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Fragmentation of International Law Revisited: Insights, Good Practices, and Lessons to be Learned from the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights

Abstract
Abstract

This article discusses the contribution of the European Court of Human Rights to mitigating difficulties arising from the fragmentation of international law. It argues that the Court's case law provides insights and good practices to be followed. First, the article furnishes evidence that the Court has developed an autonomous and distinct interpretative principle to construe the European Convention on Human Rights by taking other norms of international law into account. Second, it offers a blueprint of the methodology that the Court employs when engaging with external norms in the interpretation process. It analyses the Court's approach to subtle contextual differences between similar or identical international norms and its position towards the requirements of Article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). It concludes that international courts are developing innovative interpretative practices, which may not be strictly based on the letter of the VCLT.

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1 See M. Koskenniemi, ‘Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law’, Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission Finalized, UN Doc A/CN.4/L.682 (2006) (ILC Final Rep).

2 ILC Final Rep, supra note 1, at paras. 34–37; Kamminga M. T., ‘Final Report on the Impact of International Human Rights Law on General International Law’, in Kamminga M. T. and Scheinin M. (eds.), The Impact of Human Rights on General International Law (2009), 1 at 12.

3 Simma B., ‘Universality From the Perspective of a Practitioner’, (2009) 20 EJIL 265, at 266.

4 Jennings R. Y., ‘The Judiciary, International and National and the Development of International Law’, (1996) 45 ICLQ 1, at 6; see Higgins R., ‘Human Rights in the International Court of Justice’, (2007) 20 LJIL 745, at 747; Joint Separate Opinion of Judge Higgins, Judge Kooijmans, Judge Elabary, Judge Owada and Judge Simma in Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Rwanda) (New Application: 2002), Jurisdiction of the Court and Admissibility of the Application, Judgment of 3 February 2006, [2006] ICJ Rep. 6, para. 23.

5 1953 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, ETS No. 005.

6 The term ‘public international law norms’ is employed herein to refer to the main sources of international law, namely international treaties, international custom, and general principles of law recognized by civilized nations (general principles of law), as well as non-binding international instruments (soft law).

7 Myjer E., ‘Hardly a Week Goes by Without . . . Observations on the Increasing Number of General Problems of International Law in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights’, in Boerefijn I. and Goldschmidt J. (eds.), Changing Perceptions of Sovereignty and Human Rights (2008), 327 at 327–8; L. Caflisch, ‘International Law and the European Court of Human Rights’, in Dialogue Between Judges (2008), 23 at 27, available at: http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/D6DA05DA-8B1D-41C6-BC38--36CA6F864E6A/0/DIALOGUE_2008_EN.pdf (accessed 12 August 2015).

8 Matcher F., ‘Quarante Ans d’ Activités de la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’ Homme’, (1997) 270 RCADI 273, at 273–4; Mowbray A., ‘The Creativity of the European Court of Human Rights’, (2005) 5 Human Rights Law Review 57, at 61.

9 Demir and Baykara v. Turkey, Judgment, 12 November 2008 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 60–86.

10 Ibid., at para. 86. See Ziemele I., ‘Customary International Law in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights – The Method’, (2013) 12 The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals 243, at 246. See contra M. Forowicz, The Reception of International Law in the European Court of Human Rights (2010), 383.

11 Cohen and Flauss use the term synergy in Cohen-Jonathan G. and Flauss J.-F., ‘Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme et Droit International Général (2008)’, (2008) LIV AFDI 529, at 530.

12 Opuz v. Turkey, Judgment, 9 June 2009, at paras. 184–91; Sergey Zolotukhin v. Russia, Judgment, 10 February 2009 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 79–84; Tănase v. Moldova, Judgment, 27 April 2010 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 172–80; Scoppola v. Italy (No. 2), Judgment, 17 September 2009 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 104–5, 109; Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at paras. 96–110; Oršuš and others v. Croatia, Judgment, 16 March 2010 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 147–8; Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia, Judgment, 7 January 2010, at paras. 275–7; M. and others v. Italy and Bulgaria, Judgment, 31 July 2012, at paras. 146–8.

