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Systematische Abwehr

Die Entschädigungspolitik Deutschlands

“Der Vernichtungskrieg in Namibia von 1904 bis 1908 war ein Kriegsverbrechen und Völkermord.” Dieser Satz aus dem Auswärtigen Amt wird als Kehrtwende der deutschen Erinnerungspolitik gewertet. Zum ersten Mal spricht eine deutsche Bundesregierung in Bezug auf die Verbrechen an den Herero und Nama von einem Genozid. Jüngst hatte auch Bundestagspräsident Norbert Lammert die völkerrechtswidrigen Verbrechen im heutigen Namibia benannt. Trotz dieses Eingeständnisses ist die Entschädigungspolitik Deutschlands von einer systematischen Negation der …

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Das Recht auf Internet zwischen Völkerrecht, Staatsrecht und Europarecht

Die aktuellen Entwicklungen um die wachsende Anzahl von Flüchtlingen in Europa führen Debatten in nicht erwartete Richtungen. So dynamisiert die Frage, inwieweit Flüchtlingsunterkünfte mit WLAN, womöglich ‚Freifunk‘, ausgestattet werden können, die Diskussion um das Recht auf Internetzugang. Natürlich muss der Staat nicht jedem Flüchtling ein Smartphone zur Verfügung stellen. Das lässt aber das Grundrecht auf Internetzugang unberührt. Teil I des Beitrages widmet sich der völkerrechtlichen Begründung dieses Rechts, Teil II …

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Reforms of the World Health Organization in light of the Ebola crisis in West Africa: More delegation, more teeth?

The 68th World Health Assembly took place from 18 to 26 May, 2015. The Assembly is the maximum decision-making organ of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this forum, there were calls for institutional reform in light of the belated response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. More recently, an Ebola Interim Assessment Panel Report was published, containing concrete proposals to reform some of WHO’s legal mechanisms for health …

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A Critique of Proportionality Balancing as a Harmonization Technique in International Law

Since the publication of the Fragmentation Report by the International Law Commission, international legal scholars and practitioners alike seem to be less concerned about the theoretical questions raised by the fragmentation debate. Instead, they have turned to identifying and examining tools which could avoid or resolve normative conflicts between norms of different specialized areas of international law (also referred to as “regimes”). Proportionality balancing is one of these tools of …

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Extraterritoriality and lowering the exceptional circumstances threshold

Beyond the prevailing extraterritoriality case-law

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides in Article 1 that “the High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I”. However, this does not relieve Contracting Parties from their responsibility for consequences taking place outside their territorial jurisdiction. The contemporary human rights discourse has approached the jurisdiction doctrine with consistent but cautious evolution.

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Religious Actors and Transitional Justice

On Legitimacy and Accountability

A teary-eyed Desmond Tutu during a public hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is emblematic for the South African transitional justice (TJ) process to the extent that examining the Commission’s work without recalling the archbishop’s role in its functioning could be considered a scholarly faux-pas. Hence, the question emerges: is this a unique case or are there other Tutus out there? One statistical effort documents the significant involvement of …

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Owada and the whale: dissenting on the burden of proof before the ICJ

Japan is out whaling again. One year after the ICJ decision that found that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic was not in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), there is, unsurprisingly, a new push towards that same direction from Japanese authorities. This is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at ‘the unofficial Japanese understanding’ of that case: the words of judge Owada …

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The Law and Politics of Greece’s claims for German War Reparations

“The historical roots of the European Union lie in the Second World War”, according to the EU’s official website. It is then perhaps not surprising that in the current tumult of the Eurozone the War re-surfaces. Mark Mazower describes how, in the German Occupation of Greece (1941-1944), “the Wehrmacht had requisitioned food while people died of hunger; how its financial demands upon the Greek state caused a rampant inflation in …

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Proportionality Assessments under IHL – A Human Thing?

The employment of drones for targeted killings has triggered a debate on the use of lethal force without direct human presence at the battlefield. Regarding the legal framework for today’s remotely-piloted drone systems, this debate must be considered settled. Their conduct’s legal evaluation depends on the execution of each specific strike. Generally, their employment will only be legal under the law of armed conflict, IHL, and if IHL is complied …

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Palestine: Do the Recognitions of its Statehood by European National Parliaments matter?

On 17th December 2014, the European Parliament passed a resolution in favour of the recognition of Palestinian statehood. Since the beginning of Autumn 2014, many national Parliaments of the European Union (Spain, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg) have passed resolutions inviting their executives to officially recognize Palestine as an independent State. The symbolic value of theses resolutions has often been emphasized. They constitute a further step in the progressive …

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