Current Developments

CJEU Cases C-157/15 Achbita and C-188/15 Bougnaoui

Does ‘neutrality’ trump religious freedom?

1. Introduction On 14 March 2017 the CJEU upheld the banning of the visible display of any political, philosophical or religious sign in the workplace. As a future consequence, European companies may introduce certain rules to prohibit other religious, political and philosophical symbols. The cases involved two female employees in France and in Belgium, who were dismissed for refusing to remove their headscarves which covered their hair and neck, but …

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Gunneflo Book Symposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 3

Nahed Samour: Targeted Killing, Revisiting Hobbes: No Protection, No Obedience

Markus Gunneflo’s book shows how the normalization of targeted killing emerged through extensive legal work. Offering a meticulous account of history and practice, the book highlights the law and politics of protection in the dispute on killing to protect. Hobbes crafted his state sovereignty in Leviathan “with no other design than to set before men’s eyes the mutual relation between protection and obedience”.[1] Targeted killing is a response to the …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 2

Ioannis Kalpouzos: On the Constitution of Global Asymmetric Warfare

It is worth repeating that the suggestion that drone technology constitutes a ‘paradigm change’ and a ‘break with the past’ in the international law of force is of limited heuristic value. Both the descriptive accuracy and normative implications of this position have been challenged. Notably, such stark peridiocization may have pernicious effects, especially in naturalizing the promise of a ‘new way of war’ associated with the distanced precision of drone …

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Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

If you are looking for perfect justice look somewhere else.

Lawyers, historians, and the Nuremberg Trials’ precedential qualities.

It is not very often that a historian’s book, even one about a pivotal moment in the annals of international criminal law, meets with such interest among his legal and jurisprudential colleagues, and I am very grateful for the willingness of the three reviewers (Prior/Papa and Mégret) to devote precious time to The Betrayal and to the Voelkerrechtsblog team for hosting the symposium. One of the difficulties of trespassing disciplinary …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 1

Itamar Mann: Israel and the Forever War

1. On 4 January 2017, a military court in Jaffa convicted Israeli soldier Elor Azaria of manslaughter. The case has set Israeli public debate ablaze for almost a year now, and was widely reported abroad. As a video released by the human rights group Betselem revealed, Abd Al Fatah A-Sharif was wounded and lying, face down, when Azaria approached and shot a bullet through his head. A-Sharif had stabbed an …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Targeted Killing: A Legal and Political History

A Book Symposium

Over the coming weeks, the Völkerrechtsblog will host an online symposium on the recently published book Targeted Killing: A Legal and Political History (CUP 2016) by Markus Gunneflo. Markus Gunneflo is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in public international law at Lund University in Sweden. The book will be discussed by Itamar Mann (Haifa), Ioannis Kalpouzos (London), Nahed Samour (Helsinki), Karin Loevy (NYU) and Jothie Rajah (American Bar Foundation, Chicago). …

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DiscussionResponse

The battle against transnational fisheries crime

Jurisdictional challenges

The raison d’être of the concept of transnational ‘fisheries crime’ (TFC) (INTERPOL 2013) or ‘marine resource crime’ (UNODC 2011) can be traced to endemic illicit activities in the fisheries sector which, due to their devastating impacts, are increasingly considered as a serious problem worthy of attention as ‘criminal’ rather than merely ‘illegal’ behaviour. In terms of scope and approach, TFC is a broader and perhaps more ambitious successor of the …

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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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