Butler publishes new article in Nordic Journal of International Law – University of Copenhagen

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19 July 2016

Butler publishes new article in Nordic Journal of International Law

Graham Butler, PhD Fellow at the Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies, Faculty of Law has published a new article in the Nordic Journal of International Law.

The article, ‘Operation Sophia in Uncharted Waters: European and International Law Challenges for the EU Naval Mission in the Mediterranean Sea’, is co-authored with Martin Ratcovich from the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University, and appears in Volume 85, Issue 3, pp. 235-259.

The article addresses the main legal challenges facing the European Union (EU) Naval Force, EUNAVFOR Med (‘Operation Sophia’), established in 2015, to disrupt human smuggling and trafficking activities in the Mediterranean Sea. It examines a num­ber of legal issues that have given rise to scepticism on the viability of this type of operation, ranging from challenges under European Union law regarding mandate and oversight, to complex questions of compliance with international law. Forcible measures may be at variance with the international law of the sea, binding on the EU and its Member States alike. Even if such strictures can be avoided by a broad United Nations mandate and/or the consent of the neighbouring government(s), international refugee law and international human rights law provide limitations on measures that Operation Sophia will be tasked with. A number of avenues are ex­plored in the article to ensure the Operation’s compliance with these different legal regimes.

You can read more, and access the article published in the Nordic Journal of International Law by Brill here.

For more on Graham Butler’s research, see his profile at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen here.