Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Knowledge Production in Comparative Constitutional Law

Alterity – Contingency – Hybridity

The idea and the reality of the Global South represent different types of epistemological challenges to the disciplinary identity of comparative (constitutional) law. As a term, it is no more than two decades old, though its pedigree reaches back to the 1950s and the idea of a ‘third world’ which brought together Cold War developmental taxonomy with the earlier concept of a formerly excluded ‘third estate’ (tiers etat) staking a …

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Current DevelopmentsForum

Kulturgüter – Neue Narrative für den Umgang mit dem postkolonialen Erbe

Der Kulturgüterschutz ist wie kaum ein anderes Feld mit Fragen der Identität sowie Emotionen verknüpft. In ihrem konzisen Überblick zu den Herausforderungen des völkerrechtlichen Kulturgüterschutzes hat Adrianna A. Michel diesen Punkt subkutan, aber auch explizit, thematisiert. „Restitution“ ist in aller Munde, wenn historische Gerechtigkeit beschworen wird, die gegenüber den ehemaligen Kolonialterritorien und quasi-kolonialisierten Gebieten zu üben ist. Mit der Argumentationsfigur vom gemeinsamen kulturellen Erbe der Menschheit werden solche Forderungen oftmals …

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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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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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Discussion

Yes, redressing past wrongs in the present!

A rejoinder to Maximilian Pichl and Mieke van der Linden I fully support Mieke van der Linden’s thesis that the illegal nature of the colonization in Africa, and indeed everywhere else needs to be recognized. This is one way of redressing past wrongs. Just one way, which is why I have to oppose the notion that it is an alternative to claims for reparation. The one might not even be …

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DiscussionResponse

Redressing Colonial Wrongs?

A response to Maximilian Pichl On 12 May 1883, the Germans set foot ashore on the coast of South-West Africa – now known as Namibia. The settlement of Germans on natives’ lands immediately became a fact. The native peoples inhabiting the area, the Herero and the Nama, resisted to the German presence on and expropriation of their lands. As a reaction, the Germans launched a war of extermination during the …

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Photo. 9. Placard used during a march organized during the IDP’s protest: “We are people displaced. We are not criminal” (June, 2009). L. Eslava.
Discussion

Systematische Abwehr

Die Entschädigungspolitik Deutschlands

“Der Vernichtungskrieg in Namibia von 1904 bis 1908 war ein Kriegsverbrechen und Völkermord.” Dieser Satz aus dem Auswärtigen Amt wird als Kehrtwende der deutschen Erinnerungspolitik gewertet. Zum ersten Mal spricht eine deutsche Bundesregierung in Bezug auf die Verbrechen an den Herero und Nama von einem Genozid. Jüngst hatte auch Bundestagspräsident Norbert Lammert die völkerrechtswidrigen Verbrechen im heutigen Namibia benannt. Trotz dieses Eingeständnisses ist die Entschädigungspolitik Deutschlands von einer systematischen Negation der …

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Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train”

Conference symposium “Rule of law goes global” “The rule of law maintains things as they are. Therefore, to begin the process of change, to stop a war, to establish justice, it may be necessary to break the law, to commit acts of civil disobedience, as Southern blacks did, as antiwar protesters did”. In his autobiography “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”, American historian and activist Howard Zinn confronts us …

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DiscussionResponse

Re: European Patients and African Remedies

A response to Stefan Salomon The main question, presented by Stefan Salomon is this – “what might African customary laws have to do with the politics of international law and international law itself?” Salomon suggests two themes of international law and its politics, which may help in answering this question. The first is that international law “operates upon processes of “othering””. The second is that “international law globalized as language, …

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DiscussionKick-off

European patients and African remedies

At the core is the question, what African customary laws might have to do with the politics of international law and international law itself? At the outset, I admit that the title chosen for this blog post is not entirely accurate. Africa does not provide the remedy for Europe or international law on the couch. But I am convinced that the most acute and fast paced global trends manifest more …

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