Author Image

Lea is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Glasgow. Previously, she held academic positions at Maastricht University, the University of Edinburgh and University College London.

Her research interests are in the area of human rights and international law, as well as their relationship with political philosophy. She has written on a range of topics, including the extraterritorial application of human rights, secessionist movements and international law, and human rights adjudication and participatory democracy. She is the author of Human Rights Unbound: A Theory of Extraterritoriality (OUP 2020) and has acted as an expert for the Environment and Human Rights Drafting Group at the Council of Europe.

She is currently working on challenges climate change raises for international human rights law.

Below is a list of key publications. For a full list please click on the following link:

UofG Logo University of Glasgow Profile

Publications

Title to territory and jurisdiction in international human rights law: three models for a fraught relationship

Read more about this publication

It is by now uncontroversial that states may owe human rights obligations to individuals outside their territory. The debate about extraterritoriality has, so far, focused on the concept and interpretation of jurisdiction. The role of territory in general, and title in particular, in the conceptual landscape has received less attention in comparison. This article aims to fill this gap by showing that (a) title to territory continues to shape interpretations of jurisdiction, and (b) that this should be avoided. To this end, the article first defines jurisdiction in international human rights law and title to territory. Jurisdiction is best understood as a threshold criterion that triggers human rights obligations of states towards particular individuals. Title to territory, on the other hand, is a set of claims to territory designed to uphold minimal stability. The article then introduces three models – the approximation model, the differentiation model, and the separation model – of the relationship between title to territory and jurisdiction in international human rights law and evaluates them in light of their fit with the relational nature of human rights. The result is that the approximation and differentiation models – that is, those that maintain title's influence on the interpretation of jurisdiction in various degrees – fail the success criterion, while the separation model satisfies it.