13 Öneryildiz v. Turkey, Judgment, 30 November 2004 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 61, 69, 73, 92; Opuz case, supra note 12, at paras. 145, 151–3; MC v. Bulgaria, Judgment, 4 December 2003, at paras. 102–7, 154–5, 163, 166; Taşkin and others v. Turkey, Judgment, 10 November 2004, at paras. 98–100 and Tătar v. Romania, Judgment, 27 January 2009, at paras. 88, 101, 118; Siliadin v. France, Judgment, 26 July 2005, at paras. 49, 89, 112 and Rantsev case, supra note 12, at paras. 280, 285, 286, 289, 290–3, and 296; Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland, Judgment, 6 July 2010 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 131–2 and Carlson v. Switzerland, Judgment, 6 November 2008, at para. 76.

14 1999 European Social Charter (revised), CETS No 163.

15 1950 International Labour Convention (No. 87) concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, 68 UNTS 17.

16 1951 International Labour Convention (No. 98) concerning the Application of the Principles of the Right to Organize and to Bargain Collectively, 96 UNTS 257.

17 National Union of Belgian Police v. Belgium, Judgment, 27 October 1975 (Plenary), at para. 38; Swedish Engine Drivers’ Union v. Sweden, Judgment, 6 February 1976, at para. 39.

18 E. Bates, The Evolution of the European Convention on Human Rights (2010), 303.

19 Demir and Baykara v. Turkey, Judgment, 21 November 2006, at paras. 35–36; Wilson, National Union of Journalists and others v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 2 July 2002, at paras. 32, 37, 48.

20 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 64.

21 For example, Zolotukhin case, supra note 12, at paras. 36–38, 40, 70–77, 80; Scoppola case, supra note 12, at paras. 104–6; Neulinger and Shuruk case, supra note 13, at paras. 132–3, 138, 141; Bayatyan v. Armenia, Judgment, 7 July 2011 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 102–8; Vinter and others v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 9 July 2013 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 118–20; Opuz case, supra note 12; DH and others v. Czech Republic, Judgment, 13 November 2007 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 185–95; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 8 April 2014, at paras. 77, 92.

22 Rietiker D., ‘The Principle of “Effectiveness” in the Recent Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: Its Different Dimensions and its Consistency with Public International Law – No Need for the Concept of Sui Generis’, (2010) 79 Nordic JIL 245, at 271–5; V. P. Tzevelekos, ‘The Use of Article 31(3)(c) of the VCLT in the Case Law of the ECtHR: An Effective Anti-Fragmentation Tool or a Selective Loophole for the Reinforcement of Human Rights Teleology?’, (2010) Michigan JIL 621; see contra Forowicz, supra note 10, at 385; Helfer L. R., ‘Consensus, Coherence and the European Convention on Human Rights’, (1993) 26 Cornell Intl LJ 133, at 161.

23 Simma B. and Kill T., ‘Harmonising Investment Protection and International Human Rights: First Steps towards A Methodology’, in Binder C. et al. (eds.), International Investment Law for the 21st Century (2009), 678 at 689.

24 Ovey C. and White R. (eds.), Jacobs and White, The European Convention of Human Rights (2010), 168; K. Dzehtsiarou, ‘Does Consensus Matter? Legitimacy of European Consensus in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights’, (2011) Public Law 534, at 548; J. Christoffersen, Fair Balance: Proportionality, Subsidiarity and Primarity in the European Convention of Human Rights (2009), 59.

25 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 76; Tănase case, supra note 12, at para. 176.

26 See Marckx v. Belgium, Judgment, 13 June 1979 (Plenary), at para. 41; Vo v. France, Judgment, 8 July 2004 (Grand Chamber), at para. 84; Evans v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 10 April 2007 (Grand Chamber), at para. 59; V. v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 16 December 1999 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 64, 73–77; Mangouras v. Spain, Judgment, 28 September 2010 (Grand Chamber), at para. 59; Bayatyan case, supra note 21, at paras. 101, 102; Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at paras. 78, 85, and 86.

27 Wildhaber L., Hjartarson A., and Donnelly S., ‘No Consensus on Consensus? The Practice of the European Court of Human Rights’, (2013) 33 HRLJ 248, at 251; Forowicz, supra note 10, at 8.

28 Opuz case, supra note 12; Christine Goodwin v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 11 July 2002 (Grand Chamber), at para. 85; Joint Dissenting Opinion of Judges Wildhaber, Sir Nicolas Bratza, Bonello, Louciades, Cabral Barreto, Tulkens, and Pellonpää in Odièvre v. France, Judgment, 13 February 2003 (Grand Chamber), at para. 15.

