Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Feminist Judgments in International Law

The Idea of the Feminist Judgments Projects A feminist critique of international courts can confront the lack of representation and inclusion of women as well as women’s lack of access to courts and the justice system. However, any critique of International Courts would be limited without a critical analysis of their output, the all important judgment! Instead of performing the usual academic critique of where the judgment was lacking in …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Feminism and the International Criminal Court – still an issue?

While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has always been subject to criticism and is maybe currently facing its biggest crisis with member states withdrawing, the things that are actually going quite well must not be forgotten. It is time to reexamine the ICC from a different perspective: the feminist one. After the adoption of the Rome Statute (RS) in 1998, many envisioned the Court as almost “feminist” due to its …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

It’s not about “women’s issues”.

An interview with Nienke Grossman about parity on international court benches

There is no way to get around Nienke Grossman’s work when reflecting about diversity on the benches of international courts. Her scholarship offers statistics about the numbers of women judges, their development over the last years and the respective distribution along nationalities; it examines causes for the exclusion of women, and discusses reasons for claiming a more equal composition of benches. While directly concerned with the representation of women in …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Symposium: Feminist Critiques of International Courts

In the upcoming days, we are very glad to host a symposium on feminist critiques of international courts. Where to begin when introducing this topic? There is much to say about the particular role of (international) courts for international law, and equally much about the role of feminist perspectives for international law. Courts are not just institutions, in which a decision is rendered about the interpretation of law in a …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests

Legal and Political Challenges

Little over a week after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the new President of the United State (US), the US officials increased international tensions over Iran’s ballistic missile test on January 29, 2017. Shortly after, the UN Security Council scheduled urgent consultations on 31st of January over Iran’s failed ballistic missile test at the request of the US. As to the US claims on the violation of the Nuclear Deal, reached …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionResponse

Die Büchse der Pandora

Auch bei einem Giftgaseinsatz erlaubt das Völkerrecht aus gutem Grund keine militärische Strafaktion

In der Nacht vom 6. auf den 7. April hat die US-Navy 59 Tomahawk Marschflugkörper  auf den Stützpunkt der syrischen Luftwaffe Shayrat in der Nähe von Homs abgefeuert. Neun syrische Soldaten sind dabei vermutlich getötet worden. Der Angriff soll eine Reaktion auf den vermutlichen Einsatz des Giftgases Sarin durch syrische Streitkräfte in dem Dorf Khan Sheikhun sein. Syrien bestreitet allerdings den Einsatz von chemischen Waffen. Die Grenze zwischen den geteilten …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: The Author’s Response

Markus Gunneflo: Writing the History of Columbus Arriving in Haiti

I could not be happier that this book symposium turned out to be a forum for such wide-ranging and critical commentary about targeted killing. All contributors offer nuanced readings of my book while extending the analysis in several significant directions. In appreciation of both these aspects I want to use this opportunity for a brief response to describe the scope of the book – drawing on the contributors reading of …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

Am Ende des Rechts angelangt – schon wieder

Der mutmaßliche Giftgas-Angriff des Assad-Regimes in Syrien lässt die Vereinigten Staaten zu militärischen Mitteln im nach wie vor andauernden Syrienkonflikt greifen. Der russische Staatspräsident Wladimir Putin hält auch prompt das Vorgehen der Trump-Administration für völkerrechtswidrig. Das Völkerrecht stößt bei der geeigneten Antwort auf diese barbarischen Taten an seine Grenzen. Wo das (Völker-)Recht keine befriedigenden Antworten mehr geben kann, darf jedoch nicht weggeschaut werden. Im Gegensatz zu seinem amerikanischen Amtskollegen gilt …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 5

Jothie Rajah: Targeted Killing and Spectacular War

1. In October 2015, some four and a half years after the Osama bin Laden killing, the New York Times disclosed that weeks before the Abbottabad raid, federal lawyers had engaged in “[s]tretching sparse precedents” to produce “rationales intended to overcome any legal obstacles”. With these disclosures, the apparently extra-legal killing of bin Laden took on a second life as a hyper-legal killing; a killing authorised by precedent and legal …

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DiscussionResponse

Does transnational environmental crime and transnational fisheries crime exist in international law?

Yes, and it is thriving.

In her post, Professor Elliott argues for a ‘levels-of-analysis’ approach to understanding transnational environmental crime. I made a similar argument in a Chapter entitled ‘Fisheries Crime’ in Elliott and Schaedla’s recent book, where I propose three different dimensions to the analysis of ‘fisheries crime’: As a concept in law or the ‘legal procedural perspective’, where ‘fisheries crime’ is an umbrella term for a number of criminal offences, As a criminological phenomenon …

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Current Developments

The use of depleted uranium munition by the US military in Syria – a legally gray area? Not necessarily…

When the US Pentagon confirmed the use and deployment of depleted uranium munition in Syria, an armed conflict having by far exceeded the level of a civil war, on the 16th of February 2017, it did not take long for public outcry to follow. Before dipping into the relevant legal repercussions on the Pentagon’s statement, it is of pivotal importance to answer a fundamental question first: What actually is depleted …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 4

Karin Loevy: Law’s Compulsion or Coming out of the Shadows

On a clear November morning in 2000, Hussein Abayat, a senior official in the Fatah faction Tanzim, was killed by a hellfire anti-tank missile fired from an Israeli helicopter. When the incident was announced later that day, instead of the regular official denial of any direct involvement by Israel in the attack, the Israeli defense minister went on live radio, openly boasting that the IDF did it. I was a …

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Current Developments

CJEU Cases C-157/15 Achbita and C-188/15 Bougnaoui

Does ‘neutrality’ trump religious freedom?

