Current Developments

Is there a positive obligation on Russia to legalise same-sex unions under the European Convention on Human Rights?

The communicated case of Fedotova and Shipitko v. Russia

On 2 May 2016, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of Irina Borisovna Fedotova and Irina Vladimironova Shipitko v. Russia (no. 40792/10). The complaints lodged by three same-sex couples concern the inability of same-sex couples to register for marriage under Russian legislation and the lack of other means of giving legal status to the relationship of same-sex couples, as marriage is the only legally recognised union in …

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DiscussionKick-off

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Industry

How to Work Towards a Global Benefit for Consumers

Intellectual Property Laws across the world is intended to provide incentives to creators, authors, innovators and businesses by granting them monopoly rights usually for a limited period. Those rights would reward their efforts, help recoup their investments and profit from their contributions to society. However, due to inconsistencies and loopholes in law coupled with the ineffectiveness or challenges in enforcement, society suffers from certain monopolistic, controversial and certain unfair trade …

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Current Developments

Responsibility-sharing for refugees (2)

Can global solutions avoid contributing to the legal production of superfluity?

I have argued in the previous post, how states’ regulation of borders and the global question of responsibility sharing relate: Not only does the securization of borders in one place shift responsibility for refugees to other states. Strategies of containment have shaped today’s international structure of protection much more generally, including the growing role of humanitarian actors and the corresponding expansion of humanitarian reason in reactions to displacement. These dynamics …

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Current Developments

Responsibility-sharing for refugees (1)

Law’s production of superfluity as an analytical lens

When the German Minister of the Interior a few weeks ago announced that “the refugee crisis has not been resolved, but its solution is on a very good way”, he was obviously not speaking about the global situation. He was referring to the situation in Europe and particularly in Germany, where after the successive closure of the Balkan route and the agreement between the EU and Turkey in March (as …

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Current Developments

Die EU-Türkei-Beziehungen und die Flüchtlingsvereinbarung

Nach der Krise ist vor der Krise. Auf die Finanzkrise folgte die Flüchtlingskrise und stellte die Europäische Union erneut vor die Zerreißprobe. Aufgrund der intern nicht überwindbaren Meinungsverschiedenheiten hat die EU die Flüchtlingskrise durch eine Vereinbarung mit der Türkei in ihre Peripherie verschoben.

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Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

OSCE: Do we really need an international legal personality and why?

As part of this symposium, the Völkerrechtsblog has published excellent contributions of Christian Tomuschat, Cedric Ryngaert and Isabelle Ley. All the three distinguished authors have looked at the multifaceted problem of legal formalization of the OSCE from various angles andhave provided rather helpful reflections on the current state of affairs. This contribution deals with the issue in a broader political context.

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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

Legal personality for the OSCE?

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

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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