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Compliance With Human Rights Norms Extraterritorially: ‘Human Rights Imperialism’?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is about the extraterritorial application of human rights law treaties. It offers a critical evaluation of the treatment of two issues of principle by the English courts that were invoked in a decision about whether and to what extent human rights obligations should apply to the UK in Iraq. Both issues can be understood to relate to ideas of imperialism and self-determination. Finally, the nature of the enquiry in the chapter, considering the adequacy of a judicial attempt to grapple with important issues of principle, the determination of which resolving an entry-level question as to whether a state would be bound by international law at all, is Gowlland-esque: it concerns a foundational issue relating to compliance with international law, and seeks to test the adequacy of the judicial reasoning offered.

Keywords: Al-Skeini; human rights imperialism; Iraq; self-determination; Vera Gowlland-Debbas



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