29 M.C. case, supra note 13, at paras. 154–66; Siliadin case, supra note 13, at paras. 88–89.

30 Opuz case, supra note 12; MC case, supra note 13; Siliadin case, supra note 13.

31 Taşkin case, supra note 13; Öneryildiz case, supra note 13; Tătar case, supra note 13.

32 Rantsev case, supra note 12.

33 Marckx case, supra note 26, at para. 41; J. G. Merrills, The Development of International Law by the European Court of Human Rights (1993), at 79, 225–6.

34 Öneryildiz case, supra note 13, at para. 61; Cudak v. Lithuania, Judgment, 23 March 2010 (Grand Chamber), at para 66.

35 1998 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, CETS No. 157.

36 Chapman v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 18 January 2001 (Grand Chamber), at para. 94; DH case, supra note 21, at paras. 181, 200; Oršuš case, supra note 12, at paras. 159, 164, 166, and 174. Similarly, X and others v. Austria, Judgment, 19 February 2013 (Grand Chamber), at para. 150 and Joint Partly Dissenting Opinion of Judges Casadevalli, Ziemele, Kovler, Jočienė, Śikuta, De Gaetano, and Sicilianos, at paras. 16–22.

37 See contra Helfer, supra note 22, at 161.

38 1978 Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, OAS Treaty Series No. 36. See, for example, Opuz case, supra note 12, at paras. 83–86; Scoppola case, supra note 12, at para. 43. See also, in detail, ‘Research Report: References to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights’ (Council of Europe/European Court of Human Rights, 2012), available at http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Research_report_inter_american_court_ENG.pdf (accessed 12 August 2015).

39 Bevacqua and S v. Bulgaria, Judgment, 12 June 2008, at paras. 49–53; Opuz case, supra note 12, at para. 184.

40 Zolotukhin case, supra note 12, at paras. 32, 79; Scoppola case, supra note 12, at para. 40; Rantsev case, supra note 12, at paras. 144–5.

41 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 999 UNTS 17 (ICCPR). Bayatyan case, supra note 21, at paras. 59–64, 102, 105; Scoppola case, supra note 12, at paras. 41–42.

42 Wildhaber, Hjartarson, and Donnelly, supra note 27, at 251; G. Cohen-Jonathan and J.-F. Flauss, ‘La Cour Européenne des Droits de l’ Homme et Droit International’, (2009) LV AFDI 765.

43 ‘The Role of Consensus in the System of the European Convention on Human Rights’, Discussion Paper Prepared by the Organizing Committee, Composed of Anatoly Kovler, Vladimiro Zagrebelsky, Lech Garlicki, Dean Spielmann, Renate Jaeger, and Roderick Liddell, in Dialogue Between Judges, supra note 7, at 3.

44 Scoppola case, supra note 12, at para. 104; Muñoz Díaz v. Spain, Judgment, 8 December 2009, at para. 60; Cohen-Jonathan and Flauss, supra note 42, at 766.

45 Christoffersen, supra note 24, at 62; Letsas G., ‘Strasbourg's Interpretive Ethic: Lessons for an International Lawyer’, (2010) 21 EJIL 509, at 529–30.

46 Nolte G., ‘Subsequent Practice as a Means of Interpretation in the Jurisprudence of the WTO Appellate Body’, in Cannizzaro E. (ed.), The Law of Treaties Beyond the Vienna Convention (2011), 138 at 143; Forowicz, supra note 10, at 367, 379.

47 Tzevelekos, supra note 22, at 648, 659–60.

48 Rozakis C. L., ‘The European Judge as Comparatist’, in Markesinis Sir B. and Fedtke J. (eds.), Judicial Resource to Foreign Law. A New Source of Inspiration (2006), 338 at 343–7; Mowbray A., ‘An Examination of the European Court of Human Rights’ Approach to Overruling its Previous Case Law’, (2009) 9 HRLR 179, at 193–4, 197.

49 Scoppola case, supra note 12, at paras. 104–6.

50 D.H. case, supra note 21, at para. 188.

51 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 65.

