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Spotlighting extraterritorial human rights obligations (ETOs) is an urgent and timely task. This contribution takes a philosophical perspective, starting from the assumptions: (i) That establishing a firmer normative basis of ETOs—a justificatory theory—could improve their standing in practice, too, and (ii) that this requires a systematic analysis of the grounds on which the persistent skepticism towards ETOs rests: These grounds must be discerned and engaged with.
The chapter begins by pointing to two common threads in legal practice: Courts’ struggle for consistency in extraterritorially applying human rights law and the territorial paradigm that continues to underlie this legal field. It then reconstructs the arguments selected theories—associated with moral, political, and legal philosophy and related fields—could provide for skeptic positions on ETOs. Based on a critique of these skeptic arguments, it outlines a normative justification of ETOs and, lastly, indicates how these ethically oriented reflections could be considered at the legal level.
by Angela Müller, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.