Current Developments

Endlich! – Erster Haftbefehl gegen einen ranghohen Vertreter des syrischen Assad-Regimes

Zur strafrechtlichen Verfolgung von im syrischen Bürgerkrieg verübten Verbrechen in Deutschland

Können mutmaßliche syrische Völkerrechtsverbrecher einfach unbehelligt nach Europa ein- und wieder ausreisen? Diesen Eindruck musste man bei der Lektüre eines Berichtes gewinnen, der vor einigen Wochen in der französischen Tageszeitung „Le Monde“ erschien. Bereits im Januar diesen Jahres sei Ali Mamluk, der als „Direktor des Nationalen Sicherheitsbüros“ der Ba’ath-Partei, seit Jahrzehnten eine feste Größe in dem syrischen Sicherheits- und Unterdrückungsapparat, auf Einladung des italienischen Geheimdienstes AISE nach Rom geflogen und …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part II)

The first part of this post established the intrinsic connection between human rights and the protection of biodiversity, looked at human rights and the environment in international public law in general and examined the conceptual relationship between biodiversity and the environment. The second part centers around the current approach of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment which promises nothing less than a change of paradigm on …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part I)

For a long time, the legal and political endeavours to protect humans from violations of their basic rights seemed in no way connected to the preservation of biodiversity. In the past, this paradigm has been reflected by indifferent international responses to biodiversity issues: Whereas the promotion and protection of human rights has in recent decades become a major concern of the international community and the relationship between human rights and …

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Photo by Daniel Ramirez, Honululu, USA, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Business and Human RightsCall for ContributionsSymposium

Symposium on Business and Human Rights: Call for Contributions

On June 24, 2016 the United Nations’ Council on Human Rights established an intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations. The working group is tasked with the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument “to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”. In 2017 the working group’s chairman published a non-binding paper outlining possible elements of a treaty on business and human rights; …

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Current Developments

The first genocide of the 20th century before a domestic court

A New York Court about to decide on its jurisdiction in Rukoro et al. v. Germany

Once more, Germany is confronted with compensation claims concerning wrongs committed in the past (see on this topic already the post by Andreas Buser). After unsuccessful previous cases against Germany by the Ovaherero and Nama people before the Permanent Court of Arbitration and U.S. federal courts in Washington, D.C., the pending class action complaint against the Federal Republic of Germany in the United States District Court Southern District of New York is the …

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Interview

On history, geography, and radical change in international law

An interview with BS Chimni

These are exciting times for international legal scholarship – on this point, the interviewers and Professor BS Chimni can immediately agree. But what are the consequences of recent challenges to the international legal order for critical approaches? Professor Chimni’s groundbreaking work on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) has contributed greatly to international legal scholarship during the last decades. A fascinating scholar, an enthusiastic teacher, and an effortlessly charismatic …

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Journal Cooperation

Access to information and the fourth wave of rights

The Inter-American and the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Union, Germany, India, South Africa, and Brazil all share one common legal feature: They have recognized “access to information” as an individual fundamental right since the turn of the millennium. Since the 1990s, there has been a veritable “global explosion of freedom of information” as new constitutions have enshrined the right to information, legislators …

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DiscussionKick-off

Neue Initiative der polnischen Regierung in Sachen deutscher Weltkriegsreparationen

Germany v. Italy 2.0?

Erneut fanden sich Anfang Januar 2018 Meldungen über Erwägungen der polnischen Regierung, Reparationsansprüche gegen die Bundesrepublik für Schäden des Landes während der deutschen Besatzung im 2. Weltkrieg geltend zu machen. Nun sollten US-amerikanische Gerichte helfen, die Ansprüche durchzusetzen, so der polnische Botschafter in Deutschland, Andrzej Przyłębski. Einigen dieser Aspekte soll sich dieser Beitrag widmen. Nie verheilte Wunden? Seit dem Regierungswechsel in Warschau im Spätherbst 2015 überholt die neue nationalkonservative PiS-Regierung nicht …

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Current Developments

The Philippines’ move away from the International Criminal Court over the war on drugs: A blow for human rights in Asia

As a signatory to every human rights treaty and being at the forefront of promoting international human rights, Philippines is considered as one of the  “architects” of the United Nations and the human rights system. This was seen as a huge step forward for human rights in Asia. However, now with the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, and the International Criminal Court (ICC), this will be seen a …

