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The applicability of the ECHR in contested territories

Milanovic, Marko; Papić, Tatjana

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Marko Milanovic

Tatjana Papić


This article examines the applicability of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR) when a State loses control over parts of its territory. It argues that the jurisprudence of the European Court for Human Rights, which insists on residual positive obligations based in sovereign title over territory, is problematic and needs to be rethought. The Court’s current approach is not only likely to provoke backlash, since it requires it to decide politically explosive questions of sovereign title, but does so for very little practical benefit for the protection of human rights. The article therefore explores more preferable alternatives.


Milanovic, M., & Papić, T. (2018). The applicability of the ECHR in contested territories. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 67(4), 779-800.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 16, 2018
Publication Date Oct 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2018
Journal International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Print ISSN 0020-5893
Electronic ISSN 1471-6895
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue 4
Pages 779-800
Keywords Jurisdiction; Responsibility; ECHR; European Court of Human Rights; Sovereignty; Positive obligations; Kosovo; Georgia; Ukraine; Russia; Crimea
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