DiscussionKick-off

Blackmarketing “Bundeswehr” Weapons in Northern Iraq:

Applying a Due Diligence Approach to Arms Transfers?

In September 2014, the German army started shipping weapons from its own stocks to the security forces of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq (Peshmerga) to support the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh). Strong reservations arguing that these weapons might end up in the wrong hands and likely be used to commit human rights violations were voiced, especially considering …

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DiscussionResponse

Understanding the impact of different concepts of surrogate mother for the regulation of international surrogacy arrangements

A response to Sharon Bassan

In her post to this blog, Sharon Bassan advances the argument for a duty on consumers’ states to regulate cross-border surrogacy transactions. The factual background is as follows: intended parents residing in a country with a higher average income, travel to a country with a lower average income, usually in eastern Europe or the global south, to make use of the services of a surrogate mother, and then return to …

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DiscussionKick-off

Cross-border surrogacy transactions (CBST):

Can consumers' states choose whether or not to regulate?

Whether surrogacy is ethical or not is subject to lively debate. But so far, it is the prerogative of each sovereign state to decide whether to allow or forbid in its territory the provision of surrogacy treatments, according to its own national values. However, when citizens’ personal values and interests do not go hand in hand with the chosen regulation of their home state (consumers’ state), globalization enables them to …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionPractitioner's CornerSymposium

From curse to opportunity: Mediation of natural resource conflicts

Since 1946, at least 40 % of intrastate conflicts have been linked to natural resources. Furthermore, conflicts associated with natural resources are more likely to relapse into violence within the first five years of a peace agreement. Fortunately, an increasing number of peace processes and related agreements include natural resource provisions on a direct or indirect basis. For these and other reasons, resource-sensitive mediation and dispute resolution is becoming an …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

Navigating International Norms in Peace Mediation

The Promise of Peace Mediation Navigating norms in peace mediation is possible through understanding what mediation can or cannot achieve. This means determining whether it is indeed the best option for third-party intervention in a given context. Mediation differs from other forms of third-party dispute settlement by emphasizing the negotiating parties’ ownership of the outcome. Mediators have limited power. They can facilitate, cajole or encourage the parties, but they have …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionDiscussionResponseSymposium

Investor-state arbitration: rationale and legitimacy

A reply to Christian Tietje Attempts to conceptualize the foundations of and crucial questions around investment arbitration are most welcome, as the field gains not only public attention, but also increasing importance for investors as well as receivers. Christian Tietje, claiming in the title that investor-state arbitration is a part of the international rule of law and, therefore, a mechanism for upholding it, touches on what may surely be called …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionDiscussionKick-offSymposium

Investor-State Arbitration as Part of the International Rule of Law

Investor-state arbitration is not only the most heated topic discussed in international economic law, but it also has become an important political issue more generally. Indeed, it is amazing to see how a topic that, some years ago, interested only a handful of international economic lawyers and very few academics has emerged today as an issue on which everybody has an opinion. Moreover, there seems to be only one direction …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

The History and Development of “A” DR (alternative/appropriate dispute resolution)

What is “A” DR? In its modern incarnation, the “A” stands for “alternative” dispute resolution, meaning “alternative” to formal court hearings, trials and formal legal proceedings. But the name is a misnomer. In most legal systems these days, most disputes and conflicts are settled or resolved in some way short of a formal trial – through an ombuds (a person who works for the government or for private industry by …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

Strengthening the means of (international) law enforcement

Symposium on alternative dispute resolution

Today, a vast array of treaties exists, both multilateral and bilateral. They regulate almost every aspect of human interaction and cover such diverse fields as the environment, trade, outer-space, human rights, organized crime and terrorism. For example, over 560 multilateral treaties are deposited with the UN Secretary General alone and more than 2000 bilateral investment treaties exist. The majority of these treaties are concerned with standard setting, that is, the …

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Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Megaregionals and the Others — A Rejoinder

We thank the Völkerrechtsblog for hosting this symposium and are immensely grateful to Abhimanyu George Jain and Azwi Langalanga for offering their insightful views. We take this opportunity to reply to both posts and to reflect on some further themes coming out of the ICON-S 2016 panels that dealt with the megaregionals. The discussions around TTIP and TPP often focus on the agreements purported domestic effects and neglect the megaregionals’ …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

A Response to “A Financial Crisis or Something More?”

In a post of 13 June to this blog, the authors addressed the financial crisis of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, characterized it as a result of state dissatisfaction, and portrayed it as an opportunity to reimagine the role of member states and the organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System (the Commission and the Court). I agree with the authors that the financial crisis goes beyond the issue …

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Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Africa’s Absence in the Megaregionals

Something to worry about or much ado about nothing?

Global international economic relations have been constantly evolving since the 1994 institutionalization of the GATT. The majority of African countries signed into the World Trade Organization in 1994, whether because of a desire to join the multilateral trading system, or as a condition of loans from the IMF and World Bank during the heyday of the Washington Consensus.  The multilateral trading system has been quite efficient in mitigating the hitherto …

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Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

An Indian perspective on megaregionals and concomitant trends

I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this symposium and would like to congratulate the MegaReg team on their efforts to draw attention to a fascinating series of developments in international law, and the authors of the working papers on providing thoughtful commentaries to form the basis of these analyses. In their papers, Professors Eyal Benvenisti and Richard B. Stewart draw out some common themes relating to the …

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Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Megaregionals and the Others

Our symposium accompanying the ICONS conference in Berlin

This weekend, public and international lawyers gather at Humboldt University in Berlin for the third conference of the International Society of Public Law, entitled “Borders, Otherness, and Public Law”. Völkerrechtsblog takes up one particularly salient issue that is covered in panels and papers at the conference, but that is also a concern for international and public lawyers worldwide: The future structure of international economic law, and more specifically, the rise of megaregional trade deals like TTIP …

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Current Developments

A Financial Crisis or Something More?

A turning point for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On May 23, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a press release giving notice of an immediate financial crisis leading to the “suspension of hearings and imminent layoff of nearly half its staff.” The IACHR asserted that this situation arose as a result of the Organization of American States (OAS) member states’ failure to support the fulfilment of the Commission’s mandate. The IACHR’s budget deficit is, nevertheless, …

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DiscussionResponse

A Response to “Is the Islamic State a State?”

Ralph asks “Is the Islamic State a State?” and his answer has three strings: First, he presents what he calls the advocatus diaboli opinion that all statehood requirements (territory, population, government) are fulfilled. Second, he explains the meaning of recognition as a requirement for the formation of a state. And third, he sets forth the legitimacy argument by concluding that because of the lack of the rule of law, the …

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