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Current Developments

Stretching Abstract Reasoning to its Limits

The IACtHR and the Right to a Healthy Environment

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued the Advisory Opinion (AO) of 15 November, 2017 (OC-23/17), on the subject matter of the environment and human rights. Its wide-ranging features already sparked a lively debate in the blogosphere (see here, here and here). Whereas some welcome the Court’s engagement with environmental rights, others are either skeptical of the way in which the AO deals with criteria of state responsibility in human …

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Grafitti picturing Berta Cáceres on a wall in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Current Developments

Defending the Defenders

Assessing LAC-P10, the new treaty to protect environmental activists in Latin America

The assassination of Berta Cáceres On 3 March 2016 Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated. She was a coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and one of the leading voices in her people’s fight against Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Her activism had earned her the Goldman Environmental Prize and years of threats and intimidations by state and non-state actors, which …

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Current Developments

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers

A New Chapter for International Criminal Justice in the Balkans

As the doors were closing on Churchillplein 1, the Hague, the former home of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), only a short walk away a new institution began preparing indictments for war crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars. 

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Current Developments

Rainbow Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court?

Gender-based Persecution of Gays, Bisexuals and Lesbians as a Crime Against Humanity

On 8 November 2017, something happened which can be seen as a milestone for gay rights: a communication was submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that includes crimes committed based on the victims’ real or perceived sexual orientation. Such a case would be the first of its kind and, if successful, would create a strong message for the universal prohibition of gender-based crimes for all sexual …

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DiscussionKick-off

Schadensersatzansprüche vor nationalen Gerichten aufgrund von Völkerrechtsverstößen?

Jesner v. Arab Bank

Können ausländische Unternehmen und Individuen die Verletzung von Völkerrechtsnormen durch andere ausländische Unternehmen vor Gericht rügen und Schadenersatzansprüche geltend machen? Die Verfahren gegen Arab Bank Plc. Ein solcher Fall wird derzeit in den USA vor dem Supreme Court verhandelt. In dem Fall Jesner v. Arab Bank stehen sich auf beiden Seiten ausländische, also nicht US-amerikanische, Staatsangehörige gegenüber. Die Klage, die unter dem Alien Tort Statute (ATS) eingereicht wurde, richtet sich …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Intersectionality in Europe: a depoliticized concept?

The reach of intersectionality in Germany has been such that as many disciplinary fields as sociology, cultural studies, ethnology, history, law, philosophy, psychology, migration studies, public policy and of course, gender studies have been touched by it. Whether approached as a theory, heuristic device, method or conceptual tool, intersectionality has been acclaimed as one of the most powerful contributions to feminist scholarship by a number of authors. Numerous feminist scholars …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Whiteness as International Citizenship in European Union Law

The European Union admits that its Romani citizens – the continent’s largest ethnic minority – are excluded and denigrated. And the EU seems to be trying to do something about it. Yet the consensus is that the EU is failing miserably. One of the most effective critiques of the Union on this point is that the position of Romani people has actually gotten worse since their countries joined and they …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawInterviewSymposium

“There is still a lot of work to be done.”

An interview with Patricia Tuitt on the meaning and tasks of Critical Race Theory

Patricia Tuitt is a UK based legal academic with a sustained track record of teaching, research and strategic management within the field of critical legal studies. She has written extensively on international refugee law and the European Union, engaging critical race and postcolonial perspectives in various contexts. In this interview, she was willing to speak about her understanding of critical race theory and of its significance for international law. The …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Framing Race and Law in Europe

To frame “Race and Law in Europe” involves a set of basic questions: 1) What is Race? 2) What is Law? and 3) What is Europe? The real challenge is to elaborate on the historical, epistemological, sociological and legal connections among these three questions without equating or reducing “race” to “racism”, without reifying law as a monolithic field, and without homogenizing Europe. These themes deserve their own in-depth analyses, although …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

The Framing of the African Union in International Criminal Law: A Racialized Logic

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘has been put in place only for African countries, only for poor countries…Every year that passes, I am proved right.… Rwanda cannot be part of colonialism, slavery and imperialism’. This anti-colonial sentiment by Rwandan President and newly elected chairperson of the African Union (AU), Paul Kagame, has become widespread within the AU in response to the Court’s overwhelming investigation and prosecution of Africans. Yet, many of …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Learning from Anthropology

