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Exporting Privacy – A Study on the Extraterritorial Application of the European Convention on Human Rights to Foreign Mass Surveillance

Wide, Erica LU (2020) JURM02 20201
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Staters användning av utländsk massövervakning är idag öppet diskuterat och ofta reglerat i lag. Europeiska domstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna (Europadomstolen) har fastställt att massövervakning utan tillräckliga säkerhetsgarantier kan innebära en kränkning av individers rätt till privatliv enligt artikel 8 Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna (EKMR). Enligt artikel 1 EKMR skyddas individer av EKMR mot massövervakning utförd av den fördragsslutande part vars territorium individen befinner sig på. Personer som befinner sig utanför den övervakande statens territorium måste istället förlita sig på konventionens extraterritoriella tillämpning. I mål om utländsk massövervakning som Europadomstolen tidigare... (More)
Staters användning av utländsk massövervakning är idag öppet diskuterat och ofta reglerat i lag. Europeiska domstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna (Europadomstolen) har fastställt att massövervakning utan tillräckliga säkerhetsgarantier kan innebära en kränkning av individers rätt till privatliv enligt artikel 8 Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna (EKMR). Enligt artikel 1 EKMR skyddas individer av EKMR mot massövervakning utförd av den fördragsslutande part vars territorium individen befinner sig på. Personer som befinner sig utanför den övervakande statens territorium måste istället förlita sig på konventionens extraterritoriella tillämpning. I mål om utländsk massövervakning som Europadomstolen tidigare avgjort, har Europadomstolen antagit att EKMR är tillämplig. Genom att besvara hur EKMR kan tillämpas i fall av transnationell och extraterritoriell övervakning, tydliggör uppsatsen den juridiska grunden för EKMR:s extraterritoriella tillämplighet i mål om utländsk massövervakning

Det finns ingen bestämd tolkning av hur EKMR tillämpas extraterritoriellt på utländsk massövervakning. Genom en rättsdogmatisk metod och principer för traktatstolkning fastställer uppsatsen innebörden av tröskelkriteriet ”jurisdiktion” i Artikel 1 EKMR. Europadomstolen har fastställt att jurisdiktion enligt Artikel 1 EKMR primärt är territoriellt. Europadomstolen har vidare fastställt att EKMR kan tillämpas i två undantagssituationer: När en stat utövar effektiv kontroll över ett område (territorium-modellen) eller effektiv kontroll över en individ (individ-modellen). Uppsatsen argumenterar däremot att jurisdiktion under artikel 1 EKMR inte är territoriellt. Jurisdiktion är istället en relation av faktiskt utövad makt. EKMR kan därmed tillämpas mer extensivt än tidigare erkänt av Europadomstolen.

Genom att undersöka både befintliga och föreslagna modellers tillämplighet fastställer uppsatsen att samtliga modeller innehåller brister. Uppsatsen föreslår därför en ny modell. Modellen är en utvecklad variant av individ-modellen, här kallad den normativa modellen. Modellen grundar sig i definitionen av jurisdiktion som faktiskt utövad auktoritet och kontroll. Auktoritet och kontroll utövas i sin tur när staten kan föreskriva och tillämpa sina regler. Uppsatsen hävdar att jurisdiktion innehåller ett normativt kriterium, vilket innebär att en stat måste syfta till att införa sin vilja, uppmana till efterlevnad eller tillämpa sina regler. Den normativa modellen kan tillämpas på utländsk massövervakning samt åtgärda vissa av de brister som återfinns i Europadomstolens tolkning av EKMR:s extraterritoriella tillämpning. (Less)
Abstract
The foreign mass surveillance of communications conducted by states is no longer a secret, but rather openly discussed and often regulated in law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has established that mass surveillance without adequate safeguards can violate individuals’ right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). According to Article 1 ECHR, individuals located within the territory of an intercepting state who is a contracting party to the ECHR can enjoy the ECHR’s protection against mass surveillance. However, individuals located outside the territory of an intercepting state must rely on the extraterritorial application of the ECHR. The ECtHR has previously dealt with cases concerning... (More)
The foreign mass surveillance of communications conducted by states is no longer a secret, but rather openly discussed and often regulated in law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has established that mass surveillance without adequate safeguards can violate individuals’ right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). According to Article 1 ECHR, individuals located within the territory of an intercepting state who is a contracting party to the ECHR can enjoy the ECHR’s protection against mass surveillance. However, individuals located outside the territory of an intercepting state must rely on the extraterritorial application of the ECHR. The ECtHR has previously dealt with cases concerning foreign mass surveillance, in which the ECtHR assumed that the ECHR applied. By examining how the ECHR can be applied to transnational and extraterritorial surveillance, this dissertation provides clarity regarding the legal basis for the applicability of the ECHR to foreign mass surveillance.

