Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction

Leave a comment

The ECtHR on Nagorno-Karabakh: Current Approaches and Future Prospects

Gayathree Devi KT

In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has seen an influx in claims concerning human rights violations in contested territories. Nagorno-Karabakh is one such interesting territory, because it involves competing territorial claims not only from States – Azerbaijan (the internationally recognized territorial State) and Armenia (the occupying force) – but also from a non-State actor, the Republic of Artsakh. Although Artsakh lacks international recognition, it has been exercising de facto control over Nagorno-Karabakh to the exclusion of Azerbaijan since at least 1991. Its role in the human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh matters, because several human rights violations in the region are being committed by this de facto regime (DFR), whether with or without Armenia’s support. Against this backdrop, this blogpost analyses how the ECtHR has been establishing jurisdiction and responsibility for claims arising out of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict so far. It also considers the implications of the court’s 2021 decision in Georgia v Russia (II) for claims arising out of the recent resumption of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

The Potential of Common Article 1 to the Geneva Conventions in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict (and Beyond)

Kilian Roithmaier


Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan have remained in dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region that is internationally considered to be part of Azerbaijan and occupied by Armenia. The conflict has triggered occasional fighting in the past, but the most recent and intense round of hostilities erupted after Azerbaijan commenced a military offensive on 27 September 2020. On 9 November 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan concluded a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia. Whether the truce, despite reported violations, will hold and resolve the decades-old dispute, remains yet to be seen.

Continue reading


Genocide Risk in Nagorno-Karabakh

Dr Melanie O’Brien and Dr Suren Manukyan

Atrocity Risk Factors

Multiple risk factors lead to the commission of atrocity crimes, including genocide. Many of these risk factors can be observed in the Nagorno-Karabakh situation with regards to the Armenian population of that entity. This post will draw on several crucial sources of genocide risk factors: the United Nations Framework Analysis for Atrocity Crimes, and the work of several genocide scholars such as Barbara Harff. While the UN Framework lists 14 risk factors of atrocity crimes, scholars over the years have presented anywhere from four to seven risk factors for genocide.

Continue reading