Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Campione d’Italia

It's probably not even legally relevant, but how awesome is it that the applicant in the first ECtHR terrorism sanctions case just happens to live in a tiny speck of Italy within the Swiss canton of Ticino? The Swiss won't let him enter their country, so he hasn't been able to leave the 1,6 square km of land that make up his home town for nine years now. Campione d'Italia is located on the southern/eastern shore of lake Lugano, less than 1 km away from Italy in a straight line. It has about 2200 inhabitants, including Youssef Mustafa Nada.

Google Maps (Satellite view)

As to the substance of this case, I don't even agree with the ECJ's handling of this problem, where I prefer the approach of the General Court, as recently reiterated in their Kadi-II ruling:

115 More fundamentally, certain doubts may have been voiced in legal circles as to whether the judgment of the Court of Justice in Kadi is wholly consistent with, on the one hand, international law and, more particularly, Articles 25 and 103 of the Charter of the United Nations and, on the other hand, the EC and EU Treaties, and more particularly Article 177(3) EC, Articles 297 EC and 307 EC, Article 11(1) EU and Article 19(2) EU (see, also Article 3(5) TEU and Article 21(1) and (2) TEU, as well as declaration No 13 of the Conference of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States concerning the common foreign and security policy annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon, which stresses that ‘the [EU] and its Member States will remain bound by the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and, in particular, by the primary responsibility of the Security council and of its members for the maintenance of international peace and security’.

[Detailed discussion of the criticism omitted for brevity.]

121 The General Court acknowledges that those criticisms are not entirely without foundation.
It follows that I think the ECtHR should certainly not pretend that it has the jurisdiction to review the conformity of a Security Council Resolution with the principles of human rights. That is not to say that they should uphold the Swiss policy here, but if they do not, they should emphasise that they have only examined the conformity of said policy with the ECHR, not its overall lawfulness.

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