Ph.D. student, School of Law,
University of Nottingham
On 13 December 2012, European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) delivered its judgment in El-Masri v The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where the Court found Macedonia responsible for torture, ill-treatment and secret rendition of a German national, and in violation of a number of provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The applicant, Mr El-Masri, was subjected to an extrajudicial transfer of from one jurisdiction to another for detention and interrogation outside the normal legal system, otherwise known as “extraordinary rendition”. It was believed that his initial arrest was a result of mistaken identity: his name resembled that of a suspected member of Al Qaeda. Although the ECtHR case was brought against Macedonia, the judgment is in fact the first international judicial decision rendered on extraordinary rendition practised by the Central Information Agency (CIA) of the United States (US). While the case of Mr El Masri has been brought to the attention of various national, regional, and international mechanisms (see external links below) and is now still pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the current contribution would focus on the considerations and analyses of the ECtHR.