Current DevelopmentsResponse

Plausibility and the ICJ

A response to Somos and Sparks

Since the ICJ’s 2001 decision in LaGrand (Germany v US), the Court’s jurisprudence on provisional measures indicated under Article 41 of its Statute has expanded dramatically. This is for two reasons—both, in my mind, connected to LaGrand. In the first place, with the Court having declared its provisional measures binding, it was incumbent upon it to ensure their requirements were clear and predictable. In the second (and in view of …

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Current Developments

The urgent, the plausible and the irreparable

The significance of lowering ICJ thresholds for provisional measures

The ICJ’s decision on Iran’s application for provisional measures in its high-profile proceedings against the United States of America for alleged violations of their 1955 Treaty of Amity was handed down on Wednesday. This tightly constrained and circumscribed stage of the proceedings, though only a precursor to the far more significant jurisdictional and merits stages—each of which has the potential to ask questions with lasting significance for international law and …

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Current Developments

Kofi Annan and International Law in Kenya

Dr. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, died recently. Many Kenyans took to social media to mourn the death of the African diplomat they had come to know through his efforts in curbing the 2008 post-election violence. Annan and the 2007 Election in Kenya The 2007 election in Kenya was charged and emotive. Mr. Raila Odinga, the then President Kibaki’s main challenger, had assembled an impressive …

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Current Developments

On the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India

With its judgment of 6 September 2018 (Navtej Johar v Union of India), the Indian Supreme Court has put an end to the criminalisation of same-sex acts between consenting adults, allowing the country’s LGBT+ community to celebrate a long overdue win after a nearly two decades lasting fight for legal recognition. The law in question, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), introduced in the 19th century under British colonial …

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Current Developments

Trump’s latest attack on international law

How the nomination of judge Kavanaugh to the supreme court could shape the USA’s approach to international obligations

It seems that US-President Donald Trump has won a powerful supporter for his onslaught on international law and international institutions: Supreme Court Judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh by Donald Trump as successor for the departing judge Kennedy has understandingly only received mediocre attention in European media and within the public law community whereas this issue seems to prevail debates in recent weeks amongst US scholars and large …

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Current Developments

A further “constitutionalization” to the detriment of the individual?

On the ECtHR’s stricter reading of the principle of subsidiarity regarding the admissibility of cases

When the ECtHR presented its most recent statistics at the beginning of this year, at first glance this looked like a huge success: The number of pending applications before the Court are down at 56’250, as compared to 79’750 in 2016. Looking back to 2011, when the Court docket had reached its peak with almost 152’000 pending applications, the difference is even more striking. Moreover, last year, the Court managed …

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Current Developments

Der IAGMR und WSK-Rechte

Eine wegweisende Rechtsprechungsänderung

Jüngst hat der Interamerikanische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (IAGMR) zum ersten Mal eine direkte Verletzung des Rechts auf Gesundheit auf der Basis von Art. 26 der Amerikanischen Konvention für Menschenrechte (AMRK) erklärt. Im Fall Poblete Vilchez vs. Chile wurde unter anderem aufgrund eines ärztlichen Fehlverhaltens und einer Diskriminierung in der Erbringung medizinischer Dienstleistungen, die schließlich zum Tode des Betroffenen führten, die Verantwortlichkeit Chiles für die Verletzung des Rechts auf Gesundheit von Herrn …

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Current Developments

Somaliland and Secession Politics in Eastern Africa

Somalia has been that isolated relative that no one speaks about. The one that lives in a little hut, far away from the general community, with little interaction with anyone. Nieces and nephews do not visit her, because she is said to be a witch. Everyone fears her, and so she is largely ignored. Nobody wants to go near her homestead. Since the overthrow of Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia …

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Current Developments

Examining the Legal Anomalies Created by Inconsistencies between the European Convention on Human Rights and the Dayton Constitution

On 15th February, 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter Bosnia) applied for membership to the European Union. It has since seen little progress towards achieving this goal, which is heavily due to the incompatibilities of its Constitution with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter the Convention). While Bosnia’s application for EU membership has brought these incompatibilities to the fore, this issue dates back to …

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Current Developments

Galeone San José: Schatzjagd und Unterwasserkulturerbe

Art. 16 der UNESCO-Konvention von 2001 ermöglicht effektive Schutzmaßnahmen

Als die im frühen 18. Jahrhundert gesunkene, vermutlich mit sagenhaften Schätzen beladene Galeone San José 2015 vor der Küste Kolumbiens geortet wurde, war dies eine internationale Sensation. Als kürzlich bekannt wurde, dass Kolumbien die Bergung des Schiffes im Rahmen einer Public-private-Partnership plant, bei der Teile des auf über 10 Milliarden US-Dollar geschätzten Fundes als Gegenleistung an beteiligte Unternehmen gelangen könnten, begegnete dies substantieller Kritik. Im April 2018 verabschiedete der Wissenschaftlich-Technische Beirat zum UNESCO …

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