The Scope of Third-Party Responsibility for Serious Human Rights Abuses under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Source: International Law Report
By Stephen Allen
October 14, 2016.
This article examines the evolution of third-party responsibility, under the European Convention on Human Rights, for the wrongful acts of foreign officials within a Contracting State’s jurisdiction. It explores the limits of the complicity test endorsed by the European Court of Human Rights in El-Masri, Al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah—that a Contracting State’s officials connived or acquiesced in such wrongdoing—in this context. It argues that, in accordance with the Convention’s positive obligations, responsibility should be determined by what those officials ought to have known and done as a result of credible reports, alleging that serious human rights abuses were being committed, having entered the public domain by the material time. To this end, the article examines the potential significance of allegations that officials of the United States of America ill-treated and arbitrarily detained individuals, pursuant to its Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Programme, in the British Indian Ocean Territory.