Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Towards a Constitutionalism of the Wretched

Global Constitutionalism, International Law and the Global South

The field of Global Constitutionalism (also sometimes called “International Constitutionalism”) is a very odd field, one which, with very limited exceptions (Frankenberg, Schwöbel, and Volk), has been neglected by most critical international and constitutional law scholars. One reason it is an oddity is because of its disciplinary hybridity. That is to say, it is neither fish nor fowl – it is neither fully a discipline of comparative constitutionalism nor is …

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DiscussionResponse

On ‘cyber trafficking’ and the protection of its victims

‘Cyber trafficking’ has become a buzzword in scientific and policy discussions related to human trafficking. However, as has been noted elsewhere, the term is far from being used in a uniform way. In her recent post, Sabine Witting discusses the case of trafficking that is exclusively committed online. In my view, ‘cyber trafficking’ is a much more wide-spread phenomenon than what her article seems to imply, occurring within many cases …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Expanding Access to Justice for Socio-Economic Rights Complaints in South Africa

Which Direction Should We Head in?

The South African constitution has been lauded for its inclusion of justiciable socio-economic rights. Yet, making claims flowing from these rights remains inaccessible to many people across the country. This blog post (based on a paper being presented at a conference in Berlin on Constitutionalism in the Global South) seeks to consider the obstacles relating to access to justice for socio-economic rights claims in South Africa and potential solutions. I …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Pushing for Transformation

Comment on the VRÜ anniversary conference panel on “Transformative Constitutionalism”

Transformative constitutionalism is a somewhat fuzzy notion. Reflecting about its exact meaning, one wonders what it actually is that distinguishes transformative constitutions of other types of constitutions. On the surface, the qualification as transformative signifies that a constitution contains norms that describe a particular aim or status to be reached. In the German context, one might for example think of Article 3 (2) of the Grundgesetz requiring the state to …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Conceptualizing authoritarian constitutionalism

A Latin American view

Authoritarian constitutionalism is a new category used by constitutional law scholars to refer to a distinct type of regime wherein there are faulty practices and a constitution with an authoritarian content. With these characteristics in mind it seems contradictory to talk about “constitutionalism”. In this post I introduce a different understanding of authoritarian constitutionalism. For Mark Tushnet, authoritarian constitutionalism is an intermediate normative model between liberal constitutionalism and authoritarianism that …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law

Opening remarks on the 50th VRÜ anniversary conference

While scholarship in comparative constitutional law is booming, this anniversary conference is an unusual event in at least two ways: It is asking particularly about the role of the Global South in comparative constitutional law, and it does so with a group of speakers that is mixed, if not dominated by voices from the Global South. And indeed: This conference is meant to be not just a reflection of current …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

The 12mm-Winchester-Gun and the Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law

Symposium accompanying the 50-year anniversary conference of our partner journal VRÜ

This week, our partner journal Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ) / Law and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America celebrates its 50th birthday with an international conference on “The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law” in Berlin. We will accompany this conference with an online symposium also featured on the blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law. The symposium is not only intended to make the conference …

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Interview

“You learn a lot from your teachers but mostly from your students”

An interview with Joseph H. H. Weiler

From Joseph Weiler you can learn a lot – not only about what he teaches, but also about how to teach. That was the widely shared impression of participants in the 2017 Masterclass at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. At the end of four amazing days of discussion and learning, Joseph Weiler kindly agreed to give an interview, and to talk about jokes, teaching, and the human condition.

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Current Developments

The unsolved case of Giulio Regeni

An attempted legal analysis

More than one year after the dead body of the Italian Ph.D. student Giulio Regeni was found in Cairo, his ghastly demise remains unresolved. The circumstances of his death cast a shadow of suspicion over potential involvement of either Egyptian police forces or secret services in the killing. Egyptian authorities initially denied any allegations, consistently maintaining unconvincing accounts. Only recently, have Egyptian authorities displayed dubious signs of cooperation with their Italian counterparts …

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DiscussionKick-off

‘Cyber’ Trafficking? An Interpretation of the Palermo Protocol in the Digital Era

The digital era has changed the traditional realm and modus operandi of organised crime, such as human trafficking. With the increasing access to and usage of the internet, major criminal activity has expanded to the online sphere. Law enforcement around the world is however largely not prepared for combatting cybercrime. Many states have not yet reached the capacity of drafting cyber specific legislation. In Africa for example, only 11 states …

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Current DevelopmentsForum

Preemptive Self-Defense? Not yet!

Nordkorea hat in diesem Jahr neun Raketentests durchgeführt, zuletzt drei innerhalb von nur drei Wochen, begleitet von den üblichen Drohungen Richtung Südkorea und den USA. Die letzte Rakete ist am 29. Mai nach rund 450 km in das japanische Meer gestürzt. Auch Japan fühlt sich bedroht und kündigte „konkrete Schritte“ an. Außerdem befinden sich mittlerweile drei Flugzeugträgergruppen der US Navy im Westpazifik. Amerikanische B1 Bomber unternehmen Übungsflüge über Südkorea, und …

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Current Developments

The Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, or: how explosive existing law can be

The Michigan Guidelines are a document in which legal scholars summarize the existing international laws of refugee protection on one particular aspect. They are “just” an expert opinion – yet by no means insignificant in that capacity. They are used by courts interpreting the law and thus stand themselves at the threshold of the legal. At any rate the guidelines can frame debates about the legality of state actions in …

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Current Developments

Die Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, oder: so brisant ist das geltende Recht

Die Michigan Guidelines sind ein Dokument, in welchem WissenschaftlerInnen das bestehende Flüchtlingsrechts zu einem bestimmten Aspekt zusammenfassen. Sie sind „nur“ eine Expertenmeinung – und dabei doch nicht wenig: Sie werden von Gerichten zur Auslegung des Rechts herangezogen und stehen so selbst an der Schwelle zum Rechtlichen. In jedem Fall können sie die Debatten über Rechtmäßigkeit von staatlichem Handeln im Bereich Flüchtlingsschutz und Migrationskontrolle rahmen. Sie tragen die wesentlichen Rechtsvorschriften zusammen …

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Current DevelopmentsForum

Kulturgüter – Neue Narrative für den Umgang mit dem postkolonialen Erbe

Der Kulturgüterschutz ist wie kaum ein anderes Feld mit Fragen der Identität sowie Emotionen verknüpft. In ihrem konzisen Überblick zu den Herausforderungen des völkerrechtlichen Kulturgüterschutzes hat Adrianna A. Michel diesen Punkt subkutan, aber auch explizit, thematisiert. „Restitution“ ist in aller Munde, wenn historische Gerechtigkeit beschworen wird, die gegenüber den ehemaligen Kolonialterritorien und quasi-kolonialisierten Gebieten zu üben ist. Mit der Argumentationsfigur vom gemeinsamen kulturellen Erbe der Menschheit werden solche Forderungen oftmals …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The International Arbitration Bill and the future of arbitrations in South Africa

“The vast bulk of Africa-related international arbitration cases are resolved in Europe.” Most treaties concluded by the Republic of South Africa (‘RSA’) do not require the exhaustion of domestic remedies before approaching an international tribunal. The case of Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others v. Republic of South Africa (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/07/1) (‘Piero Foresti’) has been cited as the case that galvanised the government of South Africa to take …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Vive la diversité!

A Roadmap to Gender Parity on African Regional Courts?

As of May 2017, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR) appears to be the most gender balanced bench in the world, with women occupying 45% (5 out of 11) of the seats on the court. This development is a far outcry from the meager 18% (2 out of 11) seats women have occupied on the court when it came into force in 2006. Notwithstanding this observation, the …

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