• Corporate personality, human rights and multinational corporations

      Yiannaros, Andreas C.; Nyombi, Chrispas; University of Bedfordshire (Sweet & Maxwell, 2016-05-01)
    • Countermeasures: obligations relating to human rights and humanitarian law

      Borelli, Silvia; Olleson, Simon (Oxford University Press, 2010)
    • The French prohibition on veiling in public places: rights evolution or violation?

      Hill, Ryan W.; University of Essex (Oxford University Press, 2012-12-14)
      In 2011, France introduced a prohibition on wearing face-concealing garments in all public places. Particularly captured by the prohibition was the small number of Muslim women veiling in France. The French government’s rationales for the prohibition include the protection of public social order and equality. Including all public places rather than certain public institutions shifts the focus of an earlier similar prohibition. This article suggests that this shift may be symptomatic of a disturbing polemic that sees freedom understood in a narrow sense that is largely antagonistic to religion and difference. The article provides evidence and argument to support this suggestion. It proposes that any related petition brought to a human rights court must be on the lookout for this polemic which, if influencing the prohibition, would lead to the pursuit of an aim that is dubious in terms of human rights, specifically the right to freedom of religion.
    • The historical evolution of the right of conscientious objection to military service in the UN human rights system: 1950-2017

      Yiannaros, Andreas C.; University of Bedfordshire (Inderscience, 2017-12-05)
      This paper discusses the emergence and historic development of the right to conscientious objection to military service within the United Nations framework for the protection of human rights, through the drafting history of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966. It further explores conscientious objection as a fundamental aspect of the right to manifest one’s thought, conscience and religion and it outlines the jurisprudence of the UN Human Rights Committee in relation to conscientious objection to military service from 1981 to 2017 to illustrate the Committee’s current approach and steps to ensure compliance with international human rights standards. This paper contributes to academic knowledge by exploring the semantic restraints of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the delay of the UN human rights system in adopting a more liberal approach to the interpretation of the Covenant. 
    • Is Toufik Lounes another brick in the wall? The CJEU and the on-going shaping of the EU citizenship

      Gualco, Elena; University of Bedfordshire (2018-06-21)
      This Insight tackles a recent judgment of the CJEU, Toufik Lounes (Court of Justice, judgment of 14 November 2017, case C-165/16, Toufik Lounes v. Secretary of State for the Home Department), where the CJEU was asked to rule on the case of a EU national, Ms García Omazábal, who had exercised her free movement rights, later acquiring the citizenship of the host State while also retaining her nationality of origin. The Court has further investigated the scope ratione personae of Directive 2004/38 and Art. 21, para. 1, TFEU, so to clarify whether, in the scenario above, the EU national and her third-country national spouse could still be considered “beneficiaries” under Directive 2004/38. The CJEU answered as follows: while Directive 2004/38 is not applicable in the situation above, Art. 21, para. 1, TFEU shall instead be applied so as to prevent the EU national holding a dual citizenship to be treated less favourably than a EU national having the citizenship of his country of origin only, and therefore having the EU national’s right to family life unreasonably disrupted. Against this backdrop, the Insight first highlights the merits of the decision, by also investigating its positive effects within the Brexit process. Secondly, it discloses a main shortcoming that is likely to weaken the overall protection granted to EU citizens, i.e. the CJEU choice to disregard the connection between the provisions on the EU citizenship and the respect of fundamental rights
    • Jaloud v Netherlands and Hassan v United Kingdom: time for a principled approach in the application of the ECHR to military action abroad

      Borelli, Silvia (2015-05)
      The aim of the present piece is not to undertake an examination of which of international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) is ‘better’ or more appropriate to regulate the conduct of States in situations of armed conflict. Advocates of IHRL argue that it provides heightened protection for individuals, and that, by its own terms, it applies to, and is perfectly equipped to deal with situations of exception, including armed conflicts.[1] On the other hand, supporters of IHL focus on the need not to place unnecessary fetters upon the freedom of States to pursue their military objectives in situations of armed conflict, and argue that IHL provides an adequate level of protection, whilst being more pragmatic, better suited to the specificities of armed conflict and more likely to be observed by the parties to the conflict.[2] Insofar as they prioritise different values, proponents of the two opposing camps to a large extent talk past each other and the debate is therefore necessarily somewhat sterile.
    • Protecting the ‘rights of others’ in the UK: religious expression, reasonable accommodation and the real meaning of non-discrimination

