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The Notion of ‘Continuous Violations’, Expropriated Armenian Properties, and the European Court of Human Rights

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This article examines the potential for litigation relating to Armenian properties confiscated following the Armenian Genocide before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). It finds that the ECtHR’s lack of retroactive jurisdiction is a priori an obstacle but that the concept of ‘continuous violation’ may be of assistance, even though expropriation is typically considered an ‘instantaneous violation.’ Nonetheless, the article concludes with a few thoughts on how the ‘actuality’ of expropriations, as well as their unique character in relation to the commission of a genocide, might nonetheless warrant an exceptional assertion of jurisdiction that would be consonant with victims’ right to an effective remedy under international human rights law.

Affiliations: 1: Associate-Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Canada Research Chair in the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism


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