Merabishvili, Mammadov and Targeted Criminal Proceedings: Recent Developments under Article 18 ECHR

By Corina Heri, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam

On 28 November, the Grand Chamber issued a judgment in Merabishvili v. Georgia. Twelve days earlier, the Fifth Section issued its judgment in Ilgar Mammadov (No. 2) v. Azerbaijan. Both judgments concern, among other provisions of the ECHR, its often-overlooked Article 18, which prohibits States from restricting Convention rights for illegitimate purposes. The Court has increasingly displayed an awareness of the need to clarify and amend its Article 18 case-law, as shown by the wealth of separate opinions written on the matter,[1] and it took Merabishvili as an opportunity to do so. This post looks at the Article 18 issues raised in the two judgments, and fits these into the steady and necessary, although incomplete, evolution of the Article 18 case-law. Continue reading