1. Introduction On 14 March 2017 the CJEU upheld the banning of the visible display of any political, philosophical or religious sign in the workplace. As a future consequence, European companies may introduce certain rules to prohibit other religious, political and philosophical symbols. The cases involved two female employees in France and in Belgium, who were dismissed for refusing to remove their headscarves which covered their hair and neck, but …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 3

Nahed Samour: Targeted Killing, Revisiting Hobbes: No Protection, No Obedience

Markus Gunneflo’s book shows how the normalization of targeted killing emerged through extensive legal work. Offering a meticulous account of history and practice, the book highlights the law and politics of protection in the dispute on killing to protect. Hobbes crafted his state sovereignty in Leviathan “with no other design than to set before men’s eyes the mutual relation between protection and obedience”.[1] Targeted killing is a response to the …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 2

Ioannis Kalpouzos: On the Constitution of Global Asymmetric Warfare

It is worth repeating that the suggestion that drone technology constitutes a ‘paradigm change’ and a ‘break with the past’ in the international law of force is of limited heuristic value. Both the descriptive accuracy and normative implications of this position have been challenged. Notably, such stark peridiocization may have pernicious effects, especially in naturalizing the promise of a ‘new way of war’ associated with the distanced precision of drone …

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Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

If you are looking for perfect justice look somewhere else.

Lawyers, historians, and the Nuremberg Trials’ precedential qualities.

It is not very often that a historian’s book, even one about a pivotal moment in the annals of international criminal law, meets with such interest among his legal and jurisprudential colleagues, and I am very grateful for the willingness of the three reviewers (Prior/Papa and Mégret) to devote precious time to The Betrayal and to the Voelkerrechtsblog team for hosting the symposium. One of the difficulties of trespassing disciplinary …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 1

Itamar Mann: Israel and the Forever War

1. On 4 January 2017, a military court in Jaffa convicted Israeli soldier Elor Azaria of manslaughter. The case has set Israeli public debate ablaze for almost a year now, and was widely reported abroad. As a video released by the human rights group Betselem revealed, Abd Al Fatah A-Sharif was wounded and lying, face down, when Azaria approached and shot a bullet through his head. A-Sharif had stabbed an …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Targeted Killing: A Legal and Political History

A Book Symposium

Over the coming weeks, the Völkerrechtsblog will host an online symposium on the recently published book Targeted Killing: A Legal and Political History (CUP 2016) by Markus Gunneflo. Markus Gunneflo is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in public international law at Lund University in Sweden. The book will be discussed by Itamar Mann (Haifa), Ioannis Kalpouzos (London), Nahed Samour (Helsinki), Karin Loevy (NYU) and Jothie Rajah (American Bar Foundation, Chicago). …

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DiscussionResponse

The battle against transnational fisheries crime

Jurisdictional challenges

The raison d’être of the concept of transnational ‘fisheries crime’ (TFC) (INTERPOL 2013) or ‘marine resource crime’ (UNODC 2011) can be traced to endemic illicit activities in the fisheries sector which, due to their devastating impacts, are increasingly considered as a serious problem worthy of attention as ‘criminal’ rather than merely ‘illegal’ behaviour. In terms of scope and approach, TFC is a broader and perhaps more ambitious successor of the …

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Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

Nuremberg and the Contemporary Commitment to International Criminal Justice

The Nuremberg trial often stands as a nostalgic memory in the minds of international criminal lawyers. Perhaps it is the particular black and white simplicity of the trial, the mostly abject “bad guys” in the dock, the compound character of their evil deeds, and the justness of the Allied cause, tainted in sepia tones with the passage of time. Lawyers’ historicization of that episode tends to be saturated with commitments …

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Nuremberg TrialsSymposium

Nuremberg Trials a Betrayal to History?

Book Review: “The Betrayal” by Kim Priemel

Kim Priemel’s “The Betrayal” is a very thoroughly researched historical but also philosophical and critical narrative of the Nuremberg Trials. Two principal questions guide the reader through the book: Can history be judged, and if so, by what means? And can accountability mechanisms and the applicable law ever be neutral given their historically influenced evolution? Priemel questions the success of Nuremberg, given its selective focus on only certain parts of …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Die Umsetzung der schweizerischen Volksinitiative „gegen Masseneinwanderung“

Ein Vergleich mit dem Brexit

Wie es Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral treffend zusammenfasst, hatten die im Vereinigten Königreich ansässigen Völkerrechtler(innen) nach der Brexit-Abstimmung vom 23. Juni 2016 mindestens zwei Gründe zur Erleichterung: erstens die Tatsache, dass sie als Hauptgebiet nicht Europarecht gewählt hatten; zweitens die Gewissheit, dass ihre Expertise in den nächsten Jahren weiterhin gefragt sein würde. Ähnlich erging es wohl ihren Kolleg(inn)en in der Schweiz am Abend des 9. Februars 2014 nach …

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DiscussionResponse

Transnational environmental crime: a challenging problem but not yet a legal concept

A response to Lorraine Elliott Transnational environmental crime is both a challenging reality and a legal concept in the making. From an international law point of view, this concept is currently being defined by soft law instruments that are transmitting normative expectations about the way States may address it rather than prescribing legal provisions. These instruments are paving the way for the future development of international agreements and play an …

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Sovereign DebtSymposium

Sovereign Debt Restructuring – In the Machine Room of Legal Engineering

The authors and editors of the special issue on sovereign debt restructuring are highly grateful to the contributors to this symposium on sovereign debt for their thought-provoking contributions. As I have highlighted in my initial post, this special issue is as much about improving the current practice of sovereign debt restructuring as it is about legal engineering – in this case, about instigating incremental progressive development in a crucial policy …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.). …

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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: …

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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’? …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 – …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …