DiscussionJournal Cooperation

Disentangling the cyber security debate

In his insightful LJIL article Kubo Mačák discusses the under-developed state of international cyber security law. He assesses that the absence of cyber security law-making has created a power vacuum that has been filled by non-state actor initiatives, such as the Tallinn Manual. He calls on states that now is the time to reclaim their central role in international lawmaking, in the short-term by articulating their opinio iuris more clearly, …

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Call for ContributionsCultural Heritage in a Post-Colonial WorldSymposium

CfP: Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem

The Voelkerrechtsblog is happy to announce an interdisciplinary online symposium on “Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem”. Cultural and anthropological objects from colonized or de-facto colonized territories have arrived in Europe in great amounts since the 18th century. Many European metropoles established large collections of those artefacts and human remains to display this shared “heritage” to their people – all projects closely …

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Practitioner's Corner

Leveraging technology to enhance access to justice for children in Africa

To keep a finger on the pulse of time, technology and innovation are central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Context-informed and locally-adapted technology can be the catalyser to identify barriers in achieving the 2030 agenda and provide solutions for the sustainable development change so desperately needed. Ending all forms of violence against children is an integral part of the SDGs, namely through …

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Current Developments

Endlich! – Erster Haftbefehl gegen einen ranghohen Vertreter des syrischen Assad-Regimes

Zur strafrechtlichen Verfolgung von im syrischen Bürgerkrieg verübten Verbrechen in Deutschland

Können mutmaßliche syrische Völkerrechtsverbrecher einfach unbehelligt nach Europa ein- und wieder ausreisen? Diesen Eindruck musste man bei der Lektüre eines Berichtes gewinnen, der vor einigen Wochen in der französischen Tageszeitung „Le Monde“ erschien. Bereits im Januar diesen Jahres sei Ali Mamluk, der als „Direktor des Nationalen Sicherheitsbüros“ der Ba’ath-Partei, seit Jahrzehnten eine feste Größe in dem syrischen Sicherheits- und Unterdrückungsapparat, auf Einladung des italienischen Geheimdienstes AISE nach Rom geflogen und …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part II)

The first part of this post established the intrinsic connection between human rights and the protection of biodiversity, looked at human rights and the environment in international public law in general and examined the conceptual relationship between biodiversity and the environment. The second part centers around the current approach of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment which promises nothing less than a change of paradigm on …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part I)

For a long time, the legal and political endeavours to protect humans from violations of their basic rights seemed in no way connected to the preservation of biodiversity. In the past, this paradigm has been reflected by indifferent international responses to biodiversity issues: Whereas the promotion and protection of human rights has in recent decades become a major concern of the international community and the relationship between human rights and …

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Photo by Daniel Ramirez, Honululu, USA.
Business and Human RightsCall for ContributionsSymposium

Symposium on Business and Human Rights: Call for Contributions

On June 24, 2016 the United Nations’ Council on Human Rights established an intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations. The working group is tasked with the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument “to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”. In 2017 the working group’s chairman published a non-binding paper outlining possible elements of a treaty on business and human rights; …

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Current Developments

The first genocide of the 20th century before a domestic court

A New York Court about to decide on its jurisdiction in Rukoro et al. v. Germany

Once more, Germany is confronted with compensation claims concerning wrongs committed in the past (see on this topic already the post by Andreas Buser). After unsuccessful previous cases against Germany by the Ovaherero and Nama people before the Permanent Court of Arbitration and U.S. federal courts in Washington, D.C., the pending class action complaint against the Federal Republic of Germany in the United States District Court Southern District of New York is the …

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Interview

On history, geography, and radical change in international law

An interview with BS Chimni

These are exciting times for international legal scholarship – on this point, the interviewers and Professor BS Chimni can immediately agree. But what are the consequences of recent challenges to the international legal order for critical approaches? Professor Chimni’s groundbreaking work on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) has contributed greatly to international legal scholarship during the last decades. A fascinating scholar, an enthusiastic teacher, and an effortlessly charismatic …

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Journal Cooperation

Access to information and the fourth wave of rights

The Inter-American and the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Union, Germany, India, South Africa, and Brazil all share one common legal feature: They have recognized “access to information” as an individual fundamental right since the turn of the millennium. Since the 1990s, there has been a veritable “global explosion of freedom of information” as new constitutions have enshrined the right to information, legislators …

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DiscussionKick-off

Neue Initiative der polnischen Regierung in Sachen deutscher Weltkriegsreparationen

Germany v. Italy 2.0?

Erneut fanden sich Anfang Januar 2018 Meldungen über Erwägungen der polnischen Regierung, Reparationsansprüche gegen die Bundesrepublik für Schäden des Landes während der deutschen Besatzung im 2. Weltkrieg geltend zu machen. Nun sollten US-amerikanische Gerichte helfen, die Ansprüche durchzusetzen, so der polnische Botschafter in Deutschland, Andrzej Przyłębski. Einigen dieser Aspekte soll sich dieser Beitrag widmen. Nie verheilte Wunden? Seit dem Regierungswechsel in Warschau im Spätherbst 2015 überholt die neue nationalkonservative PiS-Regierung nicht …

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Current Developments

The Philippines’ move away from the International Criminal Court over the war on drugs: A blow for human rights in Asia

As a signatory to every human rights treaty and being at the forefront of promoting international human rights, Philippines is considered as one of the  “architects” of the United Nations and the human rights system. This was seen as a huge step forward for human rights in Asia. However, now with the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, and the International Criminal Court (ICC), this will be seen a …

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Current Developments

Stretching Abstract Reasoning to its Limits

The IACtHR and the Right to a Healthy Environment

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued the Advisory Opinion (AO) of 15 November, 2017 (OC-23/17), on the subject matter of the environment and human rights. Its wide-ranging features already sparked a lively debate in the blogosphere (see here, here and here). Whereas some welcome the Court’s engagement with environmental rights, others are either skeptical of the way in which the AO deals with criteria of state responsibility in human …

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Grafitti picturing Berta Cáceres on a wall in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Current Developments

Defending the Defenders

Assessing LAC-P10, the new treaty to protect environmental activists in Latin America

The assassination of Berta Cáceres On 3 March 2016 Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated. She was a coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and one of the leading voices in her people’s fight against Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Her activism had earned her the Goldman Environmental Prize and years of threats and intimidations by state and non-state actors, which …

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Current Developments

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers

A New Chapter for International Criminal Justice in the Balkans

As the doors were closing on Churchillplein 1, the Hague, the former home of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), only a short walk away a new institution began preparing indictments for war crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars. 

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Current Developments

Rainbow Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court?

Gender-based Persecution of Gays, Bisexuals and Lesbians as a Crime Against Humanity

On 8 November 2017, something happened which can be seen as a milestone for gay rights: a communication was submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that includes crimes committed based on the victims’ real or perceived sexual orientation. Such a case would be the first of its kind and, if successful, would create a strong message for the universal prohibition of gender-based crimes for all sexual …

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