Current Developments

Collectively Enforcing the Results of Democratic Elections in Africa

Part II: Third Gear – The UN Security Council

This post continues the earlier part I. As the 19 January deadline approached, without Jammeh showing any inclination to resign, the crisis deepened. Troops from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana – subsequently codenamed ECOMIG (ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia) – massed around the borders of The Gambia, obviously ready to remove the country’s long-time leader from office by force if necessary. In keeping with the timetable foreseen in the Gambian constitution, …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Collectively Enforcing the Results of Democratic Elections in Africa

ECOWAS, the AU, and UN Security Council Resolution 2337 (2017) – Part I

“When […] ECOWAS is united and the African Union is united, then it is possible for the Security Council to decide; it is possible for action to be taken, and it is possible for democracy, human rights, and the freedom of peoples to be defended.” – This was the UN Secretary-General’s upshot from the resolution of the recent electoral crisis in the The Gambia. The crisis had started to unfold …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Die Schweiz will den Bruch mit der EU nicht riskieren

Zur Umsetzung der „Masseneinwanderungsinitiative“ durch das Schweizer Parlament

In Zeiten des „Brexit“ und zahlreicher anderer Turbulenzen in Europa geht fast vergessen, dass auch für die Schweiz das Verhältnis zur Europäischen Union seit nunmehr drei Jahren in der Schwebe ist. Am 9. Februar 2014 wurde in einer Volksabstimmung entgegen dem Antrag von Regierung und Parlament die Volksinitiative gegen Masseneinwanderung angenommen und damit eine Ergänzung der Bundesverfassung durch Art. 121a und eine Übergangsbestimmung beschlossen (siehe für den Wortlaut hier). Es …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

‘Green Crime’

Transnational Environmental Crimes as a new category of international crimes?

Millions of dollars worth of smuggled elephant ivory intercepted by customs officers each year, shipping containers filled with hundreds of tonnes of illegally traded pangolin scales and kiln-dried geckoes, forests plundered for high-end timber species, rampant criminality in the fisheries sector, and the illegal disposal of hazardous waste across borders: in a report released in June 2016, INTERPOL described environmental crime as a growing international problem that threatens natural resources, …

READ MORE →

Sovereign DebtSymposium

Not only good faith

Staying of enforcement

Staying of enforcement plays a topical role in sovereign debt litigation as enforcing a debt claim may have a negative impact on the dynamics of restructuring processes and the regular functioning of financial markets for sovereign debt. Moreover, in the case of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), it may also affect the resources pledged for social expenditure. As a response to this problem, in January 2012 the United Nations Conference …

READ MORE →

Sovereign DebtSymposium

Inter-Creditor Equity in Corporate and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

Broadly defined, inter-creditor equity represents a normative evaluation of the treatment a debtor accords to a certain creditor (or group of creditors) vis a vis the treatment that the debtor’s other creditors have received.  In the context of domestic insolvency laws, this evaluation is made possible (and enforceable) through detailed priority structures designed to favor certain creditor groups over other.  When the debtor is sovereign, however, creditor priorities are only …

READ MORE →

Sovereign DebtSymposium

Sovereign debt and international law

Or on the intricacies of theory and practice

Events of historic proportions often feel anti-climactic. In March 2012, Greece, a developed capitalist state and a member of the Eurozone, engaged in the biggest debt restructuring venture to date, covering 200 billion euros (260 billion USD) and reducing the private debt burden by over 50%. The exchange was not purely voluntary, since the majority of bonds were subjected to Greek law and an amendment made the offer compulsory for …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Putschists behind Bars?

Regional Criminalization of Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa

This contribution results from our cooperation with the journal „Swiss Review of International and European Law“ an discusses an article by Abdoulaye Soma on the international crime of unconstitutional changes of government, which was published in December 2016. The Point of Departure Regionalism continues to increasingly develop in various fields of law. Abdoulaye Soma, who acknowledges the birth of an African international criminal law, analyses one of its specificities: the …

READ MORE →

Sovereign DebtSymposium

Setting the Scope of and the Limits to the Incremental Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructurings

Anyone interested in legal issues surrounding sovereign debt should pay careful attention to the last special edition of the Yale Journal of International Law in which a framework is set forth to ensure the progressive development of orderly sovereign debt restructurings (SDRs). This prospective agenda relies upon a principles-based approach to SDR that revolves around various soft-law instruments, such as UNCTAD Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing, as …

