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Extraterritorial Derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Journal issue6
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2016


On 4th October 2016, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the UK would derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in extraterritorial armed conflict. This opinion piece considers the legal and political ramifications of such an eventuality. The impact of judicial oversight under the Human Rights Act 1998 on the British armed forces is assessed. An analysis of Hassan v United Kingdom, Jaloud v Netherlands, and Serdar Mohammed v Secretary of State for Defence reveals the extent to which human rights impose an untenable burden on the executive, and whether the ECHR should be replaced by the Geneva Conventions. The piece then considers whether human rights adjudication precipitates the prosecution of individual soldiers and/or whether it affords military personnel protection. Against this background, the possibility and impact of an extraterritorial derogation is addressed. While the legal ramifications of a derogation may be limited, its political ramifications call for resistance towards this measure.


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