Sargsyan v Azerbaijan: Hot issues in frozen conflicts

This post was written by Stuart Wallace, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nottingham. His research addresses the application of the ECHR to domestic and extra-territorial military operations. You can follow him on Twitter @echrhawk.

The ECtHR recently held its Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Sargsyan v Azerbaijan. The webcast of the hearing is available here and worth watching (if for no other reason than the farcical map parade during the Azerbaijani government’s submissions). The applicant in the case (now deceased and succeeded by family members) was a former resident of the village of Gulistan in the disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh. The region was predominantly inhabited by ethnic Armenians, but part of Azerbaijani territory. In the late 80s, the region’s inhabitants sought to secede from Azerbaijan and to make the region part of Armenian territory. The ensuing dispute escalated over time, especially following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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