READ MORE →

Sovereign DebtSymposium

Constant Dripping Wears Away the Stone… Including Sovereign Debt

On Incrementalism as a Regulatory Approach for the New Sovereigntist Age

The sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone, in Argentina, or in Ukraine have highlighted that the current international legal regime on sovereign debt is ill equipped to resolve the bankruptcy of nation states. Yet, when it comes to possible reforms, policy-makers and experts have been divided over two opposing solutions: A contractual one, which favors contractual clauses enabling a majority of the creditors of a sovereign bond to restructure it, …

READ MORE →

Discussion

Rethinking the International Criminal Justice Project in the Global South

A dialogue about methodology between TWAIL and ICL

Concerns about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) continuing relevance in Africa following exit announcements by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia are widespread. But the picture across the continent is more complex. While some African states have clearly rejected the Court, the majority remain members. How can we explain the fracturing of the Court’s support in Africa? More fundamentally – what is the best way of studying international criminal justice and its effects …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Die UNO als Kopie antiker Vorbilder?

Vom Nutzen und Nachteil eines Anachronismus

Kommentar zum Beitrag von Jorrik Fulda In seinem aufschlussreichen Beitrag argumentiert Jorrik Fulda, dass die Vereinten Nationen als System kollektiver Sicherheit dem antiken Modell der Koine Eirene (κοινὴ εἰρήνη) oder Amphiktyonie nachgebildet sind, einem Bündnis griechischer Stadtstaaten, das der Pflege eines gemeinsamen Kultes und der Verteidigung verpflichtet war. Beide seien partikular – und „auf die realpolitische Unterstützung durch einen ambivalenten Hegemon angewiesen“. Fulda geht auf Parallelen und Unterschiede ein, vergleicht …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Globale Koine Eirene?

Der antike Ursprung der Vereinten Nationen

Die UN und das Prinzip der kollektiven Sicherheit sind aus der heutigen Weltpolitik nicht mehr wegzudenken. Doch was kaum jemand weiß: ähnliche multilaterale Friedensverträge gab es schon in der griechischen Antike. Dort wurden sie Koine Eirene (griech.: Allgemeiner Frieden) oder Amphiktyonie genannt. Ist unser heutiges globales Friedenssystem nur eine Kopie der Antike? Welche Probleme ergeben sich daraus für die Universalität der Globalordnung? Im Jahre 2015 feierten wir 70 Jahre Vereinte …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

German Genocide in Namibia before U.S. Courts

Ovaherero and Nama sue Germany over Colonial Injustices – Again

Since October 2016, the German Historical Museum has been dealing with the past and presence of German colonialism in a special exhibition (see here) – for the first time ever. But German colonialism is not only a dusty artefact exposed in some German museum. Instead, it continues to haunt the German State in the form of claims for reparations by the descendants of the victims of colonial injustices. While German …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Retter der Menschenrechte weltweit?

Zur Verabschiedung des Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in den USA

Ob Folter durch Sicherheitskräfte, Gefängnisstrafen ohne faires Gerichtsurteil oder Ausbeutung durch korrupte Beamte: Menschenrechte werden weltweit täglich verletzt, wie auch für das Jahr 2016 dem Jahresbericht von Human Rights Watch zu entnehmen ist. Oft erwarten die Täter keine Strafen, sei dies weil es in ihrem Land kein funktionierendes Justizsystem gibt oder weil sie sich durch Bestechung oder Flucht einer gerechten Strafe entziehen. Kein Wunder, dass Verfechter der Menschenrechte zuweilen die …

READ MORE →

Discussion

Vereint gegen den Terror?

Die Anwendung der europäischen Bündnisklausel nach den Pariser Anschlägen

Der 13. November 2015 begann in Paris wie ein ganz normaler Tag und endete in Blut und Schrecken: sechs Anschläge erschüttern die französische Hauptstadt, 130 Menschen verloren ihr Leben, über 350 wurden zum Teil schwer verletzt.  Die Terrororganisation „Islamischer Staat“ bekannte sich zu den Anschlägen und Europa war angesichts des islamistischen Terrors einmal mehr fassungslos. Stand Frankreich auf dem Kontinent dieser Gefahr alleine gegenüber? Nein, sagte der französische Präsident Hollande …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Victor’s Justice, Contested

A Response to Gabriel Lentner

In his post, Gabriel Lentner argues that the ICC legitimizes and reproduces “victor’s justice” through its acceptance of Article 13(b) referrals from the Security Council. He takes issue with the legal nature of the referrals, in which he finds the legitimation of a double standard of international justice in the Rome Statute. He also sees a double standard in the referrals themselves. That is, the referrals under Article 13(b) are …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Victor’s Justice in Disguise?

