Human rights law and national sovereignty in collusion: the plight of quasi-nationals at Strasbourg

Dembour, Marie-Benedicte (2003) Human rights law and national sovereignty in collusion: the plight of quasi-nationals at Strasbourg. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 21 (1). pp. 63-98. ISSN 0169-3441

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This article offers a review of the cases where the European Court of Human Rights has been called upon to decide whether or not the expulsion of a 'quasi-national' following criminal conviction violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court has adopted various findings since its first ruling in 1991. The first part of this article argues that neither the facts of the cases, nor the composition of the relevant judicial panels, nor an evolution in the overall political climate explain in themselves the inconsistency in the case law, qualified as arbitrariness by one of the judges. The second part of the article moves beyond a close socio-legal analysis to discuss the significance of the common rule (once inadmissibility decisions are taken into consideration), according to which quasi-nationals are deportable. Nationality law, at the core of the case law, is revealed as a fiction that creates privilege at the same time as it obscures the discriminatory basis of this privilege under the guise of operating a neutral categorisation of human beings. The article notes in conclusion the continuing grip of the nation State in the global age and deplores the legitimation, at the highest judicial level, of exclusion on the basis of unquestioned national privilege.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Marie-Benedicte Dembour
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:22
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 09:22
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