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Diplomatic asylum—a state offering refuge in its diplomatic premises in a foreign state to an individual requiring protection from that foreign state, as happened with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London—is a practice long associated with Latin American States. Although not usually thought of in this way, it can and should be viewed as an invocation of the notion that states should protect human rights extraterritorially. The nature and extent of extraterritorial human rights obligations is subject to considerable disagreement and dispute on the part of states, including, notably, in Europe. At the same time, it is often the European region that is commonly understood to have led developments in the international jurisprudence on extraterritoriality, via the case law under the European Convention on Human Rights mostly from the 1990s onwards. The present chapter challenges this narrative. It suggests that it is the Latin American region, through its much earlier normative commitment to diplomatic asylum, that can be regarded as having made the foundational international normative contribution to the concept of extraterritorial human rights obligations. Thisset a precedent that would only be recognized much later in international human rights law, including European human rights law.
by Ralph Wilde, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.