UN Security Council Referrals and the International Criminal Court

The UN Security Council has the power to refer situations to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the will of the territorial state, even if that state is not a party to the ICC. The Council has done so for the first time in 2005 in the case of the atrocities committed in the brutal civil war in Darfur, Sudan. That referral resulted inter alia in two open arrest warrants …

READ MORE →

Forum

Open Access on the shores of international legal scholarship

Völkerrechtsblog’s experience with providing open access to scholars from 156 countries around the world

The digital revolution is hitting the shores of academic publishing. Online resources increasingly gain ground, and open access has become the call of the day – and a hotly debated issue. Political and academic initiatives favor and fund open access, for instance the digital strategy of the German Ministry of Education and Research or the Open Access 2020 initiative of the Max Planck society. For its advocates, open access promises …

READ MORE →

Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

Unilateralism ahead?

Human rights, digital surveillance and the “extraterritorial question” in international law

Here we are. It could seem a bit obvious to start with this overwhelming event, but it is truly important to stress that the recent results of the US elections will have far reaching consequences in many fields of international law, including the one that this post is dealing with: the yet unsettled complex set of issues of extraterritoriality with respect to surveillance practices. Indeed, one of the foreseeable developments …

READ MORE →

Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

Der Schutz der Menschenrechte im Cyberspace durch die EMRK

Aktuelle Beschwerden beim EGMR im Hinblick auf staatliche Überwachung

Der EGMR hat im Laufe seiner Rechtsprechung die „offline“ Gewährleistungen aus dem Recht auf Achtung des Privat- und Familienlebens aus Art. 8 EMRK und dem Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung aus Art. 10 EMRK auf die neuen Verhaltensweisen im Cyberspace übertragen. Schon seit dem Urteil Klass gg. Deutschland aus dem Jahr 1978 hat er die Verpflichtung der Mitgliedstaaten zur organisatorischen und verfahrensrechtlichen Sicherung der Privatsphäre und der Einrichtung von geeigneten und …

READ MORE →

Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

The surveillance you have paid for

Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things

Have you ever paid for surveillance measures? Not indirectly through taxes, rather directly? And have you ever installed the measures in your home? If you think that this is an absurd question, do read this blog post. It relates to four trends I would like to point out to you: the constant development of the internet of things (IoT) adds a whole new dimension to the problem of surveillance (1.). …

READ MORE →

Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

The dark side of digitalization

It is difficult to imagine today’s world without digitalization. We are shopping online, write messages to our friends on WhatsApp, let the world know what we think about a newly elected political leader on Twitter, post a picture of our morning breakfast on Instagram and attend an online-course in “Creative Writing” in the evening. In addition, applications of the “internet of things” silently work around us without us even noticing: …

READ MORE →

DiscussionLaw and LiteratureResponse

Towards a more radical deterritorialisation of language

The Case for Esperanto

A reply to Ekaterina Yahyahoui It is hard to imagine an ‘intensive usage’ of language being accommodated within international law. How would international treaty-making incorporate use of syntax ‘in order to cry, to give a syntax to the cry’? How would the judges of the ICJ treat counsel addressing them in language that is not intended to convey content, but rather to allow ‘a direct and immediate access to emotion’? …

READ MORE →

Kick-offLaw and Literature

Expression over Content

An examination of the language of international law

In this short piece I will argue that international law, in order to gain access to its revolutionary potential, needs to create a new linguistic opening. This linguistic opening needs to be located within the expression as opposed to content of international law. In this sense this piece is not situated on the continuum of the existing international law and literature studies. It also develops an argument different from widely …

READ MORE →

Movement of PeopleSymposium

Latin-America and Refugees: a panoramic view

Latin America is a peculiar region in relation to protection through asylum. On the one hand, it has a long-lasting and still operating tradition of political asylum that coexists with an expanded recognition of refugee status based both on the 1951 Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and the Cartagena Declaration (a regional 1984 document that states that a person can be a refugee if s/he is fleeing gross …

READ MORE →

Movement of PeopleSymposium

Flexible Solidarity – Effective Solidarity?

