Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

Nuremberg and the Contemporary Commitment to International Criminal Justice

The Nuremberg trial often stands as a nostalgic memory in the minds of international criminal lawyers. Perhaps it is the particular black and white simplicity of the trial, the mostly abject “bad guys” in the dock, the compound character of their evil deeds, and the justness of the Allied cause, tainted in sepia tones with the passage of time. Lawyers’ historicization of that episode tends to be saturated with commitments …

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Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

Nuremberg Trials a Betrayal to History?

Book Review: “The Betrayal” by Kim Priemel

Kim Priemel’s “The Betrayal” is a very thoroughly researched historical but also philosophical and critical narrative of the Nuremberg Trials. Two principal questions guide the reader through the book: Can history be judged, and if so, by what means? And can accountability mechanisms and the applicable law ever be neutral given their historically influenced evolution? Priemel questions the success of Nuremberg, given its selective focus on only certain parts of …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Die Umsetzung der schweizerischen Volksinitiative „gegen Masseneinwanderung“

Ein Vergleich mit dem Brexit

Wie es Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral treffend zusammenfasst, hatten die im Vereinigten Königreich ansässigen Völkerrechtler(innen) nach der Brexit-Abstimmung vom 23. Juni 2016 mindestens zwei Gründe zur Erleichterung: erstens die Tatsache, dass sie als Hauptgebiet nicht Europarecht gewählt hatten; zweitens die Gewissheit, dass ihre Expertise in den nächsten Jahren weiterhin gefragt sein würde. Ähnlich erging es wohl ihren Kolleg(inn)en in der Schweiz am Abend des 9. Februars 2014 nach …

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DiscussionResponse

Transnational environmental crime: a challenging problem but not yet a legal concept

A response to Lorraine Elliott Transnational environmental crime is both a challenging reality and a legal concept in the making. From an international law point of view, this concept is currently being defined by soft law instruments that are transmitting normative expectations about the way States may address it rather than prescribing legal provisions. These instruments are paving the way for the future development of international agreements and play an …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Sovereign Debt Restructuring – In the Machine Room of Legal Engineering

The authors and editors of the special issue on sovereign debt restructuring are highly grateful to the contributors to this symposium on sovereign debt for their thought-provoking contributions. As I have highlighted in my initial post, this special issue is as much about improving the current practice of sovereign debt restructuring as it is about legal engineering – in this case, about instigating incremental progressive development in a crucial policy …

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Current Developments

Collectively Enforcing the Results of Democratic Elections in Africa

Part II: Third Gear – The UN Security Council

This post continues the earlier part I. As the 19 January deadline approached, without Jammeh showing any inclination to resign, the crisis deepened. Troops from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana – subsequently codenamed ECOMIG (ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia) – massed around the borders of The Gambia, obviously ready to remove the country’s long-time leader from office by force if necessary. In keeping with the timetable foreseen in the Gambian constitution, …

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Current Developments

Collectively Enforcing the Results of Democratic Elections in Africa

ECOWAS, the AU, and UN Security Council Resolution 2337 (2017) – Part I

“When […] ECOWAS is united and the African Union is united, then it is possible for the Security Council to decide; it is possible for action to be taken, and it is possible for democracy, human rights, and the freedom of peoples to be defended.” – This was the UN Secretary-General’s upshot from the resolution of the recent electoral crisis in the The Gambia. The crisis had started to unfold …

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Current Developments

Die Schweiz will den Bruch mit der EU nicht riskieren

Zur Umsetzung der „Masseneinwanderungsinitiative“ durch das Schweizer Parlament

In Zeiten des „Brexit“ und zahlreicher anderer Turbulenzen in Europa geht fast vergessen, dass auch für die Schweiz das Verhältnis zur Europäischen Union seit nunmehr drei Jahren in der Schwebe ist. Am 9. Februar 2014 wurde in einer Volksabstimmung entgegen dem Antrag von Regierung und Parlament die Volksinitiative gegen Masseneinwanderung angenommen und damit eine Ergänzung der Bundesverfassung durch Art. 121a und eine Übergangsbestimmung beschlossen (siehe für den Wortlaut hier). Es …

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DiscussionKick-off

‘Green Crime’

Transnational Environmental Crimes as a new category of international crimes?

Millions of dollars worth of smuggled elephant ivory intercepted by customs officers each year, shipping containers filled with hundreds of tonnes of illegally traded pangolin scales and kiln-dried geckoes, forests plundered for high-end timber species, rampant criminality in the fisheries sector, and the illegal disposal of hazardous waste across borders: in a report released in June 2016, INTERPOL described environmental crime as a growing international problem that threatens natural resources, …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Not only good faith

Staying of enforcement

Staying of enforcement plays a topical role in sovereign debt litigation as enforcing a debt claim may have a negative impact on the dynamics of restructuring processes and the regular functioning of financial markets for sovereign debt. Moreover, in the case of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), it may also affect the resources pledged for social expenditure. As a response to this problem, in January 2012 the United Nations Conference …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Inter-Creditor Equity in Corporate and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

Broadly defined, inter-creditor equity represents a normative evaluation of the treatment a debtor accords to a certain creditor (or group of creditors) vis a vis the treatment that the debtor’s other creditors have received.  In the context of domestic insolvency laws, this evaluation is made possible (and enforceable) through detailed priority structures designed to favor certain creditor groups over other.  When the debtor is sovereign, however, creditor priorities are only …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Sovereign debt and international law

Or on the intricacies of theory and practice

Events of historic proportions often feel anti-climactic. In March 2012, Greece, a developed capitalist state and a member of the Eurozone, engaged in the biggest debt restructuring venture to date, covering 200 billion euros (260 billion USD) and reducing the private debt burden by over 50%. The exchange was not purely voluntary, since the majority of bonds were subjected to Greek law and an amendment made the offer compulsory for …

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DiscussionResponse

Putschists behind Bars?

Regional Criminalization of Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa

This contribution results from our cooperation with the journal „Swiss Review of International and European Law“ an discusses an article by Abdoulaye Soma on the international crime of unconstitutional changes of government, which was published in December 2016. The Point of Departure Regionalism continues to increasingly develop in various fields of law. Abdoulaye Soma, who acknowledges the birth of an African international criminal law, analyses one of its specificities: the …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Setting the Scope of and the Limits to the Incremental Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructurings

Anyone interested in legal issues surrounding sovereign debt should pay careful attention to the last special edition of the Yale Journal of International Law in which a framework is set forth to ensure the progressive development of orderly sovereign debt restructurings (SDRs). This prospective agenda relies upon a principles-based approach to SDR that revolves around various soft-law instruments, such as UNCTAD Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing, as …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Constant Dripping Wears Away the Stone… Including Sovereign Debt

On Incrementalism as a Regulatory Approach for the New Sovereigntist Age

The sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone, in Argentina, or in Ukraine have highlighted that the current international legal regime on sovereign debt is ill equipped to resolve the bankruptcy of nation states. Yet, when it comes to possible reforms, policy-makers and experts have been divided over two opposing solutions: A contractual one, which favors contractual clauses enabling a majority of the creditors of a sovereign bond to restructure it, …

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Discussion

Rethinking the International Criminal Justice Project in the Global South

A dialogue about methodology between TWAIL and ICL

Concerns about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) continuing relevance in Africa following exit announcements by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia are widespread. But the picture across the continent is more complex. While some African states have clearly rejected the Court, the majority remain members. How can we explain the fracturing of the Court’s support in Africa? More fundamentally – what is the best way of studying international criminal justice and its effects …

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