Within and outside the legal and academic professions, it is now increasingly recognised that the human rights consequences of states’ actions are not limited to the domestic sphere but quite often transcend national borders. This is a challenge to the human rights community, which up to the present time has focused almost exclusively on human rights violations and protections solely within a national setting.
The term “extraterritorial” effect/application/obligation in international law refers to acts that are taken by one actor (state) that have some kind of effect within another country’s territory, with or without this second country’s implicit or explicit agreement. Extraterritoriality within international human rights law, then, concerns actions or omissions by one state that have an effect on the human rights of individuals in another state – with or without this other state’s agreement. This effect may be positive or negative in that such actions or omissions by foreign states may contribute positively to the enjoyment of human rights; or alternatively, they may result in a deteriorated human rights situation, and even human rights violations.
This book gives, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of extraterritorial obligations in international human rights law by placing the discussion in a larger international law context, interpreting obligations in the various sources of international human rights law, and discussing the way in which extraterritoriality has been approached by international courts and human rights implementation bodies in the United Nations and regional systems.
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