There is no agreed interpretation of the ECHR’s extraterritorial applicability. Therefore, the study uses a doctrinal research method, as well as treaty interpretation to establish the meaning of the threshold criterion ‘jurisdiction’ under Article 1 ECHR. The ECtHR has established that jurisdiction is primarily territorial and that the ECHR can be applied extraterritorially in two exceptional situations: Either when a state exercises effective control over an area (the spatial model) or when a state exercises effective control over an individual (the personal model). Contrary to the ECtHR, this thesis concludes that jurisdiction is not primarily territorial, but rather a relationship of factual power. This interpretation of jurisdiction would allow for a more extensive application of the ECHR than the ECtHR’s models initially enables.

By examining the applicability of the two existing and three alternative models of extraterritorial application, this thesis concludes that the studied models are inadequate. The study therefore offers a fourth alternative model, an adjusted personal model here called the normative model. The normative model is based on the definition of jurisdiction as the exercise of factual authority and control. A state has authority and control when it can prescribe and enforce its rules. This study suggests that jurisdiction contains a normative element, meaning the state must impose its will, appeal for compliance or apply its rules. This study argues that the normative model would apply to foreign mass surveillance and remedy some of the shortcomings in the ECtHR’s interpretation of the ECHR’s extraterritorial applicability. (Less)
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author
Wide, Erica LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20201
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
european convention on human rights, extraterritorial application, foreign surveillance, jurisdiction, public international law
language
English
id
9010147
date added to LUP
2020-06-15 08:49:22
date last changed
2020-06-15 08:49:22
@misc{9010147,
  abstract     = {The foreign mass surveillance of communications conducted by states is no longer a secret, but rather openly discussed and often regulated in law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has established that mass surveillance without adequate safeguards can violate individuals’ right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). According to Article 1 ECHR, individuals located within the territory of an intercepting state who is a contracting party to the ECHR can enjoy the ECHR’s protection against mass surveillance. However, individuals located outside the territory of an intercepting state must rely on the extraterritorial application of the ECHR. The ECtHR has previously dealt with cases concerning foreign mass surveillance, in which the ECtHR assumed that the ECHR applied. By examining how the ECHR can be applied to transnational and extraterritorial surveillance, this dissertation provides clarity regarding the legal basis for the applicability of the ECHR to foreign mass surveillance. 

There is no agreed interpretation of the ECHR’s extraterritorial applicability. Therefore, the study uses a doctrinal research method, as well as treaty interpretation to establish the meaning of the threshold criterion ‘jurisdiction’ under Article 1 ECHR. The ECtHR has established that jurisdiction is primarily territorial and that the ECHR can be applied extraterritorially in two exceptional situations: Either when a state exercises effective control over an area (the spatial model) or when a state exercises effective control over an individual (the personal model). Contrary to the ECtHR, this thesis concludes that jurisdiction is not primarily territorial, but rather a relationship of factual power. This interpretation of jurisdiction would allow for a more extensive application of the ECHR than the ECtHR’s models initially enables. 

By examining the applicability of the two existing and three alternative models of extraterritorial application, this thesis concludes that the studied models are inadequate. The study therefore offers a fourth alternative model, an adjusted personal model here called the normative model. The normative model is based on the definition of jurisdiction as the exercise of factual authority and control. A state has authority and control when it can prescribe and enforce its rules. This study suggests that jurisdiction contains a normative element, meaning the state must impose its will, appeal for compliance or apply its rules. This study argues that the normative model would apply to foreign mass surveillance and remedy some of the shortcomings in the ECtHR’s interpretation of the ECHR’s extraterritorial applicability.},
  author       = {Wide, Erica},
  keyword      = {european convention on human rights,extraterritorial application,foreign surveillance,jurisdiction,public international law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Exporting Privacy – A Study on the Extraterritorial Application of the European Convention on Human Rights to Foreign Mass Surveillance},
  year         = {2020},
}