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Extraterritorial State Obligations Beyond the Concept of Jurisdiction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019

Abstract

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This Article discusses the extraterritorial human rights obligations of states and proposes a new approach for conceptualizing them. While extraterritorial state obligations within the concept of state jurisdiction are indisputably recognized, a more comprehensive perspective beyond jurisdiction is generally lacking. This Article aims to fill that gap. First, it discusses the traditional notions of extraterritorial state obligations and demonstrates their weaknesses. Second, a new concept of extraterritorial state obligations borrowing elements from systems theory is then suggested. The Article argues that comprehensive and general extraterritorial state obligations mainly build upon the normative idea of human rights. Human rights have universal validity and prescribe obligations that are independent of the jurisdiction of a state. What matters is that states can violate human rights beyond their jurisdiction and can influence violations of human rights committed by other actors. Finally, this Article outlines the scope and content of extraterritorial human rights obligations of states.

Type
International Law
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by German Law Journal, Inc. 

References

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33 See also Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, art. 2, Dec. 18, 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13 (stating it does not limit the application to the exercise of jurisdiction); cf. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, art. 2, Dec. 18, 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13.Google Scholar

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