uppsats fokuserar på den extraterritoriella tillämpningen av Europakonventionen. Den övergripande frågan som besvaras är under vilka omständigheter Europakonventionens medlemsstater måste följa de rättigheter som konventionen statuerat när staterna agerar på utländskt territorium. Svaret på frågan visar också när jurisdiktion inte kan anses föreligga.

Helhetssyn på jurisdiktion i internationell rätt är ett kriterium för lagligheten i vissa handlingar och agerande hos stater. Betydelsen av begreppet jurisdiktion i internationell... (More)
Extraterritoriell tillämpning av traktater gällande mänskliga rättigheter väcker många frågor och är idag högaktuell inom både internationella domstolar och arbetsområdet för mänskliga rättigheter i stort. Min uppsats fokuserar på den extraterritoriella tillämpningen av Europakonventionen. Den övergripande frågan som besvaras är under vilka omständigheter Europakonventionens medlemsstater måste följa de rättigheter som konventionen statuerat när staterna agerar på utländskt territorium. Svaret på frågan visar också när jurisdiktion inte kan anses föreligga.

Helhetssyn på jurisdiktion i internationell rätt är ett kriterium för lagligheten i vissa handlingar och agerande hos stater. Betydelsen av begreppet jurisdiktion i internationell rätt är huvudsakligen territoriell och territoriell och annan jurisdiktion erbjuder normalt ett ramverk för en stats suveräna företrädesrätt. Europakonventionen för mänskliga rättigheter har en jurisdiktionklausul som bestämmer gränserna för dess tillämpning. Jurisdiktionen är, liksom i internationell rätt, primärt territoriell d v s konventionen gäller brott mot mänskliga rättigheter begångna på den agerande statens territorium. Emellertid framgår av rättspraxis från Europa domstolen för mänskliga rättigheter att stater också kan hållas ansvariga för brott begångna utanför deras territorium, d v s extraterritoriella brott mot mänskliga rättigheter.

För att kunna bestämma omfattningen av den extraterritoriella tillämpningen av Europakonventionen analyseras begreppet enligt Europakonventionens artikel 1. Den huvudsakliga analysen baseras på rättspraxis satt i relation till tillgängliga tolkningsmetoder.

Uppsats argumenterar för att vid tolkningen av Konventionens extraterritoriella tillämpning skall vikt läggas vid målet och syftet med traktaten d v s att först och främst är syftet att skydda individen snarare än att skydda respektive stats intressen.

Uppsats fastslår att den extraterritoriella tillämpningen av konventionen inte verkar ha några geografiska begränsningar. I stället är den avgörande faktorn för ansvaret hur mycket auktoritet och kontroll som staten utövat när den agerat på utländsk mark. Två olika modeller, som används av domstolen ka urskiljas. Den personliga modellen refererar till auktoritet och kontroll över individen och den spatiala modellen refererar till den situation då en stat har effektiv kontroll över ett område. Vid ett närstudium av gällande rättspraxis i förhållande till ovanstående nämnda metoder, kan olika normer för olika scenarier urskiljas.

Genomgången av rättspraxis visar att jurisdiktion kan etableras med referens till den spatiala modellen i situationer av militär ockupation eller militärt support till separatiströrelser över längre tid. Härav följer att en viss grad av kontroll över ett territorium är nödvändig. Den spatiala modellen har blivit erkänd i flera fall och den refererar huvudsakligen till fysiskt maktutövande d v s frihetsberövande, men som uppsatsen kommer att visa har den spatiala modellen också blivit tillämpad i andra situationer där något slag av allmänt maktmedel utövas vilket gör den svårare att definiera. Därför fastslår denna uppsats att den spatiala modellen framstår som tydligare medan användandet av den personliga modellen tycks mer oförutsägbart. Konsekvensen härav resulterar i brister där inget legalt system för ansvar ser ut att finnas.

I relation till båda modeller har domstolen emellertid i ett antal i tid närliggande fall kommit till slutsatsen att när det finns fastslaget att en särskild handling, laglig eller inte laglig, resulterat i dödsfall, faller personen inom domstolens jurisdiktion. Denna uppsats menar att kärnfrågan i dessa fall huvudsakligen är en fråga om bevis, vilket gör det redan komplexa systemet av skilda uppfattningar gällande tillämpningen av begreppet kontroll ännu mer komplex. (Less)
Abstract
The issue of extraterritorial application of human right treaties raises many questions and is today very much alive before international Courts and human right mechanisms. This thesis focuses on the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights. The main question answered is under which circumstances the State Parties to the European Convention of Human Rights are bound to ensure the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention when acting on foreign soil. Answering this question also uncovers situations where jurisdiction cannot be established.

The general concept of jurisdiction in International law is a criterion for the lawfulness of certain acts and conduct of States. The meaning of the term... (More)
The issue of extraterritorial application of human right treaties raises many questions and is today very much alive before international Courts and human right mechanisms. This thesis focuses on the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights. The main question answered is under which circumstances the State Parties to the European Convention of Human Rights are bound to ensure the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention when acting on foreign soil. Answering this question also uncovers situations where jurisdiction cannot be established.

