Early Career Fellow in International Law

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  • Tel: +44 (0)131 651 1654
  • Email: Lea.Raible@ed.ac.uk
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Lea joined the Law School as an Early Career Fellow in August 2017. She holds law degrees from the University of Zurich (BLaw, MLaw) and the University of Hong Kong (LLM). Before coming to Edinburgh, she taught at UCL, where she also completed her PhD, and the University of Zurich. She teaches on a number of international law and human rights courses.

Current Research Interests

Lea recently completed her PhD on the extraterritorial application of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Currently, she is working on ideas of universality and the normative force of human rights. Further, she is interested in the concept of title to territory in international law and how it relates to different functions of jurisdiction.

Research Interests

Lea's general research interests are international law and human rights. Past research has addressed aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights, including extraterritoriality, standing, legal reasoning in human rights adjudication, and tensions between the Convention and direct democracy. Lea has also explored international refugee law and its linkages with human rights and European asylum law. Her research combines doctrinal legal analysis with legal and political philosophy.

Courses Taught

International Law and Global Affairs (Honours)

International Law Ordinary (semester 1) (Ordinary)


Lea Raible, 'Title to territory and jurisdiction in International Human Rights Law: Three models for a fraught relationship', (2018), Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol 31, pp 315-334
Abstract: 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 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 paper 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.

Lea Raible, 'Human Rights Watch v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Victim status, extraterritoriality and the search for principled reasoning', (2017), Modern Law Review, Vol 80, pp 510-524
Abstract: In Human Rights Watch v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal found that the relevant standard of ‘victim status’ that applies in secret surveillance cases consists in a potential risk of being subjected to surveillance and that the European Convention on Human Rights does not apply to the surveillance of individuals who reside outside of the UK. This note argues that the Tribunal's finding regarding the victim status of the applicants was sound but that the underlying reasoning was not. It concludes that the Tribunal's finding on extraterritoriality is unsatisfactory and that its engagement with the European Court of Human Rights case law on the matter lacked depth. Finally, the note considers the defects of the Human Rights Watch case, and the case law on extraterritoriality more generally, against the backdrop of the place of principled reasoning in human rights adjudication.

Lea Raible, 'The extraterritoriality of the ECHR: Why Jaloud and Pisari should be read as game changers', (2016), European Human Rights Law Review
Abstract: This article argues that Jaloud v Netherlands and Pisari v Moldova and Russia should be interpreted as changing the approach to the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights. It advances three key arguments. First, it suggests a reading of these cases pointing to the fact that the European Court of Human Rights is no longer relying on the separation of the different models of extraterritorial jurisdiction. Secondly, it advances a model of jurisdiction based on power understood as a potential for control and the application of rules to the concerned individuals. Thirdly, it argues that this model is preferable to the previous ones because it explains hard cases just as well or better and, in addition, captures a distinct understanding of the function of human rights recognized in the Convention.


Lea Raible, 'Europäisierung des schweizerischen Asylrechts Chancen und Gefahren für Individualrechtsschutz und Rechtssicherheit' in Lukas Fahrlaender, Reto Heizmann (ed.) Europäisierung der schweizerischen Rechtsordnung (Dike 2013)

Daniel Moeckli, Lea Raible, 'Die Direkte Demokratie in der Rechtsprechung des EGMR ' in Andrea Good, Bettina Platipodis (ed.) Direkte Demokratie - Herausforderungen zwischen Politik und Recht (Staempfli 2013) 469-481

Working Papers

Lea Raible, Leah Trueblood, 'The Swiss system of referendums and the impossibility of direct democracy ' 2017

Lea Raible, 'A silent revolution? The extraterritoriality of the ECHR in Jaloud v Netherlands ' 2015