52 Rantsev case, supra note 12, at paras. 274–5, and 277.

53 Mowbray, supra note 8, at 68.

54 Stummer v. Austria, Judgment, 7 July 2011 (Grand Chamber), at para. 132; Vo case, supra note 26, at para. 84; Evans case, supra note 26, at para. 54; Chapman case, supra note 36, at para. 94.

55 Warbrick C., ‘“Federal” Aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights’, (1989) 10 Michigan JIL 698, at 716; Mowbray, supra note 48; Rietiker, supra note 22, at 266–7.

56 Merrills, supra note 33, Chs. 5 and 9; D. J. Harris et al., Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (2009), 14–15. See Rietiker, supra note 22, at 267 et seq.; Ovey and White, supra note 24, at 73 et seq., 168; Forowicz, supra note 10, at 12–13.

57 Art. 31(3)(c) VCLT reads: ‘there shall be taken into account, together with the context . . . any relevant rules of international law applicable in the relations between the parties’. 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1155 UNTS 331 (VCLT).

58 Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 21 November 2001 (Grand Chamber), at para. 55.

59 Fogarty v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 21 November 2001 (Grand Chamber), at para. 35; McElhinney v. Ireland, Judgment, 21 November 2001 (Grand Chamber), at para. 36; Cudak case, supra note 34, at paras. 56–57; Sabeh El Leil v. France, Judgment, 29 June 2011 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 48–50.

60 For example, Kirovi v. Bulgaria and Turkey, Admissibility Decision, 2 October 2006, at 14–16; Manoilescu and Dobrescu v. Romania and Russia, Admissibility Decision, 3 March 2005, at paras. 70, 80; Treska v. Albania and Italy, Admissibility Decision, 29 June 2006, at 15–16.

61 For example, Jersild v. Denmark, Judgment, 23 September 1994 (Grand Chamber), at para. 30; Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein v. Germany, Judgment, 12 July 2001 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 46–48, 50, 59, and 68; Mangouras case, supra note 26, at para. 60. See also Slivenko v. Latvia, Judgment, 9 October 2003 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 69, 114, 120 and see the Joint Dissenting Opinion of Judges Wildhaber, Ress, Sir Nicolas Bratza, Cabral Barreto, Greve and Maruste and the Separate Dissenting Opinion of Judge Maruste, at para. 7.

62 Al-Adsani case, supra note 58, at para. 55. See also Bosphorus Hava Yollari Turizm Ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi v. Ireland, Judgment, 30 June 2005 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 150–8; Saadi v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 29 January 2008 (Grand Chamber), at para. 62.

63 Merrills, supra note 33, at 29.

64 International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Mox Plant (Ireland v. UK), Provisional Measures, 3 December 2001, (2002) 41 ILM 405, at paras. 50–51; Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal, Access to Information Under Article 9 of the OSPAR Convention (Ireland v. UK), Final Award, 2 July 2003, 42 ILM 1118, at para. 142.

65 Broude and Shany use the term ‘equivalent’ to denote norms which are identical or similar in their normative context and have been established through different instruments or are applicable in different substantive areas of law in Broude T. and Shany Y., ‘The International Law and Policy of Multi-Sourced Equivalent Norms’, in Broude T. and Shany Y. (eds.), Multi-Sourced Equivalent Norms in International Law (2011), 1 at 5, 9.

66 1984 Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1465 UNTS 85.

67 Selmouni v. France, Judgment, 28 July 1999 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 96–97; Salman v. Turkey, Judgment, 27 June 2000 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 114–15; Ilhan v. Turkey, Judgment, 27 June 2000 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 85–87; Gäfgen case (GC) paras. 90 and 105. See M. Nowak and E. McArthur, The United National Convention against Torture: A Commentary (2008), 557–8; Evans M. D., ‘Getting to Grips with Torture’, (2002) 51 ICLQ 365, at 375–8, 377. See Concurring Opinion of Judge Zupančič in Jalloh v. Germany, Judgment, 11 July 2006 (Grand Chamber), at 39. On the contextual differences between CAT and the ECtHR see further Sivakumaran S., ‘Torture in International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law: The Actor and the Ad Hoc Tribunals’, (2005) 18 LJIL 541; see Forowicz, supra note 10, at 229.