The general concept of jurisdiction in International law is a criterion for the lawfulness of certain acts and conduct of States. The meaning of the term jurisdiction in international law is primarily territorial and territorial or other jurisdiction normally provides a framework for the exercise by a State of its sovereign prerogatives. The European Convention of Human Rights has a jurisdiction clause that sets out the limits of its applicability. The jurisdiction is, as in international law, primarily territorial i.e. the Convention applies to human rights violations committed on the territory of the acting State. However as follows from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights States can also be responsible for violations committed outside its territory i.e. extraterritorial human rights violations.

In order to establish the extraterritorial reach of the European Convention the concept of jurisdiction as contained in Article 1 in the Convention is analysed. The examination of case law seen in the light of available interpretation methods forms the main analysis.

This thesis reasons that when interpreting the extraterritorial reach of the Convention weight shall be given to the object and purpose of the Convention i.e. foremost to protect individuals rather than the interest of states.

This thesis establishes that the extraterritorial application of the Convention does not seem to have any geographical constrains. Instead the determining factor for establishing jurisdiction is the amount of authority and control exercised by the State when acting on foreign soil. From jurisprudence two different models, used by the Court, can be distinguished. The personal model refers to the authority and control over an individuals and the spatial model refers to the situation when a State has effective overall control over an area. When scrutinizing the case law in relation to the above mentioned methods different norms to different scenarios and different degrees appear.

The exposition of the case law demonstrates that jurisdiction can be established with reference to the spatial models in situations of military occupation or military support to separatist movements over a prolonged time. Thus a certain degree of control over territory is needed. Moreover, the spatial model have been recognised in more than a few cases and it refers mainly to physical authority e.g. arrest but as will be shown it has also been applied in other situations - were some kind of public powers are exercised - which makes it more difficult to define. Therefore this thesis argues that the spatial modal seems somewhat more clear while the use of the personal model seem somewhat more unpredictable. The consequence thereof is the creation of loopholes where no legal system for accountability seems to exist.

However, in relation to both the models the Court has in a number of quite recent cases come to the conclusion that when it is not disputed that a certain act – lawful or unlawful – has resulted in a person’s death – the person is brought under the States jurisdiction. This thesis reasons that the core question in these cases mainly is a question of proof, which makes the already complex system of different conceptions regarding the application of control even more complex. (Less)
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author
Lager, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
JUR092 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
folkrätt, public international law, jurisdiktion, Jurisdiction, extraterritoriell, extraterritorial, European Convention, Europakonventionen, interpretation methods, tolkningsprinciper
language
English
id
3732707
date added to LUP
2013-05-13 12:53:19
date last changed
2013-05-13 12:53:19
@misc{3732707,
  abstract     = {The issue of extraterritorial application of human right treaties raises many questions and is today very much alive before international Courts and human right mechanisms. This thesis focuses on the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights. The main question answered is under which circumstances the State Parties to the European Convention of Human Rights are bound to ensure the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention when acting on foreign soil. Answering this question also uncovers situations where jurisdiction cannot be established. 

The general concept of jurisdiction in International law is a criterion for the lawfulness of certain acts and conduct of States. The meaning of the term jurisdiction in international law is primarily territorial and territorial or other jurisdiction normally provides a framework for the exercise by a State of its sovereign prerogatives. The European Convention of Human Rights has a jurisdiction clause that sets out the limits of its applicability. The jurisdiction is, as in international law, primarily territorial i.e. the Convention applies to human rights violations committed on the territory of the acting State. However as follows from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights States can also be responsible for violations committed outside its territory i.e. extraterritorial human rights violations.

In order to establish the extraterritorial reach of the European Convention the concept of jurisdiction as contained in Article 1 in the Convention is analysed. The examination of case law seen in the light of available interpretation methods forms the main analysis. 

This thesis reasons that when interpreting the extraterritorial reach of the Convention weight shall be given to the object and purpose of the Convention i.e. foremost to protect individuals rather than the interest of states. 

This thesis establishes that the extraterritorial application of the Convention does not seem to have any geographical constrains. Instead the determining factor for establishing jurisdiction is the amount of authority and control exercised by the State when acting on foreign soil. From jurisprudence two different models, used by the Court, can be distinguished. The personal model refers to the authority and control over an individuals and the spatial model refers to the situation when a State has effective overall control over an area. When scrutinizing the case law in relation to the above mentioned methods different norms to different scenarios and different degrees appear.

The exposition of the case law demonstrates that jurisdiction can be established with reference to the spatial models in situations of military occupation or military support to separatist movements over a prolonged time. Thus a certain degree of control over territory is needed. Moreover, the spatial model have been recognised in more than a few cases and it refers mainly to physical authority e.g. arrest but as will be shown it has also been applied in other situations - were some kind of public powers are exercised - which makes it more difficult to define. Therefore this thesis argues that the spatial modal seems somewhat more clear while the use of the personal model seem somewhat more unpredictable. The consequence thereof is the creation of loopholes where no legal system for accountability seems to exist. 

However, in relation to both the models the Court has in a number of quite recent cases come to the conclusion that when it is not disputed that a certain act – lawful or unlawful – has resulted in a person’s death – the person is brought under the States jurisdiction. This thesis reasons that the core question in these cases mainly is a question of proof, which makes the already complex system of different conceptions regarding the application of control even more complex.},
  author       = {Lager, Maria},
  keyword      = {folkrätt,public international law,jurisdiktion,Jurisdiction,extraterritoriell,extraterritorial,European Convention,Europakonventionen,interpretation methods,tolkningsprinciper},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Limits of Control - Extraterritorial application of the European convention on Human Rights},
  year         = {2013},
}