Current Developments

The Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, or: how explosive existing law can be

The Michigan Guidelines are a document in which legal scholars summarize the existing international laws of refugee protection on one particular aspect. They are “just” an expert opinion – yet by no means insignificant in that capacity. They are used by courts interpreting the law and thus stand themselves at the threshold of the legal. At any rate the guidelines can frame debates about the legality of state actions in …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Why a woman’s presence on the bench is a human rights issue

In order to avoid the danger of an essentialist approach when talking about women’s representation in international courts, the issue should be framed as of of human rights and not merely as one of gender. Although both approaches, the human rights and a more gender-focused feminist one, may have the same goal this is a tricky and crucial distinction to be made. When discussing arguments for women’s presence on the …

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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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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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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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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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