68 M.C. case, supra note 13, at paras. 102–7, 163.

69 Van der Mussele v. Belgium, Judgment, 23 November 1983 (Plenary), at para. 37; C.N. and V. v. France, Judgment, 11 October 2012, at paras. 71–79; Siliadin case, supra note 13, at para. 118; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers case, supra note 21, at para. 98. See Cohen-Jonathan G., ‘Rapport Introductif Général’, in Cohen-Jonathan G. and Flauss J.-F. (dir.), Droit International, Droits de l’ Homme et Juridictions Internationales (2004), 11 at 25; Merrills, supra note 33, at 219. See also International Labour Office, ‘ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration – Non-Binding Principles and Guidelines for a Rights-Based Approach to Labour Migration’ (2005); see Forowicz, supra note 10, at 361 who unconditionally argues that the ECHR and the ILO Convention No. 29 ‘strive for the same goals’.

70 Mamatkulov and Askarov v. Turkey, Judgment, 4 February 2005 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 109–13, 123–5; Scoppola case, supra note 12, at paras. 104–6 and Dissenting Opinion of Judge Nicolaou joined by Judges Bratza, Lorenzen, Jočiené, Villiger, and Sajó, at 44–45; Zolotukhin case, supra note 12, at paras. 36–38, 40, 70, 77, and 80; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers case, supra note 21, at paras. 76, 98, 106, and see Concurring Opinion of Judge Wojtyczek.

71 Hafner G., ‘Pros and Cons Ensuing from Fragmentation of International Law’, (2003–2004) 25 Michigan JIL 849, at 850; Rudolf B., ‘Unity and Diversity in the Settlement of International Disputes’, in Zimmermann A. and Hofmann R. (eds.), Unity and Diversity in International Law (2006), 389 at 399.

72 Higgins R., ‘A Babel of Judicial Voices? Ruminations from the Bench’, (2006) 55 ICLQ 791, at 795 (emphases added).

73 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1249 UNTS 13 (CEDAW).

74 For example, Bayatyan case, supra note 21, at paras. 60–64, 105; Opuz case, supra note 12, at paras. 76 and 147.

75 For example, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers case, supra note 21, at paras. 27–33; Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 43.

76 Kamminga, supra note 2, at 8; International Law Association, ‘Final Report on the Impact of Findings of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies’ (Berlin Conference, 2004), at paras. 15–27.

77 Peters B., ‘Aspects of Human Rights Interpretation by the UN Treaty Bodies’, in Keller H. and Ulfstein G. (eds.), United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies – Law and Legitimacy (2012), 29.

78 1983 Convention on the Civil Aspects of the International Child Abduction, 1343 UNTS 89. Neulinger and Shuruk case, supra note 13, at paras. 58–64.

79 1945 Charter of the United Nations, 1 UNTS XVI.

80 Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) Notewithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970) Advisory Opinion, 21 June 1971, [1971] ICJ Rep. 16. Al-Jedda v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 7 July 2011 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 76, 101–2.

81 Al-Skeini and others v. United Kingdom, Judgment, 7 July 2011 (Grand Chamber), at paras. 128–37.

82 Also Broude T., ‘Fragmentation(s) of International Law: On Normative Integration as Authority Allocation’, in Broude T. and Shany Y. (eds.), The Shifting Allocation of Authority in International Law (2008), 99, at 112; Samson M., ‘High Hopes, Scant Resources: A Word of Scepticism about the Anti-Fragmentation Function of Article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties’, (2011) 24 LJIL 701, at 708–9.

83 2008 European Convention on the Adoption of Children (Revised), CETS No. 202.

84 Joint Partly Dissenting Opinion of Judges Casadevalli, Ziemele, Kovler, Jočienė, Śikuta, De Gaetano, and Sicilianos in the X and others case, supra note 36, at para. 19.

85 ILC Final Rep, supra note 1, at paras. 410–80.

86 ‘If this “other rule” sheds light on the meaning of the WTO term, it is “relevant”’, in J. Pauwelyn, Conflict of Norms in Public International Law (2003), 263–4.

87 1927 Convention to Supress the Slave Trade and Slavery, 60 LNTS 254.

88 Siliadin case, supra note 13, at paras. 50, and 91–92.

89 2003 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2001) 40 ILM 335.

90 2008 Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking, CETS No. 197.

