Current Developments

The identification of individuals

Some thoughts on the ECHR judgment in the case N.D. and N.T.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its judgment in the case and N.T. v. Spain found that push-backs to Morocco in the border zone of the Spanish enclave Melilla violated the prohibition of collective expulsion. The decision is important as it concerns the delimitation between legitimate border protection and practices that violate the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – and thereby the key question in all regulation …

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Current Developments

Status: “It’s complicated”

On African leaders’ troubled relationship with international courts

Courts are to many African leaders what models are to soccer stars: they are arm candy, but they are not expected to develop a life of their own, or make anybody look bad in public. Thus, if international courts dare to touch upon issues that actually matter to African elites, they will either be killed off or neutered, or, if this is not possible, states will withdraw from their jurisdiction. …

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Current Developments

The International Arbitration Bill and the future of arbitrations in South Africa

“The vast bulk of Africa-related international arbitration cases are resolved in Europe.” Most treaties concluded by the Republic of South Africa (‘RSA’) do not require the exhaustion of domestic remedies before approaching an international tribunal. The case of Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others v. Republic of South Africa (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/07/1) (‘Piero Foresti’) has been cited as the case that galvanised the government of South Africa to take …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Vive la diversité!

A Roadmap to Gender Parity on African Regional Courts?

As of May 2017, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR) appears to be the most gender balanced bench in the world, with women occupying 45% (5 out of 11) of the seats on the court. This development is a far outcry from the meager 18% (2 out of 11) seats women have occupied on the court when it came into force in 2006. Notwithstanding this observation, the …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Judgment and diversity

Thinking with Hannah Arendt about the composition of international court benches

If the number of female judges in an international tribunal is one out of twenty-one, as in the case of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), we can assume that there is a problem. Not because a woman’s judgment would necessarily and predictably be different, as Selen Kazan has discussed. But, as Nienke Grossman also explains here, because women are just as qualified to serve as …

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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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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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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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Interview

Law as a site of politics (Part II)

An interview with Hilary Charlesworth

Völkerrechtsblog is delighted to post the second part of our conversation with Hilary Charlesworth. In this part of the interview she tells us more about the power of rituals and ritualism in human rights law, the role of law in regulation, why interdisciplinary research in law matters, and about her time on the ICJ, where she worked on the Whaling case.

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