Current Developments

The identification of individuals

Some thoughts on the ECHR judgment in the case N.D. and N.T.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its judgment in the case and N.T. v. Spain found that push-backs to Morocco in the border zone of the Spanish enclave Melilla violated the prohibition of collective expulsion. The decision is important as it concerns the delimitation between legitimate border protection and practices that violate the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – and thereby the key question in all regulation …

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Current Developments

Returns Without Examinations

Greece’s Recent Judgment on Syrians’ Asylum Claims

On September 22, 2017, Greece’s highest administrative court – the Council of State – proclaimed that two Syrian asylum seekers can be deported to Turkey as a so-called safe third country. A court official explained the reasons for the judgment stating that “the court rejected the Syrians’ claims that their life and freedom would be in danger if they were returned to Turkey, as the judges opined this did not …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionResponse

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination: Long Shots and Legal Flair

The image conjured by the first subtitle of Zoran Oklopcic’s post on the referendum on Catalan self-determination, that of a zombie self-determination resurrected from its post-Kosovan resting place and back to haunt international legal rhetoric perfectly captures the mood amongst many in the international community who had perhaps been hoping that the rhetoric of self-determination had all but given up the ghost. As Oklopcic underlines, the past 15 years have …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part II)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Constitutionalizing Secession in Canada and Britain: Setting a(n) (bad) example? What encouraged the Catalans to place their bets on the persuasive power of remedial self-determination were two constitutional, not international legal texts: the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec, and the 2013 Edinburgh Agreement between the British and the Scottish governments on the referendum of the independence of Scotland. Though neither offered support to the Catalan …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part I)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Dawn of the Living Dead? Self-Determination in (Southern) Europe, 1991 – 2017 Scheduled to take place on 1 October 2017, the referendum on the independence of Catalonia looks to be a turning point in the history of the Iberian peninsula; if not a point of no return, then at least the moment after which the relationship between Catalonia and Spain will never again be the same. Though it is hard …

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Current Developments

Messing with the Mess We Are In

Notes from the Transregional Academy on ‘Redistribution and the Law in an Antagonistic World’ from 21-30 August 2017 in Berlin

German legal scholarship has a reputation for being quite orthodox. Amid doctrinal sophistication and positivist assumptions, however, lie hidden treasure islands of heterodoxy. One such island was the Transregional Academy on ‘Redistribution and the Law in an Antagonistic World’, organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien and a steering committee of legal academics based in the US, UK and Germany. The Academy explored different ways in which law shapes and regulates …

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Current Developments

Status: “It’s complicated”

On African leaders’ troubled relationship with international courts

Courts are to many African leaders what models are to soccer stars: they are arm candy, but they are not expected to develop a life of their own, or make anybody look bad in public. Thus, if international courts dare to touch upon issues that actually matter to African elites, they will either be killed off or neutered, or, if this is not possible, states will withdraw from their jurisdiction. …

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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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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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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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