While the Member States of the European Union are still divided about both their migration policies and politics, in particular about taking in (which number and which kind of) refugees, the so-called Visegrad Group or “V4 Countries” (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary) has/have proposed “flexible solidarity” as a new tool to handle the crisis and feasible alternative to resettlement and mandatory quotas. “Flexible solidarity”, they argue, “should enable …

READ MORE →

Movement of PeopleSymposium

The Arab Refugee Paradox

An overview of refugee legislations in the Arab Middle East

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan host some of the largest numbers of refugees in the world. However, among the Arab states, only Egypt and Yemen have signed the Geneva Convention of 1951 on the status of refugees. While nation states in the West have long offered the possibility of full citizenship to immigrants and refugees, it is surprising that the …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

This is about globalization, and there is work to do for international legal scholarship

A personal reflection on the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency

These last two days have been filled with consternation, with anger, with a search for reasons, with restless reading about the consternation, anger, and search for reasons of and by others. Two days filled with the attempt to situate what the election of Donald Trump means. What it means in terms of the causes for this particular result, also in terms of the political challenges we are confronted with more …

READ MORE →

Movement of PeopleSymposium

Refugees at Our Backyard

Current US Refugee Policy and the Flight of Central Americans to the United States

Since the 1970s, the southern border of the United States – spanning 1989 miles of international border between the United States and Mexico – has been the site of significant migration from Central America. Over one million Central American refugees crossed into the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s to escape civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, while thousands more went to Canada, Mexico, Costa …

READ MORE →

Movement of PeopleSymposium

It is all about being happy in search of security

A pledge for equal treatment of refugees and economic migrants

Migration recently has been discussed in a very negative context. As Europe and the US moved towards right, we have to rethink human mobility and push for informed debates. Terminology used to describe migration and refugees is old, out dated and problematic. They were largely designed for the Cold War era and for a special category of people. The 1951 Geneva Convention had set the ground rules for treating refugees. …

READ MORE →

Land GovernanceSymposium

The Human Right to Land

A Case of Too Many Rights Spoiling the Broth or a Recipe for Justice?

Land rights are not typically perceived to be a human rights issue“, as legal scholar Jeremie Gilbert observes. This is surprising, given the vital importance of land, a finite resource, for a variety of human rights. These include access to life-sustaining resources, such as food and water, as well as other means to ensure an adequate standard of living (as codified in Art. 11 International Covenant on Economic, Social and …

READ MORE →

Land GovernanceSymposium

Grab me if you can?

The global scramble for land in local context

This post opens our symposium on “Land governance”, which accompanies an international conference at the Law and Society Institute of Humboldt University Berlin. Lawyers and political scientists from Germany, India and Brazil will reflect on the global scramble for land in local contexts. Land as such is a rather localized phenomenon, but land governance matters in much wider political, economic, social and ecological contexts: Control over land has always been …

READ MORE →

Interview

“The Inter-American System has always been in crisis, and we always found a way out”

An interview with Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot

Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot is the Vice President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and one of the most progressive judges currently in office. This summer he spent some days at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg for a conference on the implementation of judgments of the regional human rights courts. We had the opportunity to meet him and discuss about new …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Von der komplizierten Freiheit, die eigene Muttersprache zu sprechen

Der Fall Semir Güzel vor dem EGMR

Sprachenrechte gehören, wie der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) in entsprechenden Urteilen regelmäßig betont, als solche nicht zu den von der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) geregelten Rechten und Freiheiten. Dass es keinen übergreifenden Artikel gibt, muss aber nicht heißen, dass die Konvention nicht ausreichend Grundlage bietet, um die verschiedenen Aspekte sprachlicher Rechte sinnvoll zu garantieren. In den letzten Jahren hat sich das Gericht unter diversen Artikeln der EMRK damit befasst – …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The ICC’s Al Mahdi verdict on the destruction of cultural heritage: two steps forward, one step back?

On 27 October 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi of war crimes related to the destruction of protected cultural heritage in Mali under article 8(2)(e)(iv) of the 1998 Rome Statute. He was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment – the lowest sentence imposed by the ICC thus far. Although Mr. Al Mahdi cannot be considered a “big fish”, the Al Mahdi case made history …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Is there a positive obligation on Russia to legalise same-sex unions under the European Convention on Human Rights?

The communicated case of Fedotova and Shipitko v. Russia

On 2 May 2016, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of Irina Borisovna Fedotova and Irina Vladimironova Shipitko v. Russia (no. 40792/10). The complaints lodged by three same-sex couples concern the inability of same-sex couples to register for marriage under Russian legislation and the lack of other means of giving legal status to the relationship of same-sex couples, as marriage is the only legally recognised union in …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Industry

How to Work Towards a Global Benefit for Consumers

Intellectual Property Laws across the world is intended to provide incentives to creators, authors, innovators and businesses by granting them monopoly rights usually for a limited period. Those rights would reward their efforts, help recoup their investments and profit from their contributions to society. However, due to inconsistencies and loopholes in law coupled with the ineffectiveness or challenges in enforcement, society suffers from certain monopolistic, controversial and certain unfair trade …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Responsibility-sharing for refugees (2)

Can global solutions avoid contributing to the legal production of superfluity?

