Thursday, September 15, 2022
New Article: The Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations: A New Means of Addressing Discrimination Against Foreign and Dual Nationals?
Leigh T. Toomey, The Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations: A New Means of Addressing Discrimination Against Foreign and Dual Nationals?, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol 35, Spring 2022. Excerpt from introduction included below.
“In February 2021, Canada launched the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations (“Declaration”) in order to enhance international cooperation in deterring the detention of foreign and dual nationals for the purpose of diplomatic coercion, and to address this form of detention whenever and wherever it occurs. The Declaration is the first of its kind in seeking to address the specific challenge of the arbitrary detention of foreign and dual nationals and their use as “bargaining chips in international relations.”
This Commentary considers the new Declaration, arguing that it is a promising initial response to the urgent need for the international community to denounce the detention of individuals because of their status as foreign or dual nationals. To highlight the prevalence of the arbitrary detention of foreign and dual nationals and the urgency of addressing it, this Commentary reviews recent opinions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (“Working Group”). In all of the opinions reviewed, the Working Group found that foreign and dual nationals had been arbitrarily detained due to discrimination based on their nationality, or because they were not afforded their right to consular assistance. The Working Group has welcomed the Declaration, noting that “[i]ts aims and purposes relate closely to the concerns expressed by the Working Group in the past” and that it stands ready, within the remit of its mandate, to support this initiative and to engage with States that have endorsed it. This Commentary takes a similar approach in welcoming the Declaration, while being mindful that States must take action to implement its principles.”