BofaxeCurrent Developments

Undermining past efforts?

On the legality of using anti-personnel mines

On 31 January 2020, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced that the US government was planning to authorize high-level US military commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ “non-persistent” land mines specifically designed to reduce harm to civilians and partner forces. The Department of Defense had commented that the previous anti-personnel landmine (APM) policy could place American Forces at a severe disadvantage during conflict. This contribution critically discusses the employment …

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Ángel Gutiérrez Rubio, CC-BY-2.0.
Current Developments

EGMR billigt Festung Europa mit Toren

Das Urteil der Großen Kammer in der Sache N.D. und N.T. gegen Spanien

Am 13. August 2014 versuchten rund 600 Personen, den Grenzzaun der spanischen Exklave Melilla und damit die Außengrenze des Schengen-Raumes zu stürmen. Zwei von ihnen, N.D. und N.T., schafften es bis auf den inneren Grenzzaun, wo sie von der spanischen Guardia Civil gestellt und umgehend nach Marokko zurückgeschoben wurden. Unmenschliche oder erniedrigende Behandlung hatten sie dort nicht zu befürchten. Dennoch sah eine Kammer des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte (EGMR) in …

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Call for ContributionsClimate JusticeSymposium

International law in an age of catastrophe

Call for Contributions for a symposium on Climate Justice

We live in an age of catastrophe. This is not alarmism. Rather, denying this would mean disregarding all scientific evidence we have. At the beginning of this new decade, Australia is literally on fire and Indonesia under water. 2019 has marked the year in which the climate crisis has finally entered broader public debate, with protesters around the globe demanding that governments take the threat seriously and significantly increase the …

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Current Developments

One-eyed prosecution?

On the possibility to restrict the personal jurisdiction of an international ad hoc-tribunal for ISIS-fighters

The recent calls for the establishment of a new ad hoc-tribunal, namely to prosecute members of the terror armed group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), may re-spread the debate as to the exact nature and legality of international criminal courts. When the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN-Security Council (UNSC or Council) in 1993, the lawfulness of this novel step was controversial. …

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InterviewPractitioner's Corner

“To be a judge means to be criticized from all sides”

An interview with Angelika Nußberger

Angelika Nußberger was the German judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for nine years; her term of office came to an end at the turn of the year. Back at her chair at the University of Cologne, the German jurist and Slavicist looks back with us on her years at the Court, which she also headed as Vice-President since 2017. A conversation about legal challenges in today’s …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

From persecution to poverty

Trump’s Guatemala ‘agreement’ and the expansion of the ‘safe third country’ principle

A 2019 ‘safe third country’ agreement between Guatemala and the US allows the US to send asylum seekers who arrived at the US-Mexican border to Guatemala. Under the agreement Guatemala processes the asylum seekers’ claims sent by the US and if successful grant protection. On the 6th of January 2020 a U.S Department of Homeland Security spokesperson made a statement outlining that certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protection in the US …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

A significant opening

On the HRC’s groundbreaking first ruling in the case of a ‘climate refugee’

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) has just added to the many important international legal developments of the young decade and issued its first ruling on the case of a “climate refugee”, i.e. a person fleeing their home country because of the effects of climate change. This post analyses the groundbreaking ruling which increases the pressure on states to take action against climate change and explains its significance (see the full …

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Current Developments

Entre ambitions et réalités

La libre circulation des personnes en Afrique

Circuler librement entre les États du continent africain ; résider et s’établir librement dans l’un ou l’autre de ses pays – voici les ambitions du Protocole au Traité instituant la Communauté économique africaine relatif à la libre circulation des personnes, au droit de séjour et au droit d’établissement. L’adoption de ce Protocole en 2018 est un pas de plus vers la mise en place de la libre circulation des personnes au …

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Current Developments

The 2019-2020 novel coronavirus outbreak and the importance of good faith for international law

The 2019-2020 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak first identified in Wuhan, China currently stands at the center of the international community’s focus. The World Health Organization (WHO) issues daily situation reports on the virus’ spread. Alternatively, other sources are constantly being updated thanks to almost real-time tracking technology (see also the website created by members of the John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering). At the time of writing, the …