I have argued in the previous post, how states’ regulation of borders and the global question of responsibility sharing relate: Not only does the securization of borders in one place shift responsibility for refugees to other states. Strategies of containment have shaped today’s international structure of protection much more generally, including the growing role of humanitarian actors and the corresponding expansion of humanitarian reason in reactions to displacement. These dynamics …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Responsibility-sharing for refugees (1)

Law’s production of superfluity as an analytical lens

When the German Minister of the Interior a few weeks ago announced that “the refugee crisis has not been resolved, but its solution is on a very good way”, he was obviously not speaking about the global situation. He was referring to the situation in Europe and particularly in Germany, where after the successive closure of the Balkan route and the agreement between the EU and Turkey in March (as …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Die EU-Türkei-Beziehungen und die Flüchtlingsvereinbarung

Nach der Krise ist vor der Krise. Auf die Finanzkrise folgte die Flüchtlingskrise und stellte die Europäische Union erneut vor die Zerreißprobe. Aufgrund der intern nicht überwindbaren Meinungsverschiedenheiten hat die EU die Flüchtlingskrise durch eine Vereinbarung mit der Türkei in ihre Peripherie verschoben.

READ MORE →

Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

OSCE: Do we really need an international legal personality and why?

As part of this symposium, the Völkerrechtsblog has published excellent contributions of Christian Tomuschat, Cedric Ryngaert and Isabelle Ley. All the three distinguished authors have looked at the multifaceted problem of legal formalization of the OSCE from various angles andhave provided rather helpful reflections on the current state of affairs. This contribution deals with the issue in a broader political context.

READ MORE →

By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Legal personality for the OSCE?

Some observations at the occasion of the recent conference on the legal status of the OSCE

Should the OSCE finally be endowed with legal personality? I have a hard time positioning myself in the debate. Obviously, I understand the argument – brought forward at the conference on the legal framework of the OSCE mostly by practitioners working at the organization, but also by Niels Blokker (see the introductory post), – that legal personality would make work at the organization much easier. It is quite apparent that …

READ MORE →

By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Basing the Legal Status of the OSCE on Participating States’ Duty of Loyalty

The dispatching of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine in 2014 has (again) brought to the fore the importance of appropriate legal status for the OSCE and its staff (see also the contribution of Christian Tomuschat). While before the Ukraine crisis the OSCE may have laid relatively dormant, the events in Ukraine allowed the organization to reclaim its position as a pan-European security forum. However, in the absence …

READ MORE →

By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Legalization of the OSCE?

Since its inception, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), originally born as Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), was kept apart from the realm of international law proper. In a famous passage of the 1975 Final Act of Helsinki, the Participating States specified that the instrument they had adopted was “not eligible for registration under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations”. This …

READ MORE →

By OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCESymposium

Between Aspirations and Realities

The legal framework of the OSCE in the focus

The deployment of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in the wake of the Ukraine crisis illustrated once more the difficulties related to the legal status of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Despite its name, the OSCE is not an international organization in the public international law sense and lacks international legal personality. One of the main consequences in practice is that OSCE personnel sent abroad …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

The Role of Human Rights in the Realm of Arms Transfers

The Example of Germany

Elif Askin picked a current, important, and yet rarely discussed issue for her insightful post and offered a compelling perspective on human rights law and arms transfers. By transferring arms to regions where the human rights situation is precarious, Germany risks to contribute to human rights violations, as Elif has highlighted. I will use this opportunity to take up the example of Germany and look at how the human rights situation …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Blackmarketing “Bundeswehr” Weapons in Northern Iraq:

Applying a Due Diligence Approach to Arms Transfers?

In September 2014, the German army started shipping weapons from its own stocks to the security forces of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq (Peshmerga) to support the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh). Strong reservations arguing that these weapons might end up in the wrong hands and likely be used to commit human rights violations were voiced, especially considering …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Understanding the impact of different concepts of surrogate mother for the regulation of international surrogacy arrangements

A response to Sharon Bassan

In her post to this blog, Sharon Bassan advances the argument for a duty on consumers’ states to regulate cross-border surrogacy transactions. The factual background is as follows: intended parents residing in a country with a higher average income, travel to a country with a lower average income, usually in eastern Europe or the global south, to make use of the services of a surrogate mother, and then return to …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Cross-border surrogacy transactions (CBST):

Can consumers’ states choose whether or not to regulate?

