The Jurisdiction Criterion in Article 1 of the echr and a Territorial State

Considerations Inspired by the ‘Sargsyan v. Azerbaijan’ Case

in International Community Law Review
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The article addresses the question of jurisdiction criterion introduced in article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect to a territorial State. It is inspired by a relatively fresh judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the Sargsyan v. Azerbaijan case – one of the two cases arisen out of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which were simultaneously decided in Strasbourg. The article’s aim is twofold. First, it reconstructs and discusses the methods applied by the Court in the sub judice case in question of territorial application of the echr and potential exemptions. Second, it searches for some general conclusions concerning the jurisdiction criterion in the Convention system. This is dictated by a conviction about usefulness of inclusion to a greater extent a perspective of territorial application of the echr into a debate over the jurisdiction concept, most frequently contextualised by its extraterritorial dimension.




See especially: Milanovic, supra note 15; Cedric Ryngaert, Jurisdiction in international law, (2nd. ed., 2015), pp. 22–26.


See: Larsen, supra note 5, p. 80. Milanovic argues that in the preparatory works “the word jurisdiction was used in a sense largely, though perhaps not entirely synonymous with the word ‘territory’ ” M. Milanovic, supra note 15, p. 38. Karen da Costa in a similar way states that “Drafters seem to have understood ‘jurisdiction’ as a notion very close to if not a synonym of ‘territory’ ”. At the same time she claims that the question of extraterritoriality was left open by the preparatory works, see Karen da Costa, The extraterritorial application of selected human rights treaties, (1st ed., 2012) p. 95.


See Milanovic, supra note 15, p. 118; Besson, supra note 27, p. 866.


Rozakis, supra note 13, p. 69.


Ibid., p. 86.


Berkes, supra note 10, p. 425.


See Besson, supra note 27, p. 878.


Larsen, supra note 5, pp. 84–85.


Larsen, supra note 5, p. 87.


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