Current Developments

The C-Star’s Odyssey and the International Law of the Sea

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”, the Greek hero Odysseus, having left his home Ithaca to help bring Helena back from Troy, faced manifold hardships on his return across the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2017, European citizens set sail in a self-prescribed mission not to bring someone home, but to prevent others from calling Europe home. The loosely affiliated Generation Identity, consisting mostly of activists from Austria, France, Germany and …

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Forum

On book reviews: Why, when and how to write them

Book reviews are perhaps a difficult format for academic writing. After all, what we all like to do best is talk about ourselves and our own ideas and why we are right. Writing a book review, however, puts someone else’s work in prime position; readers learn first about the reviewed work and only secondly something about the writer of the review herself. Perhaps this is why so few scholars, in …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Interrogating “Constitutionalism of the South” and New Pathways for Research: The Case for a Central America in the Global Debate

Latin American constitutional scholarship is on the rise in the Anglophone world. New collaborative works (such as Dixon and Ginsburg’s new comparative constitutional law edition (2017), the Borges et al ‘Law and Policy’ edition (2017), and Couso et al ‘Cultures of Legality’ (2010), as well as individual monographs (like Gargarella (2013) and Mirow (2015)), provide a quality introduction to the region in English. Latin Americanism in Latin American Comparative Studies …

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Current Developments

Zwischen Skylla und Charybdis

Die Kollision von völkerrechtlichen Intra-EU-BITs mit dem Unionsrecht

Die Straßen rund um das Plateau Kirchberg im Osten Luxemburgs, quasi der Herzkammer der europäischen Rechtswissenschaft, sind schon seit mehreren Jahren eine Dauerbaustelle. Am Montag, den 19. Juni 2017, war vielen im Luxemburger Europaquartier jedoch klar, dass die vielleicht größten Baustellen hinter den Türen des Boulevard Konrad Adenauer liegen. Die Vereinbarkeit des Unionsrechts mit den Schiedsgerichtsverfahren ist nicht erst seit den Diskussionen um die Freihandelsabkommen CETA und TTIP ein Dauerbrenner …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Knowledge Production in Comparative Constitutional Law

Alterity – Contingency – Hybridity

The idea and the reality of the Global South represent different types of epistemological challenges to the disciplinary identity of comparative (constitutional) law. As a term, it is no more than two decades old, though its pedigree reaches back to the 1950s and the idea of a ‘third world’ which brought together Cold War developmental taxonomy with the earlier concept of a formerly excluded ‘third estate’ (tiers etat) staking a …

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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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