Whether surrogacy is ethical or not is subject to lively debate. But so far, it is the prerogative of each sovereign state to decide whether to allow or forbid in its territory the provision of surrogacy treatments, according to its own national values. However, when citizens’ personal values and interests do not go hand in hand with the chosen regulation of their home state (consumers’ state), globalization enables them to …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionPractitioner's CornerSymposium

From curse to opportunity: Mediation of natural resource conflicts

Since 1946, at least 40 % of intrastate conflicts have been linked to natural resources. Furthermore, conflicts associated with natural resources are more likely to relapse into violence within the first five years of a peace agreement. Fortunately, an increasing number of peace processes and related agreements include natural resource provisions on a direct or indirect basis. For these and other reasons, resource-sensitive mediation and dispute resolution is becoming an …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

Navigating International Norms in Peace Mediation

The Promise of Peace Mediation Navigating norms in peace mediation is possible through understanding what mediation can or cannot achieve. This means determining whether it is indeed the best option for third-party intervention in a given context. Mediation differs from other forms of third-party dispute settlement by emphasizing the negotiating parties’ ownership of the outcome. Mediators have limited power. They can facilitate, cajole or encourage the parties, but they have …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionDiscussionResponseSymposium

Investor-state arbitration: rationale and legitimacy

A reply to Christian Tietje Attempts to conceptualize the foundations of and crucial questions around investment arbitration are most welcome, as the field gains not only public attention, but also increasing importance for investors as well as receivers. Christian Tietje, claiming in the title that investor-state arbitration is a part of the international rule of law and, therefore, a mechanism for upholding it, touches on what may surely be called …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionDiscussionKick-offSymposium

Investor-State Arbitration as Part of the International Rule of Law

Investor-state arbitration is not only the most heated topic discussed in international economic law, but it also has become an important political issue more generally. Indeed, it is amazing to see how a topic that, some years ago, interested only a handful of international economic lawyers and very few academics has emerged today as an issue on which everybody has an opinion. Moreover, there seems to be only one direction …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

The History and Development of “A” DR (alternative/appropriate dispute resolution)

What is “A” DR? In its modern incarnation, the “A” stands for “alternative” dispute resolution, meaning “alternative” to formal court hearings, trials and formal legal proceedings. But the name is a misnomer. In most legal systems these days, most disputes and conflicts are settled or resolved in some way short of a formal trial – through an ombuds (a person who works for the government or for private industry by …

READ MORE →

Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

Strengthening the means of (international) law enforcement

Symposium on alternative dispute resolution

Today, a vast array of treaties exists, both multilateral and bilateral. They regulate almost every aspect of human interaction and cover such diverse fields as the environment, trade, outer-space, human rights, organized crime and terrorism. For example, over 560 multilateral treaties are deposited with the UN Secretary General alone and more than 2000 bilateral investment treaties exist. The majority of these treaties are concerned with standard setting, that is, the …

READ MORE →

Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Megaregionals and the Others — A Rejoinder

We thank the Völkerrechtsblog for hosting this symposium and are immensely grateful to Abhimanyu George Jain and Azwi Langalanga for offering their insightful views. We take this opportunity to reply to both posts and to reflect on some further themes coming out of the ICON-S 2016 panels that dealt with the megaregionals. The discussions around TTIP and TPP often focus on the agreements purported domestic effects and neglect the megaregionals’ …

READ MORE →

Current DevelopmentsResponse

A Response to “A Financial Crisis or Something More?”

In a post of 13 June to this blog, the authors addressed the financial crisis of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, characterized it as a result of state dissatisfaction, and portrayed it as an opportunity to reimagine the role of member states and the organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System (the Commission and the Court). I agree with the authors that the financial crisis goes beyond the issue …

READ MORE →

Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Africa’s Absence in the Megaregionals

Something to worry about or much ado about nothing?

