Abstract

This review article compares Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen's analysis in Access to Asylum, with the outcomes of three recent landmark decisions of the European Court of Human Rights: Hirsi Jamaa, Al Skeini and Al Jedda. The central question of Gammeltoft-Hansen’s book is whether new practices of states in the field of immigration control—in particular extraterritorialization efforts such as push-back operations on the high seas or migration control in foreign territorial jurisdictions—have induced a progressive reaction in the relevant human rights courts. By examining its case law, this article demonstrates that the ECtHR is willing to use its interpretative tools to extend the human rights obligations beyond state territory if the involved state wishes to go that far. The ECtHR makes clear that it will counterbalance the circumvention of human rights and refugee rights obligations by providing a new interpretation to the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction, which involves in particular a shift to a more functional reading of the effective control test.

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