Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Legal personality for the OSCE?

Some observations at the occasion of the recent conference on the legal status of the OSCE

By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Should the OSCE finally be endowed with legal personality? I have a hard time positioning myself in the debate. Obviously, I understand the argument – brought forward at the conference on the legal framework of the OSCE mostly by practitioners working at the organization, but also by Niels Blokker (see the introductory post), – that legal personality would make work at the organization much easier. It is quite apparent that …

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By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Basing the Legal Status of the OSCE on Participating States’ Duty of Loyalty

The dispatching of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine in 2014 has (again) brought to the fore the importance of appropriate legal status for the OSCE and its staff (see also the contribution of Christian Tomuschat). While before the Ukraine crisis the OSCE may have laid relatively dormant, the events in Ukraine allowed the organization to reclaim its position as a pan-European security forum. However, in the absence …

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By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Legalization of the OSCE?

Since its inception, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), originally born as Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), was kept apart from the realm of international law proper. In a famous passage of the 1975 Final Act of Helsinki, the Participating States specified that the instrument they had adopted was “not eligible for registration under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations”. This …

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By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Between Aspirations and Realities

The legal framework of the OSCE in the focus

The deployment of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in the wake of the Ukraine crisis illustrated once more the difficulties related to the legal status of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Despite its name, the OSCE is not an international organization in the public international law sense and lacks international legal personality. One of the main consequences in practice is that OSCE personnel sent abroad …

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DiscussionResponse

The Role of Human Rights in the Realm of Arms Transfers

The Example of Germany

Elif Askin picked a current, important, and yet rarely discussed issue for her insightful post and offered a compelling perspective on human rights law and arms transfers. By transferring arms to regions where the human rights situation is precarious, Germany risks to contribute to human rights violations, as Elif has highlighted. I will use this opportunity to take up the example of Germany and look at how the human rights situation …

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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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