Global international economic relations have been constantly evolving since the 1994 institutionalization of the GATT. The majority of African countries signed into the World Trade Organization in 1994, whether because of a desire to join the multilateral trading system, or as a condition of loans from the IMF and World Bank during the heyday of the Washington Consensus.  The multilateral trading system has been quite efficient in mitigating the hitherto …

READ MORE →

Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

An Indian perspective on megaregionals and concomitant trends

I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this symposium and would like to congratulate the MegaReg team on their efforts to draw attention to a fascinating series of developments in international law, and the authors of the working papers on providing thoughtful commentaries to form the basis of these analyses. In their papers, Professors Eyal Benvenisti and Richard B. Stewart draw out some common themes relating to the …

READ MORE →

Megaregionals and the OthersSymposium

Megaregionals and the Others

Our symposium accompanying the ICONS conference in Berlin

This weekend, public and international lawyers gather at Humboldt University in Berlin for the third conference of the International Society of Public Law, entitled “Borders, Otherness, and Public Law”. Völkerrechtsblog takes up one particularly salient issue that is covered in panels and papers at the conference, but that is also a concern for international and public lawyers worldwide: The future structure of international economic law, and more specifically, the rise of megaregional trade deals like TTIP …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

A Financial Crisis or Something More?

A turning point for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On May 23, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a press release giving notice of an immediate financial crisis leading to the “suspension of hearings and imminent layoff of nearly half its staff.” The IACHR asserted that this situation arose as a result of the Organization of American States (OAS) member states’ failure to support the fulfilment of the Commission’s mandate. The IACHR’s budget deficit is, nevertheless, …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

A Response to “Is the Islamic State a State?”

Ralph asks “Is the Islamic State a State?” and his answer has three strings: First, he presents what he calls the advocatus diaboli opinion that all statehood requirements (territory, population, government) are fulfilled. Second, he explains the meaning of recognition as a requirement for the formation of a state. And third, he sets forth the legitimacy argument by concluding that because of the lack of the rule of law, the …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Is the Islamic State a State?

The so-called Islamic State has triggered a wave of commentary ever since it emerged as one of the leading military groups in Syria and further captured vast parts of Iraqi territory in mid-2014. What seems to have received only little attention this far is its legal characterization.

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

A Response to “Which Rights to enforce in Time of Public Emergency?”

A response to Cilem Şimşek The interplay between human rights law (HRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) is one of the most difficult and fascinating topics of international law. The blog by Cilem Şimşek  attempts to put in perspective the evolution of this interplay with a focus on the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. Three key themes are developed. Each of them gives rise to diverging interpretations as …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Which Rights to enforce in Time of Public Emergency?

The European Court of Human Right’s approach towards International Humanitarian Law

The present post examines the relationship between human rights law (“HRL”) and international humanitarian law (“IHL”). This relationship will be first analysed from a legal-dogmatic angle, and then in the light of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”)”. By focussing solely on the right to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights pursuant to Article 15, this post will show that the Court’s approach …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Thinking globally, acting globally

The case of corporate criminal liability and economic crimes

As stated in Ricarda’s post, the African Union surprised the international community in 2014 with its proposal for the creation of an integrated African Court of Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR) drafted in the Malabo Protocol. The planned criminal law chamber stirs academics as much as practitioners because of its not yet defined relationship to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The new chambers could either be upstream or equally ranked with …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Thinking globally, acting regionally

Towards the regionalization of international criminal law

In June 2014, the African Union (AU) General Assembly adopted the Malabo Protocol that attempts to change the AU court system as well as international criminal law (ICL) in a radical – yes, even revolutionary way. The Protocol foresees the creation of an integrated African Court of Justice and Human Rights featuring a human rights chamber, a general affairs chamber and a criminal law chamber that has jurisdiction over natural …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte: Türkei diskriminiert 20 Millionen Aleviten

  Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte hat in seinem jüngsten Urteil İzzettin Doğan und andere gegen die Türkei (Urt. v. 26. April 2016, Beschwerde-Nr. 62649/10) die Finanzierung und Organisation des religiösen Lebens von Aleviten in der Türkei untersucht und festgestellt, dass der Konventionsstaat im Umgang mit dem Alevitentum gegen die Religionsfreiheit gemäß Art. 9 EMRK und das Diskriminierungsverbot gemäß Art. 14 EMRK verstößt.

READ MORE →

Interview

„Who among us gets to be global?“

An Interview with Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian wrote a book entitled „The Cosmopolites“, which speaks about global citizenship in a way that is deeply informed by the theoretical discussion but at the same time rich in concrete stories. These involve stories about stateless persons, for whom their state of residence decided to buy citizenship of another state, stories about the merchandising of passports for a global elite, and stories of a man who decided …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Die Besonderheit der Bodenschätze

Eine Erwiderung auf Markus Krajewski

Dieser Beitrag erwidert auf den Post von Markus Krajewski im Rahmen unserer Journal-Kooperation mit der “Verfassung und Recht in Übersee“. Ich freue mich, dass mir die Redaktion des Völkerrechtsblogs die Gelegenheit gibt, hier meine aktuelle Forschung zur Diskussion zu stellen. Die Krüger-Vorlesung von 2014, die Markus Krajewski kommentiert, ist ein kleiner Ausschnitt aus einem größeren Projekt zum transnationalen Rohstoffrecht.