Realizing a Critical Race Approach to (International) Law

Introduction Despite anthropology’s troublesome contribution to the colonial project, the discipline as it is today has much to offer to critical race theory (CRT) and postcolonial approaches to international law. Already in the 1930s, Franz Boas and his students began to challenge the Eurocentrism, modernism and colonialism of anthropology. They developed a critique of cultural evolutionism, according to which culture was understood as evolving towards the “Western ideal”. Instead, they …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Building Islam as a race in French colonial law

The conquest of Algeria introduced in French law new chapters pertaining to the treatment of indigenous people. In fact, the French Algeria gained the status of department in 1848 and then, was incorporated into the territory of France with, normally, the application of the Code Civil, the civil law. However, the colonial authorities developed in parallel a set of laws with the intention to exclude native Algerians from nationality and …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Sind Juden weiß?

Wie Antidiskriminierungsrecht am Antisemitismus scheitert

Das umstrittene Urteil des Landgerichts Frankfurt zum Flugverbot für israelische Staatsbürger bei Kuwait Airways ist auch in antidiskriminierungsrechtlicher Hinsicht interessant. Es zeigt, wie schwer es Gerichten fällt Antisemitismus unter die Kategorien des Antidiskriminierungsrechts zu subsumieren und ihn in seinen aktuellen Ausformungen zu erfassen. Nicht nur in Deutschland.

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

The Concept of Race in International Criminal Law

The Nazis defined the Jews as a race inferior to the Aryan race, the Khmer Rouge identified the ‘new people’ as enemies with a biologically dissimilar essence, and in Darfur (Sudan), the Janjaweed militia labelled their enemies derogatorily as ‘Zourga’, or black Africans. Seemingly, these victim classifications all have a racial denominator in common. Yet, how does international criminal law in general and the law of genocide in particular define …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

We need to talk about ‘race’

Symposium: Critical Race Perspectives on International Law

“Race is the child of racism, not the father,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates in “Between the World and Me”. Such understanding of race, not as an empirical category but as a category for analysing power relations and structural discrimination, underlies the symposium “Critical Race Perspectives on International Law”.  We take inspiration from the important work of critical race theorists who posit that racism is not simply a matter of individual prejudice …

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Current Developments

Opt-in vs. Opt-out = opt-in-opt-out?

On the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression

In December 2017, the States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) had the chance to realize in New York what Robert H. Jackson called for in his opening statement before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. While international criminal law was only applied against German aggressors at that time, the U.S. Chief Prosecutor emphasized that the condemnation of aggressive war should be the benchmark for any other nation in …

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DiscussionKick-off

One law to rule them all

On the extraterritorial applicability of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation

Setting the gold standard … In May 2016, the EU adopted its long-awaited new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and thereby opened a new chapter in the history of European and global data protection law. Meeting the challenges of the 21st century globally linked information-society, it took the EU-institutions more than four years and almost 4,000 amendments to finally agree on a compromise text. While elaborating the GDPR, the EU tried …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Cleavages in international law and the danger of a pull towards non-compliance

International law faces difficult times, with cleavages running deep between what is often labelled “the West” on the one hand, and Russia on the other hand. With the annexation of Crimea Russia has engaged in a form of conflict that was considered passé in Europe. It is accordingly seen as being responsible for the polarization of international relations by many Western States. Moscow tells a different story of the deterioration …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Who Holds Russia’s Judges and Public Prosecutors to Account?

How the International Community Fails to Effectively Address Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders in the Russian Federation

This piece is about the growing number of politically-motivated charges and convictions against human rights defenders in Russia and the absence of credible monitoring or audit procedures to hold judges and public prosecutors to account for their misconduct. Despite political backlashes to judicial independence in countries such as Hungary and Poland, Europe is generally perceived as a powerhouse for a strong and working justice system in which courts protect human …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Is Russia the Guardian of Humanitarian Intervention?

