Extraterritorial Jurisdiction of the ECHR in the Context of Analysis of Relevant Cases: Which Model Is Effective?

10 Baku St. U. L.Rev. 84 (2024)
Article language: English.

The issue of extraterritorial jurisdiction of the ECHR is no longer confidential, it is openly discussed and often regulated by law. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the contradictory provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) concerning extraterritorial jurisdiction that may arise from a signatory state’s actions on another state’s territory. Additionally, the Strasbourg Court’s application of the Convention to international armed conflicts will be examined. This article aims to clarify the conflicting aspects of the ECHR regarding extraterritorial jurisdiction arising during the activities of a signatory state in the territory of another state and to determine how the Strasbourg Court applied the Convention to international armed conflicts in this context. According to Article 1 of the ECHR, member states are obliged to recognize the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention to everyone “within their jurisdiction”. Nevertheless, the Strasbourg Court did not precisely explain when and how the jurisdiction of the ECHR regarding the extraterritorial actions of signatory states emerged. In other words, there is no particular provision for extraterritorial aspects. Therefore, this study analyzes two essential models presented by the ECtHR for solving the problem. While the spatial model is based on the state’s control over a particular territory, the personal model consists of the power of authority that the state exerts on individuals through its agents. The topic of this article establishes an obvious background by examining numerous court cases on both models. In addition, this research explores the functional and third models under alternative approaches and presents the author’s views on which model will be effective. Additionally, this article provides the author’s arguments after analyzing the ECtHR’s reference to IHL norms through its case law. The author focuses on applying the balance method to solve the problem. In conclusion, this study suggests that extraterritorial jurisdiction under the ECtHR is an important legal tool for maintaining a workable balance between the Convention’s regional identity and its universalist aspirations.

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