• Extraordinary rendition, counter-terrorism, and international law

      Borelli, Silvia; University of Bedfordshire (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014)
      The years immediately following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 saw the emergence of a novel variation in the way in which governments and state officials may infringe human rights in the name of – real or purported – security considerations, namely the extraordinary rendition programme carried out by the United States with the assistance of a number of its allies in the ‘War on Terror’. Although instances of irregular transfer, detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects are not new, extraordinary rendition, on the scale and through the modes by which it occurred after 9/11, has posed unprecedented challenges to human rights lawyers, international monitoring bodies, domestic courts and other oversight bodies in their attempts to ensure accountability. The present chapter provides an overview of the extent and the modalities of the US extraordinary rendition programme, and discusses its legal implications from the perspective of international human rights law. It then examines the numerous – and so far generally unsuccessful – attempts of victims of extraordinary rendition to obtain redress before national criminal and civil courts and the – comparatively more successful – litigation before international human rights monitoring bodies.
    • From Grandrath to Bayatyan: the development of European jurisprudence on conscientious objection to military service

      Yiannaros, Andreas C. (Intersentia, 2017-03-31)
      The paper discusses the historical evolution of the legal right to conscientious objection to military service within the key institutions of the Council of Europe. It does so by examining the travaux preparatoire and legislative history of the European Convention on Human Rights, focusing on the intention of its drafters to incorporate into the scope of the treaty, a right to be exempted from military service on grounds of conscience. It further explores the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in order to identify whether these bodies intended to expand the scope of the Convention to cover objections of conscience to the undertaking of military duties as a constituent element of Article 9 ECHR, protecting the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Finally, the paper explores the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence on the question of conscientious objection to military service and assesses the importance and impact of Bayatyan v Armenia, a landmark decision by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights which finally placed objections of conscience to military service firmly within the scope of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
    • Pushing back against push-backs: a right of entry for asylum seekers unlawfully prevented from reaching Italian territory

      Borelli, Silvia; University of Bedfordshire (Società Editrice il Mulino, 2020-03-10)
      A decision of a civil court in Rome has reaffirmed the illegality of ‘push-back’ operations under both Italian and international law. In a noteworthy and innovative development, the court further held that, in light of the fact that the claimants had been wrongfully prevented from reaching Italian territory, they had a subjective right as a matter of Italian constitutional law to be admitted to Italy so as to be able to make an application for international protection. The decision has potentially far-reaching implications for future cases before the Italian courts in the field of migration, and may also pave the way for similar findings at the international level.
    • Troubled waters in the Mare Nostrum: interception and push-backs of migrants in the Mediterranean and the European Convention on Human Rights

      Borelli, Silvia; Stanford, Ben; University of Bedfordshire (International Strategic Research Organization, 2014)
      The practice of ‘push-backs’ in the Mediterranean Sea, in which vessels carrying migrants are intercepted and forced to return to the State from which they departed (or from which they are presumed to have departed) raises serious issues from the perspective of international human rights law. In the wake of the spate of recent tragedies, in which innocent women, children and men attempting to traverse the Mediterranean in order to reach European shores have lost their lives, States and European institutions are finally responding to these issues. The present piece explores the legality of the practice of push-backs under international human rights standards, particularly the European Convention on Human Rights, and offers an assessment of the ongoing developments within the European Union. The piece offers a preliminary assessment of the Draft Regulation relating to joint migration control operations at sea under the auspices of Frontex which aims belatedly to ensure that migration control operations incorporate an element of protection of human life and other fundamental human rights.