In the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation has repeatedly put forward in no uncertain terms its stance regarding humanitarian intervention and its concern that this fairly recent concept may be misused to press Western influence and regime change. Thus, Russia used its veto powers four times to block resolutions on Syria that Russia perceives to be damaging its ally, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s argument on fearing regime change rests …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum

Fostering the Voice of Civil Society in the International Legal Debate

When speaking of the role of Russia in the contemporary international legal debate, it is helpful not only to focus on particular topics and questions, but – as with all other debates – to start with the question, at what levels and in which formats such a legal debate takes place; which actors are actively engaged in it or can actively participate in it, and what impact it has. To …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Das EU-Russland Zivilgesellschaftsforum

Die Stimme der Zivilgesellschaft in der internationalen Rechtsdebatte stärken

Spricht man über die Rolle Russlands in der zeitgenössischen internationalen Rechtsdebatte, so ist es hilfreich, sich nicht nur auf die konkreten Themen und Fragen zu fokussieren, sondern – wie bei allen anderen Debatten auch – sich zunächst zu fragen, auf welchen Ebenen und in welchen Formaten diese Rechtsdebatte stattfindet, welche Akteure daran aktiv teilnehmen bzw. teilnehmen können, und mit welcher Auswirkung. Die Kommunikationswissenschaftler verwenden dafür die Lasswell-Formel: “Who says what …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Russia, international law, and the melting of the Arctic

The melting ice in the polar caps is one of humanity’s contemporary ecological anxieties. Climate change scientists have suggested that there is a high likelihood that the Arctic sea ice cover will get thinner and continue to shrink. Likewise, the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover is expected to decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Are the current international legal mechanisms sufficiently equipped to respond to …

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Current Developments

Cheating Chile

The (il)legality of information and the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking

A rare mea culpa emanated from the leading international development institution, the World Bank, last week. The Bank’s Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to make a personal apology to Chile, and to any other country where we conveyed the wrong impression.” Romer, who took his post in late 2016, said he had found “irregularities” in the World Bank’s flagship publication, the “Doing Business” ranking. …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

‘Peaceful’ and ‘Remedial’ Annexations of Crimea

This post analyzes the ‘two annexations’ of Crimea in the Russian narrative of ‘reclaiming its historical rights’ over the peninsula in 2014. As many aspects surrounding the occupation of Crimea have been extensively debated in scholarly writings, I will limit my focus on two key concepts that Russia has advanced: Ukraine’s ‘peaceful annexation’ of Crimea in 1991; and Russia’s ‘remedial annexation’ of Crimea in 2014. My main aim is to …

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Current Developments

Das Dilemma der Intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit

Der EuGH könnte im Fall Achmea bald die Unvereinbarkeit von intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichten mit europäischem Recht erklären – mit weitreichenden rechtlichen Konsequenzen

Über den Achmea-Fall (Rechtssache C-284/16), seine Hintergründe und die mündliche Verhandlung wurde auf diesem Blog bereits an anderer Stelle berichtet. Die dem Fall zugrundeliegende rechtliche Problematik beruht auf den bilateralen völkerrechtlichen Investitionsschutz-Verträgen zwischen EU Mitgliedstaaten (intra-EU BITs), die materielle Schutzstandards für Investoren beinhalten und in den meisten Fällen zur Streitbeilegung die Möglichkeit der Anrufung eines internationalen Schiedsgerichts vorsehen. Hundertfünfundneunzig intra-EU BITs sind noch in Kraft und fast alle von ihnen …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part III: The Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal

In our first and second post, we have considered the status of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait and, on that basis, identified passage rights of Ukraine that could potentially feature in the proceedings before the arbitral tribunal established under Annex VII of UNCLOS. In our present and last post, we inquire if (or to what extent) these potential Ukrainian claims could fall within the jurisdiction of the arbitral …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part II: Ukraine’s Rights of Passage through Kerch Strait

In our previous post, we have taken a look at the legal status of the Sea of Azov and concluded that there are two possible Scenarios involving either a shared bay regime of internal waters or a “standard” situation in which the Sea of Azov is divided into the territorial seas of Russia and Ukraine in addition to a high seas pocket in the centre (see Picture 3). Based on …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part I: The Legal Status of Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

On 16 September 2016, Ukraine instituted arbitral proceedings against Russia under Part XV and Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation). The case relates to Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014, which fundamentally disrupted the maritime order in the Black …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Les évolutions de la primauté de la souveraineté dans l’approche russe du droit international

« Du passé faisons table rase » : à l’heure de fêter le centième anniversaire de la Révolution d’Octobre, ces paroles de l’Internationale ont résonné dans beaucoup de têtes. Ainsi en est-il de la Russie, qui connut plusieurs revirements spectaculaires en moins d’un siècle. Toutefois, un fil rouge se dégage dans la pensée internationaliste russe. En effet, s’il est connu que la souveraineté est au cœur de l’approche russe actuelle en droit international, …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

A Nationalized Approach to International Law: the Case of Russia

When a new edition of one of the most authoritative Soviet international law textbooks co-authored by professor Tunkin was published in 1999, most of its chapters repeated the previous 1981 version of the same textbook word-for-word, with references to “bourgeois” science of international law in the 1981 edition simply replaced by global change to “Western” science of international law in the 1999 edition. This is probably the best illustration of …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Strasbourg’s Effect on Russia – and Russia’s Effect on Strasbourg

It has been occasionally asked, in the light of case law that comes out from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), whether Russia actually complies with the ECtHR’s judgments. In terms of the big picture, even more important is the question whether the country has made any systemic progress in terms of human rights protection while being part of the Strasbourg system. How could the paradox be explained that …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Symposium: “Russian Perspectives on International Law”

We are excited to launch the Symposium “Russian Perspectives on International Law”. It has been in planning for a while, and we were enthusiastic about the response to our call for contributions. The symposium is motivated by an interest in the manifold ways in which the Russian case vis-à-vis international law is special. Politically: Russia, belonging to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plays an important role …

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Current Developments

Nature as a bearer of rights – a legal construction in pursuit for better environmental protection?

The World Climate Conference (COP 23), held in Bonn, Germany, has ended on November 17th and some of its key outcomes seem to be auspicious (e.g. the coal phase-out promoted by some states). Yet, one of the most dividing points in international environmental law has remained untouched: whether – when considering environmental rights and obligations – nature should be the carrier of rights and thus be protected for the sake …

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DiscussionKick-off

Self-Defence Against the PKK?

The Turkish Approach to International Law

The conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a Kurdish insurgent movement is a four-decade-long (from the 1980s) guerrilla war in the southeast region of the country. Turkish President R.T. Erdogan, in a reaction to an attack in the centre of Ankara which killed at least 28 people and left another 61 injured on 17 February 2016, stated that “Our State will never give up its right …

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Current Developments

Zu ihrem Glück vereint

Die wechselvollen Beziehungen der Europäischen Union mit der Schweiz

Das öffentliche Interesse an dem Besuch von EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Junker am 22. November in Bern war groß. Im Vorfeld des – schon von langer Hand geplanten – Treffens mit dem Schweizer Bundesrat brannten erneute Diskussionen darüber auf wie die Beziehungen der Schweiz mit der Europäischen Union (EU) zukünftig aussehen könnten. Grund genug, sich den gegenwärtigen Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der Schweiz und der EU noch einmal vor Augen zu führen. …

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Current Developments

The winds in New York have not changed after the recent ICJ elections

Inflamed passions, relentless rallying and 11 voting sessions hence, the International Court of Justice (ICJ/World Court/Court) was finally made complete. Contrary to previous occasions characterizing the Court’s history, ‘completeness’ this time around meant something hitherto inconceivable. With the UK’s withdrawal of Justice Greenwood from the Court’s candidacy after repeatedly being trumped over by India’s Justice Bhandari, the ICJ will function without a judge drawn from a permanent member of the …

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Current Developments

Die Trump-Administration, der Kongress und das Dilemma des JCPOA

Nach knapp 12 Jahren stockend verlaufender Verhandlungen, verbunden mit massivem wirtschaftlichen Druck auf Iran, konnten sich am 14.07.2015 die Außenminister der EU-3+3 – Bezeichnung für Staaten (P5+Deutschland), die sich den diplomatischen Bemühungen mit Iran anschlossen – und Iran in Wien auf den gemeinsamen umfassenden Aktionsplan, den JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), einigen. Dieser Meilenstein, insbesondere in den amerikanisch-iranischen Beziehungen, wurde durch die Wahl des moderaten Kandidaten Hassan Rouhani in …

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Current Developments

Last but not least: Lebenslang für den “Schlächter des Balkans”

Das Urteil des Jugoslawienstrafgerichtshofes vom 22. November 2017 gegen Ratko Mladić

