Rights Watch (UK) has brought and intervened in a number of seminal cases before UK Courts and the European Court of Human Rights concerning the UK Government’s counter-terrorism measures, the extraterritorial application of human rights obligations and the temporal scope of human rights protections.

Of particular note are our interventions in the case of McCann v UK (Application No. 18984/91) before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, a case which was seminal in shaping right to life protections; the case of Keyu and Others v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs before UK Supreme Court which concerned the temporal scope of human rights protections under the European Convention on Human Rights and Human Rights Act 1998; the case of Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi v the United Kingdom ECHR (no. 61498/08) before the European Court of Human Rights which concerned the extraterritorial application of human rights protections to prisoners transferred from British custody in Iraq; the case of Al-Skeini and Others v the Secretary of State for Defence before the House of Lords which also concerned the applicability of human rights protections to British conduct in Iraq; A & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Office before the House of Lords which concerned the indefinite detention of foreign nationals who were suspected of terrorism (but not convicted or even charged) in circumstances where they could not be deported; and the case of Campaign Against the Arms Trade v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills concerning the export from the United Kingdom of arms and military equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Also of note is the case of Liberty and British Irish Rights Watch v UK (Application No. 1894/91), a case before the European Court of Human Rights, in which Rights Watch (UK), then British Irish Rights Watch, were a co-claimant, and which concerned the lawfulness of the interception of civil society organisations’ communications.