On 22 April 2021, the University of Bristol Law School hosted a closed meeting on the findings of the Human Rights Committee in A.S., D.I., O.I. and G.D. v Italy. The hosts of the event, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans and Dr Sofia Galani, welcomed academic experts on international human rights law and the law of the sea from UK, European and Australian institutions who reflected on the findings of the Human Rights Committee (the Committee) and discussed the potential impact of its findings on the future of human rights protection at sea. The facts of the complaint, the views of the Committee as well as the dissenting opinions are of great interest and are well worth being read in full. Here, we will only summarise some key points with a view to highlighting the significance of the decision and providing some background into the discussions. (more…)
As the Covid-19 pandemic has tightened its grip on many western states, many refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants continue to be detained in reception and detention centres, without any prospect of release. With asylum processing at a standstill and returns to countries of origin on hold, detention of these individuals risks becoming arbitrary, if not inhumane.
“Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence”, states article 12(1) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The liberty of movement is a human right – a right that has been severely curtailed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to reduce disease dissemination, states worldwide have put in place severe travel and movement restrictions, affecting both internal and external travelling. Article 12(1) is a qualified right and so exceptions can be made in the context of public health necessity. These restrictions have resulted in lockdowns in countries around the world, confining people to their homes with only specific exceptions permitted. (more…)