    Bei der Verfolgung massiver Gewaltverbrechen spielen die Verfahren gegen die Entscheidungsträger*innen eine besondere Rolle. Die bloße Verfolgung „kleiner Rädchen im Getriebe“ verspricht nicht den gleichen Effekt auf die nach Gerechtigkeit strebenden Betroffenen. Bei der strafrechtlichen Aufarbeitung des Bosnienkrieges blieb dem politischen Oberhaupt der bosnischen Serb*innen, Radovan Karadžić, eine lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe allerdings erspart. Entsprechend wurde der Urteilsverkündung gegen den militärischen Kopf der bosnischen Serb*innen, Ratko Mladić, von bosniakischer Seite …

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Current Developments

Can we detect paradigmatic shifts when we see them?

Observations from an interdisciplinary workshop on norm and value changes

There certainly is no shortage of supposedly common wisdoms in academia on the futility of interdisciplinary work, not all of them as witty as MacIntyres’ observation that it “seems impossible to be truly bi-lingual in scientific terminology and methodology”. At the same time, there are questions that no single discipline can answer. The Workshop “Decline or Transformation? Norm change and values in international law” convened by Andrea Liese (international relations) …

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DiscussionResponse

Quo Vadis PMSC?

The way forward in dealing with Private Military and Security Companies: A response to Prof. Sossai’s assessment of the legal side effects of privatized war

In his recent post, Mirko Sossai succinctly summarized three phases of research on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC). He also named the challenges on the way forward, particularly the need to avoid competing regulatory initiatives and finding an end to impunity of PMSC. This blog post will continue the discussion and focus on five key challenges for legal scholarship focused on PMSC. 1) Misunderstandings of Legal Terminology As Sossai …

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Current Developments

Verstoß von Deutschland gegen EMRK wegen mangelnder Untersuchung von Polizeigewalt

Die Entscheidung des EGMR vom 9. November 2017 in der Sache Hentschel and Stark v. Germany, 47274/15

Der EGMR hat in einem für Deutschland sehr wichtigen Verfahren eine Verletzung von Art. 3 der Konvention festgestellt. Das ist bisher noch nicht häufig geschehen. Art. 3 schützt gegen unmenschliche Behandlung. Der EGMR hat in dem Urteil festgestellt, dass keine ausreichende Untersuchung eines nach den Umständen nicht offenbar unbegründeten Vorwurfs einer Anwendung von unverhältnismäßiger Polizeigewalt erfolgt war. Der Fall betraf den Polizeieinsatz vom 9. Dezember 2007 im Zusammenhang mit einem …

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Current Developments

La situation en Catalogne

Chronique d’une tentative de sécession avortée

La déclaration d’indépendance de la Catalogne constitue à n’en pas douter l’expression la plus forte de la crise institutionnelle qu’a connu la Catalogne ces dernières années. Si la question du statut de la Catalogne avait notamment conduit par le passé à l’annulation de l’organisation d’un référendum le 9 novembre 2014 par la Tribunal constitutionnel espagnol, les récents développements appellent une analyse approfondie tant sous l’angle du droit constitutionnel espagnol que …

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Current Developments

Wind Of Change in New York?

Die diesjährigen Richterwahlen zum IGH und die Implikationen für das Machtgefüge der Vereinten Nationen

Am Ende ging es ganz schnell. Nach einem tagelangen Machtpoker um den verbleibenden freien Platz am IGH zog Großbritannien seinen Kandidaten, den amtierenden Richter Sir Christopher Greenwood, zurück. Der Weg war frei für die Wahl des indischen Kandidaten Dalveer Bhandari, ebenfalls amtierender Richter in Den Haag. Zuvor wurden bereits vier der fünf im Jahr 2018 frei werdenen Richterstellen am IGH besetzt. Wiedergewählt wurden der amtierende Gerichtspräsident Ronny Abraham (Frankreich), Vizepräsident …

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DiscussionResponse

Who may see the Acropolis? Global patterns of inequality and the right to tourism

In her contribution on the newly created right to tourism, Sabrina Tremblay-Huet convincingly states, that the social and economic phenomenon of tourism has been widely disregarded by the social sciences, law and philosophy due to the focus of the academia on migration. However, there are many reasons to highlight the growing relevance of tourism in world society: First, the tourist sector generates by now 10 percent of the world’s GDP. …