Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

The dark side of digitalization

It is difficult to imagine today’s world without digitalization. We are shopping online, write messages to our friends on WhatsApp, let the world know what we think about a newly elected political leader on Twitter, post a picture of our morning breakfast on Instagram and attend an online-course in “Creative Writing” in the evening. In addition, applications of the “internet of things” silently work around us without us even noticing: …

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DiscussionLaw and LiteratureResponse

Towards a more radical deterritorialisation of language

The Case for Esperanto

A reply to Ekaterina Yahyahoui It is hard to imagine an ‘intensive usage’ of language being accommodated within international law. How would international treaty-making incorporate use of syntax ‘in order to cry, to give a syntax to the cry’? How would the judges of the ICJ treat counsel addressing them in language that is not intended to convey content, but rather to allow ‘a direct and immediate access to emotion’? …

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Kick-offLaw and Literature

Expression over Content

An examination of the language of international law

In this short piece I will argue that international law, in order to gain access to its revolutionary potential, needs to create a new linguistic opening. This linguistic opening needs to be located within the expression as opposed to content of international law. In this sense this piece is not situated on the continuum of the existing international law and literature studies. It also develops an argument different from widely …

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Movement of PeopleSymposium

Latin-America and Refugees: a panoramic view

Latin America is a peculiar region in relation to protection through asylum. On the one hand, it has a long-lasting and still operating tradition of political asylum that coexists with an expanded recognition of refugee status based both on the 1951 Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and the Cartagena Declaration (a regional 1984 document that states that a person can be a refugee if s/he is fleeing gross …

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Movement of PeopleSymposium

Flexible Solidarity – Effective Solidarity?

While the Member States of the European Union are still divided about both their migration policies and politics, in particular about taking in (which number and which kind of) refugees, the so-called Visegrad Group or “V4 Countries” (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary) has/have proposed “flexible solidarity” as a new tool to handle the crisis and feasible alternative to resettlement and mandatory quotas. “Flexible solidarity”, they argue, “should enable …

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Movement of PeopleSymposium

The Arab Refugee Paradox

An overview of refugee legislations in the Arab Middle East

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan host some of the largest numbers of refugees in the world. However, among the Arab states, only Egypt and Yemen have signed the Geneva Convention of 1951 on the status of refugees. While nation states in the West have long offered the possibility of full citizenship to immigrants and refugees, it is surprising that the …

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Current Developments

This is about globalization, and there is work to do for international legal scholarship

A personal reflection on the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency

These last two days have been filled with consternation, with anger, with a search for reasons, with restless reading about the consternation, anger, and search for reasons of and by others. Two days filled with the attempt to situate what the election of Donald Trump means. What it means in terms of the causes for this particular result, also in terms of the political challenges we are confronted with more …

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Movement of PeopleSymposium

Refugees at Our Backyard

Current US Refugee Policy and the Flight of Central Americans to the United States

Since the 1970s, the southern border of the United States – spanning 1989 miles of international border between the United States and Mexico – has been the site of significant migration from Central America. Over one million Central American refugees crossed into the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s to escape civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, while thousands more went to Canada, Mexico, Costa …

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Movement of PeopleSymposium

It is all about being happy in search of security

A pledge for equal treatment of refugees and economic migrants

Migration recently has been discussed in a very negative context. As Europe and the US moved towards right, we have to rethink human mobility and push for informed debates. Terminology used to describe migration and refugees is old, out dated and problematic. They were largely designed for the Cold War era and for a special category of people. The 1951 Geneva Convention had set the ground rules for treating refugees. …

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Land GovernanceSymposium

The Human Right to Land

A Case of Too Many Rights Spoiling the Broth or a Recipe for Justice?

Land rights are not typically perceived to be a human rights issue“, as legal scholar Jeremie Gilbert observes. This is surprising, given the vital importance of land, a finite resource, for a variety of human rights. These include access to life-sustaining resources, such as food and water, as well as other means to ensure an adequate standard of living (as codified in Art. 11 International Covenant on Economic, Social and …

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Land GovernanceSymposium

Grab me if you can?

The global scramble for land in local context

This post opens our symposium on “Land governance”, which accompanies an international conference at the Law and Society Institute of Humboldt University Berlin. Lawyers and political scientists from Germany, India and Brazil will reflect on the global scramble for land in local contexts. Land as such is a rather localized phenomenon, but land governance matters in much wider political, economic, social and ecological contexts: Control over land has always been …

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Interview

“The Inter-American System has always been in crisis, and we always found a way out”

An interview with Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot

Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot is the Vice President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and one of the most progressive judges currently in office. This summer he spent some days at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg for a conference on the implementation of judgments of the regional human rights courts. We had the opportunity to meet him and discuss about new …

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Current Developments

Von der komplizierten Freiheit, die eigene Muttersprache zu sprechen

Der Fall Semir Güzel vor dem EGMR

Sprachenrechte gehören, wie der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) in entsprechenden Urteilen regelmäßig betont, als solche nicht zu den von der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) geregelten Rechten und Freiheiten. Dass es keinen übergreifenden Artikel gibt, muss aber nicht heißen, dass die Konvention nicht ausreichend Grundlage bietet, um die verschiedenen Aspekte sprachlicher Rechte sinnvoll zu garantieren. In den letzten Jahren hat sich das Gericht unter diversen Artikeln der EMRK damit befasst – …

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Current Developments

The ICC’s Al Mahdi verdict on the destruction of cultural heritage: two steps forward, one step back?

On 27 October 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi of war crimes related to the destruction of protected cultural heritage in Mali under article 8(2)(e)(iv) of the 1998 Rome Statute. He was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment – the lowest sentence imposed by the ICC thus far. Although Mr. Al Mahdi cannot be considered a “big fish”, the Al Mahdi case made history …

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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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