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InterviewPractitioner's Corner

„Richter sein bedeutet, von allen Seiten kritisiert zu werden“

Ein Interview mit Angelika Nußberger

Angelika Nußberger war neun Jahre die deutsche Richterin am Europäischen Menschenrechtsgerichtshofs (EGMR), zum Jahreswechsel ist ihre Amtszeit zu Ende gegangen. Zurück an ihrem Lehrstuhl an der Universität Köln blickt die deutsche Rechtswissenschaftlerin und Slavistin mit uns zurück auf ihre Jahre am Gerichtshof, dem sie seit 2017 auch als Vizepräsidentin vorstand. Ein Gespräch über rechtliche Herausforderungen in der heutigen Welt, die unterschiedliche Kritik am Gerichtshof, Erfolg und Misserfolg der zahlreichen Reformen …

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Current Developments

Grundrechte schützen – eine grenzenlose Verpflichtung?

Die Anwendbarkeit deutscher Grundrechte in der Tätigkeit des BND aus völkerrechtlicher Perspektive

Mit Spannung konnte man in der letzten Woche eine außergewöhnliche Verhandlung vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht verfolgen. Die geheimste deutsche Behörde, der Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), musste sich im Rahmen einer Verfassungsbeschwerde den kritischen Fragen der höchsten deutschen Richterinnen und Richter stellen. Die Verfassungsbeschwerde richtet sich gegen das novellierte Gesetz über den Bundesnachrichtendienst (BNDG), welches eine umfassende Überwachung von Auslandskommunikation ermöglicht, und deshalb eine Verletzung von Art. 10 GG darstelle. Zentral war dabei eine …

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Interview

Awarding inspiration

A conversation with Nico Krisch on the occasion of the awarding ceremony of the Max-Planck-Cambridge Prize of International Law

In 2018 the Max Planck Society established the Max Planck-Cambridge Prize for International Law (MaxCamPIL), a research prize awarded jointly by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) at the University of Cambridge. The MaxCamPIL aims at highlighting the relevance of fundamental research in the field of international law in a phase of reconfiguration of the global …

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Event

Awarding inspiration

Watch the video of the conversation with Nico Krisch on the occasion of the ceremony of the Max-Planck-Cambridge Prize of International Law

In 2018 the Max Planck Society established the Max Planck-Cambridge Prize for International Law (MaxCamPIL), a research prize awarded jointly by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) at the University of Cambridge. The MaxCamPIL aims at highlighting the relevance of fundamental research in the field of international law in a phase of reconfiguration of the global …

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Current Developments

SDGs and the rule of law: the need to globalize the ethics of legal tech

In the context of the rapid adoption and integration of legal technology at a global level, this blog will problematize the consequences of the bias of current discussions on the ethics of legal tech in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs strongly emphasize the importance of the rule of law as a basis for development.  While there is a fast-growing literature on the ethics of legal …

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Book ReviewFeminist Engagement with International LawSymposium

Crisis and hypocrisy?

(Not) A final word on our symposium

The Book Review Symposium on Feminist Engagement with International Law has been taking place against the backdrop of multiple crises. The crisis that has been dominating the news worldwide is one that culminated in the killing of Qassem Soleimani, in Iranian attacks on a US military base on Iraqi territory, and in the downing of a civilian airplane. It is unclear what the mid- and long-term fall-out of this crisis …

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Current Developments

Zur Tötung von Qasem Soleimani: Wann darf man Soldaten töten?

Der tödliche Drohnenangriff auf Qasem Soleimani und Mitglieder der „Popular Mobilization Forces“, darunter deren Anführer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, wirft eine Reihe rechtlicher Fragen auf. Neben dem (an dieser Stelle nicht näher behandelten) ius ad bellum und dem US-Verfassungsrecht betrifft das auch das Recht auf Leben und das humanitäre Völkerrecht: Schon jetzt ist klar, dass die traditionelle Definition internationaler bewaffneter Konflikte bei gezielten Tötungen an ihre Grenzen stößt. Zeit, hier nachzuschärfen. Ein …

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