Extraterritorial Military Action and Human Rights: Accountability and its Challenges

Forthcoming in Research Handbook on the Accountability for Human Rights Violations: What, Who, What For, How, To What Extent edited by Michelle Duin & Kristin Henrard (eds), 2024, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2023-19

30 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2023 Last revised: 25 Oct 2023

Date Written: October 8, 2023

Abstract

Military action brings human rights law and the existing accountability mechanisms to their limits, all the more so when taking place abroad. The chapter identifies and outlines the most pertinent legal, practical and institutional hurdles that impair or altogether block accountability for human rights violations in this context. Using examples such as the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the chapter focuses on international legal accountability mechanisms. This chiefly means the various international human rights mechanisms and courts, but also includes other avenues such as the International Court of Justice and international criminal courts. The chapter concludes that the various hurdles and limitations should neither blur the important role that these institutions can play, nor discourage efforts to strengthen accountability mechanisms. Crucially, such efforts need to address the inequalities and double standards that plague the history – and present – of accountability in the context of extraterritorial military action.

Keywords: accountability, human rights, extraterritorial military action

Suggested Citation

Beinlich, Leander, Extraterritorial Military Action and Human Rights: Accountability and its Challenges (October 8, 2023). Forthcoming in Research Handbook on the Accountability for Human Rights Violations: What, Who, What For, How, To What Extent edited by Michelle Duin & Kristin Henrard (eds), 2024, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2023-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4595863

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