Splitting the Baby

Incidental Review of United Nations Security Council Resolutions by the European Court of Human Rights

In: International Organizations Law Review

This article examines the review of un Security Council resolutions by the European Court of Human Rights. Analysing recent decisions in the Nada and al-Dulimi cases against the background of the conclusion of the long-running Kadi saga, it builds upon the wealth of literature on the subject by proposing a theoretical basis for incidental review. It argues that the ECtHR directly review the lawfulness of an impugned resolution against a customary human rights standard, which would determine the applicability of Article 103 of the un Charter to displace those Convention rights that are not accepted in custom by modifying the Bosphorus doctrine of equivalent protection to one of ‘adequate protection’. It thereby argues that it is possible to compromise between what are at present diametrically polarised positions, thus transcending from the issue of the power to judicially review to that of the standard or intensity of review. It would thus become possible to not only embed the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights in the wider legal system but also to increase bottom-up pressure to entrench the protection of basic human rights in un Security Council practice.

  • 29

    De Wet, supra note 15, p. 171.

  • 51

    Tzanakopoulos, supra note 1, pp. 88–89.

  • 62

    Koskenniemi, supra note 52, pp. 166–180 (paras. 324–360); Bernhardt, ‘Article 103’ in Simma et al., supra note 59, pp. 1292–1302, 1302 (para. 37); M. Thouvenin, ‘Article 103’ in Cot and Pellet (eds.), supra note 59, pp. 2134–2147, 2146–2147.

  • 63

    Koskenniemi, supra note 52, pp. 171–172 (paras. 336–338). However, ‘[a] careful examination of recent practice … and in particular on the part of domestic courts, demonstrated that there is a tendency to try to avoid the conflict between human rights obligations and Security Council measures at all costs’: A. Tzanakopoulos, ‘Collective Security and Human Rights’, in E. de Wet and J. Vidmar (eds), Hierarchy in International Law: The Place of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012), pp. 42–70, at p. 69.

  • 64

    Koskenniemi, supra note 52, pp. 244–245 (paras. 481–483).

  • 66

    De Wet, supra note 1, p. 199.

  • 69

    Fassbender, supra note 2, pp. 74–97, at p. 79.

  • 73

    Tzanakopoulos, supra note 1, p. 57. See also generally pp. 54–84, 69–76. See also Verdirame, supra note 1, p. 72.

  • 76

    Tzanakopoulos, supra note 1, p. 69.

  • 81

    De Wet, supra note 1, pp. 375–378.

  • 82

    Simma, supra note 59, p. 459 (para. 18).

  • 84

    Tzanakopoulos, supra note 81.

  • 86

    Zappalà, supra note 83, p. 180; Chesterman, supra note 8, p. 73.

  • 89

    Verdirame, supra note 1, p. 87.

  • 104

    Delbrück, supra note 85, p. 44 (para. 23); Cardwell et al., supra note 8, p. 237.

  • 107

    Wood, supra note 101, p. 7.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 92 58 4
Full Text Views 146 4 0
PDF Downloads 18 2 0