The armed conflict(s) that have been ongoing in the territory of Ukraine since 2014 have led to various areas outside the effective control of the Ukrainian government. The lecture will address the question whether international human rights law (IHRL) can be applied and enforced in parts of the Ukrainian State?s territory outside its effective control. It will be shown that despite the ongoing armed conflict and the limited effectiveness of the local authorities? capacity to implement international norms, IHRL does apply and still has various mechanisms of enforcement.
A further, more delicate question is the way in which applicable norms of IHRL can be supervised in areas beyond the effective control of the Ukrainian government. Applications against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights, with a competence of rendering binding judgments, are still open but will not be possible after the 16 September 2022, when the Russian Federation will cease to be a Contracting Party to the Convention (namely 6 months after its expulsion from the Council of Europe). This deficiency, while seriously affecting the effectiveness of human rights, might be in part compensated by other available mechanisms. The discussion provides a comprehensive panorama of State practice regarding various subjects implicated in the territorial situation, applicable legal sources and major implementation mechanisms.