As mentioned earlier, EUglobal is hosting a workshop in the margins of the ESIL 2016 Conference in Riga. The papers for this workshop are posted here on the Interest Group blog, and first out is Aravind Ganesh with a paper entitled “The EU’s Human Rights Obligations Towards Distant Strangers“. Here is the abstract:
The EU has perfect human rights obligations towards distant strangers. My argument has two limbs: Firstly, in numerous policy areas, the EU asserts jurisdiction via ‘territorial extension’, which combines territorially limited enforcement jurisdiction with a claim of geographically unbounded prescriptive jurisdiction. Doctrinally, this strongly resembles the Lotus principle, and viewed analytically, amounts to a claim not just of power but of political authority. Thus, the EU creates not just factual effects, but legal effects abroad. Secondly, assertions of political authority, even if only de facto, give rise to perfect human rights obligations. I illustrate this by reference to the Strasbourg Court’s case-law, which demonstrates that the creation of legal effects extraterritorially suffices to give rise to extraterritorial human rights jurisdiction, and therefore obligations. I therefore reject accounts of human rights jurisdiction premised upon ‘capability’, ‘control’, or other aspects of mere power.