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“Meždunarodnoe pravosudie” (International Justice) Journal

№1 (25) 2018

Terrorism and human rights: on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

Angelika Nussberger - Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France; Professor of the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2018-1-67-78

Abstract. Fight against terrorism is exemplary for the conflict between the rights and interests of society as a whole on the one hand and the rights of individuals on the other hand. The European Court of Human Rights is faced with a panoply of different complaints: by victims (such as in the case Tagayeva v. Russia), by those accused of being terrorists (El Masri v. Macedonia; Ibrahim v. the United Kingdom), by potential future terrorists (K2 v. the United Kingdom), by family members of deceased terrorists (Sabanchiyeva v. Russia), as well as supporters whose statements are sanctioned as hate speech (Leroy v. France). In its jurisprudence the Court has to take into account the limits of “ultra posse nemo tenetur” when assessing the State’s obligations to take effective preventive and repressive measures. At the same time it has to confirm the absolute nature of rights such as Article 3, especially in cases of extradition and expulsion. The standards for operative measures based on the right of life have been defined in McCann v. the United Kingdom from the perspective of the terrorists and refined in Tagayeva v. Russia from the perspective of the victims. Cases concerning fair trial demand careful consideration of the different rights involved, especially the right to an effective defence, and the right to an adversarial procedure; restrictions are allowed, but must not compromise the fair trial as a whole. While the Court’s jurisprudence must not obviate an effective fight against terrorism, it must nevertheless uphold the basic understanding of human rights as “inalienable”.

Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights; terrorism; right to life; positive obligations; state of emergency; fair trial.

Citation: Nussberger A. (2018) Terrorizm i prava cheloveka: o pravoprimenitel'noy praktike Evropeyskogo Suda po pravam cheloveka [Terrorism and human rights: on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, no.1, pp.67–78. (In Russian).


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