Public international law

Public international law is the system of laws governing relations between states and other subjects of international law. Unlike national law, there is no central legislative organ. Sources of public international law include general principles of law, treaties, and customary law.


ECtHR Grand Chamber to Hear Kunduz Airstrike Case


On 4 September 2009, two US fighter jets, acting on the orders of German Army Colonel Georg Klein, bombed a large group of people and two tanker trucks on a sandbar in the Kunduz River in Afghanistan. More than 100 people were killed or injured. ECCHR is assisting Abdul Hanan, a father who lost his two sons, aged eight and twelve, in the attack.


Alleged crimes against humanity in Bahrain: Serious investigations must be initiated

Arab Spring

ECCHR sent an advisory opinion to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. The statement seeks to draw the commission's attention to the cases of two persons who suffered severe injuries when they were shot at by Bahraini security forces before being forcibly removed from hospital, imprisoned, and abused.


The case of Bünyamin E. in Pakistan


ECCHR advises in the case of the German victim of a drone strike in Pakistan: Bünyamin E. According to ECCHR's examinations, the case raises a number of serious doubts as to the application and interpretation of the law and shows insufficient investigations.


European responsibility for war crimes in Yemen

War crimes

In October 2016, an airstrike – alleged to have been carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition – struck a civilian home in the village of Deir Al-Hajari in northwest Yemen. The intentional directing of attacks against the civilian population amounts to war crimes. ECCHR is taking legal action against this.


Amicus curiae brief on command responsibility in Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace

Peace Process

ECCHR criticizes the passing of a new law in context of peace negotiations with Colombian FARC. The law contains gaps, including those regarding military commanders' effective control over their subordinate units.


The Padilla case and crimes against humanity

Armed Conflict

General Padilla was General Commander of the Colombian Military Forces when the practice of 'falsos positivos' escalated. He is presumably responsible for international crimes committed by his subordinates, he neither prevented nor punished the wrongdoers.


Kiobel Case: ECCHR supports victims of corporate abuse before US Supreme Court


ECCHR supports claimants in a case of corporate crime in front of the US Supreme Court. The proceedings are a continuation of the high-profile case taken against Shell. The claimants argue that Shell, through its Nigerian subsidiary, aided and abetted crimes, including torture and extra-judicial executions.


Europe's Treacherous Borders: Seeking Justice for Ceuta Victims


At least 15 dead and many more injured: this is the outcome of a Guardia Civil operation on 6 February 2014 on the beach of El Tarajal, located at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The deadly push-back has still not been investigated properly. ECCHR is working with survivors who are willing to give witness evidence.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – War crimes and gender-based sexual violence

Armed Conflict

Ever since the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, issues of the criminal accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the ongoing sexualized violence against women have been part of ECCHR's work.


Torture in Guantánamo: Spain closes investigations into "Bush Six"


In March 2009, ECCHR partner lawyer Gonzalo Boye filed a criminal complaint against six former US officials of the Bush administration regarding their accountability for violations of international law, including war crimes and torture. The US officials became known as the "Bush Six."