Current Developments

Von sichtbarer und unsichtbarer Gewalt. Politik an der Grenze.

Am 2. September 2015 ertrank Aylan Kurdi bei dem Versuch, in Europa Schutz zu finden, nachdem er mit seiner Familie aus Kobane, Syrien, geflohen war. Sein Bruder und seine Mutter verloren bei der Überfahrt ebenfalls ihr Leben. Der Körper von Aylan Kurdi wurde am folgenden Tag an der türkischen Küste gefunden. Das Bild dieses toten Kindes im Sand erzeugte einen Aufschrei in Europa und der Welt, einen Aufschrei mit der …

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Current Developments

Individual compensation reloaded: German governmental liability for unlawful acts in bello

On 30 April, the Appeals Court of Cologne will rule on whether Germany has to pay compensation to victims of an airstrike in Afghanistan. Its judgment is likely to consolidate the new German approach to questions of compensation for armed activities which – given the increasing relevance of litigation about armed conflicts – merits a brief treatment.

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Current Developments

The magic effect of UN resolutions

Diplomatic restraint and a lack of protection in the ECJ Shepherd C-472/13 case

Last week, the Court of Justice of the EU delivered its judgment on an unusual asylum case. It had to decide whether and under what conditions non-combat military personnel fearing to become involved in the commission of war crimes could claim refugee status under the EU Qualification Directive (QD). Valentin Jeutner has already presented the facts of the case and a first assessment of the judgment, in which he stressed …

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Current Developments

Many presumptions and no guarantees

Preliminary observations on Shepherd C-472/13

Yesterday, several (German) newspapers reported that the ECJ empowered the Bavarian Administrative Court in Shepherd v. Germany C-472/13 to examine whether or not the United States committed war crimes in the course of the US-led invasion of Iraq. This certainly makes for a catchy headline, but a preliminary study of the decision reveals that it is unlikely that the Bavarian Court will need to get its hands dirty by engaging …

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Current Developments

Resolution 2178 und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Bundesrepublik

Am 25. September 2014 hat der Sicherheitsrat der vereinten Nationen die Resolution 2178 verabschiedet. Die Resolution enthält ein Maßnahmenpaket gegen die Gefahren, die von international zugereisten Milizionären in bewaffneten Konflikten ausgehen. Anlass der Resolution ist die Situation in Syrien und Irak, aber eine grundsätzlich ähnliche Problemlage ließe sich auch mit Blick auf die Krim und die Ostukraine diagnostizieren. Die Rolle ausländischer Kämpfer in Syrien und Irak ist beachtlich. Nach Schätzungen …

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Current Developments

International organizations soon blocked by EU’s external powers?

A comment on ECJ Grand chamber judgment of 7 October 2014, C-399/12, Germany v. Council On October 7th, in a Grand Chamber judgment, the European Court of Justice has dramatically broadened the external powers of the European Union, to the point that it could jeopardize the efficiency of other international organizations which count EU Member States among their members. In this case, Germany contested the validity of a decision of …

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Current Developments

Letting Go of Territorial Integrity: Getting Realism and Ideals Right on Ukraine

In my previous two posts (here and here), I looked at the problems of declaring Russia’s actions in Ukraine illegal – the dark side of law’s polycentrism. In this post, I consider the defective legal policy driving the Western response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine – the West’s failed fixation on territorial integrity – and consider a better response to Ukraine’s contested future: the return of a repressed idealism. Western …

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Current Developments

International Law’s Rule of Five: Russia, Ukraine, and the Dark Side of Polycentrism

In my previous post, I looked at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. In this post, I look at who’s to blame, and what’s to be done: more work for diplomats, less for lawyers. I. Bush’s Breakfast: Sow and Reap In domestic law, we have mechanisms for final decision. The storied US Supreme Court …

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Current Developments

Polycentrism’s Playground: Ukraine and Russia’s Implausible Deniability

In this post, the first in a series on the Ukrainian crisis, I look at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. If Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t violated international law, it’s hard to see what would. Which means, unfortunately, that it’s hard to see what would. I. Obvious, Illegal After months of protests in …

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