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Keyu v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (U.K. Sup. Ct.)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Christina M. Cerna
Affiliation:
Georgetown University Law Center

Extract

On November 25, 2015, the U.K. Supreme Court dismissed a case in which the British Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and Defense failed to hold a public inquiry into an atrocity committed in 1948 by British troops in the British protectorate of Malaya, today Malaysia. The case is of particular interest because it concerns the obligations of states for atrocities committed in the past, before their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (European Convention) or a comparable treaty, entered into force. Whereas the principle of the nonretroactivity of treaties protects a state from responsibility for acts committed before the human rights treaty entered into force for that state, the issue in this case was whether the state nonetheless had an obligation to investigate the crimes of the past.

Type
International Legal Materials
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2016

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References

* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the United Nations Environment Program website (visited May 13, 2016), http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Portals/11/documents/conventionText/Minamata%20Convention%20on%20Mercury_e.pdf.

* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the United Kingdom Supreme Court website (visited May 13, 2016), https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2014-0203-judgment.pdf.

1 Keyu v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2015] UKSC 69 (appeal taken from Eng.).

2 Id. ¶¶ 56-59.

3 Id. ¶ 6.

4 Id. ¶¶ 14-15.

5 Id. ¶ 17.

6 Id. ¶ 26.

7 Id. ¶¶ 27, 39.

8 Id. ¶ 42.

9 Id. ¶ 55.

10 Id. ¶ 63.

11 Human Rights Committee Dec., S. E. (name deleted) v. Argentina, Communication No. 275/1988, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/38/D/275/1988 (1990).

12 Case of the Serrano-Cruz Sisters v. El Salvador, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R., ¶ 84 (Nov. 23, 2004).

13 La Cantuta v. Peru, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R., ¶ 157 (Nov. 29, 2006).

14 Silih v. Slovenia, Grand Chamber Judgment, Eur. Ct. H.R., ¶ 159 (Apr. 9, 2009).

15 Id.

16 The U.K. government paid out 19.9 million British pounds, to provide each claimant with about US 4,000.

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