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Abstract

The obligations set forth in the international and regional instruments on human rights are considered as having a strictly territorial scope. States parties have the duty to guarantee the rights recognized in the treaties to all individuals within their territories. The territorial reach of these obligations is expanding by way of interpretation. In its decision on Bankovic, the European Court reduced the impact of this international trend toward a progressive enlargement of the protection granted by human rights treaties, affirming those attacks conducted by NATO against Yugoslavia in 1999 fell out of the extraterritorial reach of the European Convention. After Bankovic, the Court provided a more articulated interpretation of the issue of extraterritorial acts, previously limited to the European legal space. In examining the case law, this paper deals with the issue of whether and to what extent a State party of the European Convention is accountable for human rights violations perpetrated by its armed forces during military operations conducted abroad.

© Federico Sperotto. All rights reserved.

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