      Yiannaros, Andreas C. (Tribunale di Bologna, 2017-03-01)
      Over the years, states have been developing and implementing legislation with the aim of protecting individuals against discrimination, inter alia, on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Recent developments have led to an expansion of the concept of ‘family’ to include same-sex couples and single parents and the progressive adjustment of the law with a view to extend parenthood rights to less ‘’traditional’ family forms. In terms of access to parenthood, objections of conscience may arise in relation to facilitating adoption by same-sex couples or single parent adoption, whereby religious objectors may feel that their professional duties are in direct conflict with the tenets of their religion. Conscientious objections have traditionally been expressed by persons whose beliefs are at odds with laws compelling them to carry out certain functions, such as facilitating adoptions in same-sex families or registering and officiating civil unions. The progressive legal recognition of alternative family unions and parenthood rights to non-traditional family forms on the one hand, and the manifestation of religious beliefs outside an individual’s forum internum1 on the other, can be described as an ‘explosive mix’ of conflicting rights and freedoms. In addition to national courts in the Council of Europe’s member states, the European Court of Human Rights has been exploring the scope and limits of the right of conscientious objection as a particular aspect of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In the European context, the European Court of Human Rights has demonstrated through its jurisprudence that although a ‘human right’ to conscientious objection exists, this is not absolute, but subject to permissible limitations as found in Article 9(2) ECHR2 including the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
    • Refusing to kill: selective conscientious objection and professional military duties

      Yiannaros, Andreas C. (2018-11-29)
      This paper explores the legal implications of objections of conscience against participation in particular military activities or conflicts (selective conscientious objection) as these are expressed by professional members of the armed forces. It does so by exploring how established human rights principles and norms related to the right of conscientious objection to military service may be extended to professional members of the armed forces seeking a discharge from military duties. The paper outlines applicable human rights standards relating to objections of conscience and compares how objections by professional members of the armed forces are dealt with by the judiciary in the United Kingdom and Germany. Finally, the paper uses empirical research data to map the recognition of selective conscientious objection to military duties in other member states of the Council of Europe that operate with fully professional armies and provides an extensive analysis of state practice identifying significant gaps, best practices and future challenges for the Council of Europe’s member states.
    • 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.
    • TTIP negotiations in the shadow of human rights and democratic values

      Stanford, Ben; Yiannaros, Andreas C.; Nyombi, Chrispas (Sweet and Maxwell, 2016-09-01)
      In early 2013, based on the recommendations of the EU–US, High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission (the Commission) and the US announced the initiation of negotiations on a major free trade agreement between the two blocs, termed the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TTIP initiative promises significant economic development for the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TFTA) and provision for investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS), which is mainly associated with international arbitration under the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Respondents to a public consultation on TTIP, representing a wide spectrum of EU civil society organisations, expressed concern over ISDS’s impact on EU Member States’ right to regulate in the public’s interest, if investors are armed with the right to launch international proceedings to challenge national policy. Similar concerns were expressed over the secretive nature of the negotiations, with many critics pointing to democratic values and human rights as the bedrock of a civilised society. These concerns cast a shadow of uncertainty over the intended and unintended consequences of TTIP and, in particular, its encroachment on democratic values. In response to the rejection of ISDS, the Commission released proposals for an international investment court in August 2015. We argue that these reforms are merely cosmetic and are unlikely to alleviate some of the concerns raised over ISDS and, in particular, its intrusion on national public policy. The aim of this article is threefold. First and foremost, it examines the nature of the TTIP proposals with particular emphasis on the international investment court. The aim is to highlight how the secretive negotiations have undermined the most basic notions of democracy such as transparency and sovereignty. Secondly, it highlights areas where the fundamental principles of human rights have been undermined by the TTIP negotiations. Thirdly, the proposal for an international investment court is critiqued, especially on the inclusion of broad fair and equitable treatment (FET) standards that are likely to promote the same unfettered rights as those found under ISDS. Ultimately, a circumspect conclusion that ties together the various strands of argument through the paper is reached.
    • Unlocking the first protocol: protection of property and the European Court of Human Rights

      Lang, Richard; University of Bedfordshire (N. P. Engel, Kehl am Rhein, 2008-12-31)
      This output makes an important contribution to an area where there is surprisingly little existing literature. Via a thorough analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence on Article 1 of Protocol No 1 (the relevant provision), the piece offers a highly original take on the Court’s case-law on this subject, ending with an algorithm that, it is hoped, will aid practitioners embarking on a case involving the right to property. However, other academics should also find it of interest. With the Yukos case – reputedly the largest expropriation case in legal history - having had its first hearing only a few months ago, the topic will only grow in importance as time goes on. The author also points out some of the differences between Article 1 of Protocol No 1 and the right to property provision in the new EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which only became legally binding in December 2009. As case-law based on the Charter starts to emerge from the Luxembourg Court (on terrorist asset-freezing, for example), again this topic is likely to gain prominence, with this output hopefully acting as a point of departure for future works by other scholars.