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

Menschenrechte als Antwort auf Verteilungsfragen im transnationalen Rohstoffrecht

Dieser Beitrag setzt unsere Journal-Kooperation mit der “Verfassung und Recht in Übersee” fort und diskutiert einen Aufsatz von Isabel Feichtner zum internationalen Rohstoffrecht, der in der nächsten Ausgabe der VRÜ erscheint. Isabel Feichtner lenkt unseren Blick auf Rechtsfragen der internationalen Rohstoffwirtschaft, die in den letzten Jahrzehnten nicht im Mittelpunkt der Völkerrechtswissenschaft standen, obwohl gerade auch in jüngerer Zeit vermehrt entsprechende politische und rechtssetzende Aktivitäten zu beobachten sind. Exemplarisch lässt sich …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Climate Change and the Arctic as a Common Concern

A response to Birgit Peters. In her blog post Birgit Peters reflects on “recent rules and approaches” for protecting the Arctic region in a time of intense climatic changes. Peters emphasizes what she understands as a shift from traditional regulatory approaches that frame the Arctic as a common heritage and common concern, focused on prohibition, to an integrated approach focusing on sustainability. Peters in this respect discusses the role of …

READ MORE →

DiscussionKick-off

When climate change hits the Arctic: what to make of recent rules and approaches

Climate change in the Arctic Climate change, in particular global warming, is an inevitable fact. Nonetheless, it will hit different regions of the world differently. Of all regions, the area most affected by future temperature change is the Arctic. This is the part of the global north, which is situated above 66,3 degrees latitude. Here, differences in temperatures are predicted to rise at least 3 degrees Celsius compared to the …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The Bemba Trial Judgment: A Small Step in the Right Direction

The decision On 21st March 2016 Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Bemba) guilty for murder and rape as a war crime and crime against humanity, as well as pillaging as a war crime, committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the period between 2002-2003.

READ MORE →

Current Developments

International Law – So 90s?

On periodization and the 1990s as crystallization point for contemporary International Law

The international legal order finds itself in turmoil. The crises in Ukraine and Syria, the questioning of the authority of the ECtHR, the opposition against the ICC by African states and the rise of global terrorism can all be interpreted as crisis symptoms justifying the need for a (re-)assessment of the current state and future of International Law.  

READ MORE →

Photo by UNMEER/Martine Perret. 15 December 2014
International Health GovernanceSymposium

The WHO’s Institutional and Legal Role in Communicable Disease Epidemics: From Pandemic Influenza to Zika

On 1 February, 2016, the World Health Organization´s (WHO) Director-General declared that the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The illness caused by this virus is very rarely fatal, and it causes mild symptoms: rash, headaches, conjunctivitis, sometimes fever and joint pains. Besides, an estimated 80% of cases are asymptomatic, which makes it next to impossible to establish an exact number …

READ MORE →

Photo by UNMEER/Martine Perret. 15 December 2014
International Health GovernanceSymposium

Infectious Diseases as a New Threat to International Peace and Security

The Security Council and the Securitization of Health

The last quarter of century registered the resurgence of infectious diseases, that the medical community deemed to have defeated with the global vaccination campaign. Global health challenges, represented by pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola and Zika, arisen in developing countries, whose spread in developed countries has been facilitated by the process of globalization, determined the emersion of a global/collective interest to the protection of health. The global health governance …

READ MORE →

Photo by UNMEER/Martine Perret. 15 December 2014
International Health GovernanceSymposium

The Human Right to Health in Africa: Great Expectations, but Poor Results

Thirty years after the entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the protection of human rights still encounters many difficulties in the majority of the African States. Above all, the implementation of the ‘second generation’ human rights seems largely unrealistic, in spite of the great expectations emerging from the pertaining legal texts. The human right to health, enshrined in Article 16 of the ACHPR, …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The Karadžić Judgment: The ICTY at its Peak

In theater, the peak of a play in which all strings of the story converge and the intrigue is resolved, is called the climax. With its verdict against Radovan Karadžić, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has come to its climax.

READ MORE →