91 Rantsev case, supra note 12, at paras. 241, 280, 285–6, 289, 290–3, and 296.

92 Tzevelekos, supra note 22, at 676.

93 For example, see Neulinger and Shuruk case, supra note 13, at paras. 49–56, 132–3, 135–6, 138–41 with Maumousseau and Washington v. France, Judgment, 6 December 2007, at paras. 71 and 73. See also C.N. and V. case, supra note 69, at para. 88.

94 French D., ‘Treaty Interpretation and the Incorporation of Extraneous Legal Rules’, (2006) 55 ICLQ 281, at 304; Simma and Kill, supra note 23, at 695.

95 R. Gardiner, Treaty Interpretation (2010), 266.

96 Separate Opinion of Judge Higgins in the Case concerning Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America), Merits, Judgment, 6 November 2003, [2003] ICJ Rep. 161, at paras. 45–46; Berman F., ‘Treaty “Interpretation” in a Judicial Context’, (2004) 29 Yale JIL 315, at 316–17.

97 Separate Opinion of Judge Higgins, supra note 96, at para. 46.

98 See Klabbers J., ‘Reluctant Grundnormen: Articles 31(3)(c) and 42 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Teaties and the Fragmentation of International Law’, in Craven M. et al. (eds.), Time, History and International Law (2007), 141, at 160.

99 Certain Questions of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Djibouti v. France), Merits, Judgment, 4 June 2008, [2008] ICJ Rep. 177, at para. 114.

100 Ibid., at para. 114.

101 Simma and Kill, supra note 23, at 696.

102 See also International Law Commission, ‘First Report on Subsequent Agreements and Subsequent Practice in Relation to Treaty Interpretation’, Report by Georg Nolte, Special Rapporteur, 19 March 2013, UN Doc. A/CN.4/660, at paras. 77 and 114 discussing the same issue regarding Art. 31(3)(a)–(b) VCLT.

103 See contra Forowicz, supra note 10, at 372–3.

104 Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein case, supra note 61, at paras. 46–48, 59, and 68. Ziemele I., ‘Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights and Integrity of International Law’, in Vinaixa R. H. and Wellens K. (dir.), L’ Influence des Sources sur l’ Unité et la Fragmentation du Droit International (2006), 187, at 199 et seq.

105 Rantsev case, supra note 12, at para. 241.

106 Mutual Assistance case, supra note 99, at para. 114.

107 1997 European Convention on Nationality, ETS No. 166.

108 Tănase case, supra note 12, at paras. 36–39, 124, 135–8, and 176.

109 Ibid., at para. 176.

110 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 137.

111 National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers case, supra note 21, at paras. 69, 94–98.

112 Ibid., at para. 98. See the Concurring Opinion of Judge Wojtyczek in National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers case, supra note 21, at paras. 6–9.

113 According to Art. 51(1) ECHR ‘reasons shall be given for the judgment of the Court’.

114 Gardiner, supra note 95, at 266–75. ILC Final Rep, supra note 1, at paras. 470–2; Pauwelyn, supra note 86, at 257–63. See U. Linderfalk, ‘Who Are “the Parties”? Article 31, Paragraph 3(c) of the 1969 Vienna Convention and the “Principle of Systemic Integration” Revisited’, (2008) LV NILR 343. European Communities – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products, WTO Panel Report, WT/DS291R, WT/DS292R/WT/DS293, 29 September 2006, at paras. 7.68–7.75 (rejecting the applicability of other treaties if they are not binding on all states).

115 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 69 (emphases added).

116 Ibid., at para. 86 (emphases added). But see also at para. 67.

117 Ibid., at para. 76; Opuz case, supra note 12, at para. 184.

118 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at paras. 74 and 78.

119 For example, Marckx case, supra note 26, at para. 41; 1neryildiz case, supra note 13, at para. 93; Tănase case, supra note 12, at para. 176.

120 Al-Adsani case, supra note 58, at para. 26.

121 Siliadin case, supra note 13, at para. 49; Taşkin case, supra note 13, at paras. 98–100.

122 Opuz case, supra note 12, at para. 79.

123 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at paras. 74 and 78.

124 Ziemele, supra note 10.

125 United States Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, Report of the Appellate Body, WT/DS58/AB/R, 12 October 1998, at para. 130.

