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The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law$
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Anne van Aaken and Iulia Motoc

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830009.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

A Moving Target

A Moving Target

The Approach of the Strasbourg Court to Immunity

(p.251) 13 A Moving Target
The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law

Philippa Webb

Oxford University Press

The last 50 years have seen significant changes in the law of immunity. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has, over the past 15 years in particular, played an influential role in the law applicable to this ‘moving target’. This chapter examines three approaches of the ECtHR to the identification of general international law: (i) the ECtHR looking to the International Court of Justice; (ii) the ECtHR looking to national practice; and (iii) the ECtHR looking to the work of the International Law Commission and the provisional application of treaties. Although the ECtHR strives to locate itself within general international law, it necessarily approaches the immunities of States, officials, and international organizations through the lens of Article 6 ECHR and whether the immunity in question constitutes a legitimate and proportionate restriction on the right of access to court. This has, at times, taken the Court down a different path to other judicial bodies and we can identify the emergence of a ‘European approach’ to the role of immunity in employment disputes.

Keywords:   immunity, European Court of Human Rights, International Court of Justice, treatises, International Law Commission

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