126 Dissenting Opinion of Gavan Griffith QC, in Ospar Convention Award, supra note 64, at para. 10; Frowein J. A., ‘The Interrelationship between the Helsinki Final Act and the International Covenants on Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights’, in Buergenthal T. (ed.), Human Rights, International Law and the Helsinki Accord (1977), 71 at 72.

127 For example, Saramaka People v. Suriname, Judgment, 28 November 2007, Series C No. 172, at paras. 93–96, 130–1, 135–6, and 140.

128 Ospar Convention Award, supra note 64, at paras. 99–105; ILC Final Rep, supra note 1, at para. 426(a).

129 Gardiner, supra note 95, at 266–8; Merrills J., ‘International Adjudication and Autonomy’, in Collins R. and White N. D. (eds.), International Organisations and the Idea of Autonomy (2011), 160, at 170.

130 The Court has invoked the provision in Borka Banković and others v. Belgium and others v. Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom, Admissibility Decision, 12 December 2001 (Grand Chamber), at para. 57; Al-Adsani case, supra note 58, at para. 55; McElhinney case, supra note 59, at para. 36; Fogarty case, supra note 59, at para. 35; Cudak case, supra note 34, at para. 56; Bosphorus case, supra note 62, at paras. 100 and 150; Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 67; Neulinger and Shuruk case, supra note 13, at para. 131. Some of the cases concerning the Hague Convention on international child abduction refered to in Chs. 8 and 9 invoke Art. 31(3)(c) VCLT, but the Grand Chamber's reasoning in Neulinger and Shuruk case, supra note 13 fairly represents them.

131 See, e.g., ILC Final Rep., supra note 1, at paras. 410–80; Tzevelekos, supra note 22; French, supra note 94.

132 Tzevelekos, supra note 22, at 651; Forowicz, supra note 10, at 356. See also Arato J., ‘Constitutional Transformation in the ECtHR: Strasbourg's Expansive Recourse to External Rules of International Law’, (2012) 37 Brook.J.Intl.L. 349, at 353.

133 I. van Damme, Treaty Interpretation by the WTO Appellate Body (2009), 365, 375–6; Gardiner, supra note 95, at 265–6.

134 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 67. It is not entirely clear whether general principles of law fall within the applicability of the provision. See Gardiner, supra note 95, at 260–1; see Tzevelekos, supra note 22, at 682.

135 Demir and Baykara case, supra note 9, at para. 67; Bosphorus case, supra note 62, at para. 150.

136 ILC Final Rep, supra note 1, at paras. 438 and 468; Schwarzenberger G., ‘Myths and Realities of Treaty Interpretation’, (1968–1969) 9 Virginia JIL 1, at 14; C. de Visscheur, Problèmes d’ Interprétation Judiciaire en Droit International Public (1963), 92–94; Bernhardt R., ‘Interpretation in International Law’, in Bernhardt R. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Instalment 7 (1984), 318 at 323.

137 Forowicz, supra note 10, at 356.

138 Klabbers J., ‘Virtuous Interpretation’, in Fitzmaurice M. et al. (eds.), Treaty Interpretation and the Vienna Convention: 30 Years On (2010), 17, at 33.

139 Dupuy P.-M., ‘The Danger of Fragmentation or Unification of the International Legal System and the International Court of Justice’ (1999) 31 NYU J Intl L & Pol 791, at 792, 796; ILC Final Rep., supra note 1, at para. 17; ILC ‘First Report on Subsequent Agreements and Subsequent Practice in Relation to Treaty Interpretation’, supra note 102, at para. 6.

140 Gardiner, supra note 95, at 266–75.

141 High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights, Interlaken Declaration, 19 February 2010, point 8(a) http://www.eda.admin.ch/etc/medialib/downloads/edazen/topics/europa/euroc.Par.0133.File.tmp/final_en.pdf (accessed 12 August 2015); Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers on the Selection of Candidates for the Post of Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, CM (2012) 40 Addendum Final, 29 March 2012, at paras. 27–28.

* Assistant Professor of International Law, College of Law, Qatar University; Founder and Secretary of the Qatari Branch of the International Law Association; PhD (Nottingham) []. I would like to thank Sandesh Sivakumaran and Alastair Mowbray for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this article. Thanks are also due to Eva Kassoti and the anonymous reviewers for their feedback. Responsibility for errors or omissions rests with me.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
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