ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

The broken promise of belligerent occupation law

The ABC of the OPT, the award-winning new publication by three outstanding Israeli scholars and jurists – Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard and Hedi Viterbo –demonstrates, in a masterly fashion, the use and abuse of the laws of belligerent occupation as a masquerade for raw power and as a tool for oppression. The authors illustrate, using the format of a legal lexicon dedicated to specific legal terms and rhetorical devices (or newspeak), …

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ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

Phantom sovereignty and the imaginary version of international law

In the ABC of the OPT, Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard and Hedi Viterbo offer a guidebook for the legal tourist – a narrated cartography to the strange legal planet that has become Israel/Palestine, governed by hundreds of military and civil officials that harbor wide discretion and a flexible rule that I call phantom sovereignty. Shaped as a lexicon, it includes entries that offer both a thematic and a chronological history …

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ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

Mobilizing the untapped capacity of international law

It is a particular honour to be asked to contribute to the Book Review Symposium at Verfassungsblog because of the occasion: the arrival of an outstanding work on international law that addresses – dispassionately, authoritatively and comprehensively – one of the most pervasive and most tragic issues of our time: Israel’s interminable occupation of Palestine. This book du jour – The ABC of the OPT – by Orna, Michael and …

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ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

From “Assigned Residence” to “Zone”

Introduction to the Book Review Symposium on The ABC of the OPT

Israel’s occupation or “control” (as the book prefers to call it) of Palestinian Territory that began with six days in June 1967, presents a depressing and tragic political and moral conundrum. For the international lawyer, it is also a legal laboratory of global relevance. “The Israeli occupation of Palestine embodies a fateful and troubling paradox regarding international law that we must acknowledge and think our way through”, writes Michael Lynk, …

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Current Developments

Strafverfolgung ohne Jurisdiktion?

Das Legitimitätsdilemma des IStGH angesichts der Rohingya-Ermittlungen

Die Chef-Anklägerin des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH) sorgte mit ihrem neusten Antrag vergangene Woche für einigen Wirbel. Am letzten Donnerstag ersuchte Fatou Bensouda die Vorverfahrenskammer um Erlaubnis, mit ihren Ermittlungen um die Geschehnisse in Bangladesch/Myanmar im Jahr 2017 fortfahren zu dürfen. Damit befindet sich der Fall nun in jener Phase, an der die gerichtliche Aufarbeitung der Situation in Afghanistan im April scheiterte, nachdem sich der IStGH in seinem wegweisenden Beschluss gegen die …

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Current Developments

In the wake of the ICJ’s Opinion in Chagos: Britannia waives the rules

The United Kingdom recently reacted against the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. Has the UK abandoned the international rule of law? A unanimous verdict sows division On 25 February 2019, the ICJ handed down its Advisory Opinion on the UK’s separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius on 8 November 1965. The Opinion stated clearly that the excision of Chagos …

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Event

Conference “Cynical International Law?”

Program and Registration for Engaged Listeners

The joint conference of the Working Group of Young Scholars in Public International Law (Arbeitskreis junger Völkerrechtswissenschaftler*innen – AjV) and the German Society of International Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht – DGIR) on the topic of Cynical International Law? Abuse and Circumvention in Public International and European Law 6 – 7 September 2019, Freie Universität Berlin has published its conference program and is now open for registration for engaged …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Dilemmatic Discomfort: Author’s Response

I am very grateful to Rostam Neuwirth, Surabhi Ranganathan, Wolfgang Thierse and Lea Wisken for taking the time to engage with my book in such a thoughtful and constructive manner. I would also like to thank the Völkerrechtsblog, and in particular, Sebastian Spitra, for arranging this symposium and Valentina Kleinsasser for translating the interview with Wolfgang Thierse. The four contributions raise many more points and questions than I have space …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

“Irresolvable Norm Conflicts”: An Oxymoron?

Norm conflicts in international law have received surprisingly little attention, given their fundamental relevance for law in general and the present international legal order in particular. Long ago, a few pages in Emer De Vattel’s Le droit des gens, published in 1758 (De Vattel 1758: 507-514, and an article by C. Wilfred Jenks titled “The Conflict of Law-Making Treaties”, published in 1953 (Jenks 1953), would have nearly completed the list …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

The international whaling regime – a law with no teeth?

Hosting the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan has been at the center of international attention lately. Less prominent than the G20 summit, but not less noteworthy is the reintroduction of commercial whaling in Japan. Beginning on Monday, 01 July 2019, it will be legal to hunt whales for openly economic reasons in Japan’s coastal waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for the first time in more than 30 years. While …

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Current Developments

100 years of the International Labour Organization or: You can’t have the birthday cake and eat it

In June, more than 6000 delegates celebrated the centenary of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of the 108th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva. A broad range of heads of state and high level representatives were among the congratulators who conveyed to the plenary their affirmation of ILO’s main objective. An objective which is in a nutshell captured by the first sentence of the preamble of the …

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Current Developments

Setting the record straight how detention and indictment works in Sweden – as illustrated by the Assange case

In a recently published text, Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Human Rights Chair, Geneva Academy and Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow, felt “repulsion and disbelief”, starting off with stating that Assange “has never been charged with a sexual offence” in Sweden. If one’s understanding of criminal procedure is based only on English law or common law, this is a serious allegation, if you are …

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Current Developments

The US Armed Forces at the Mexican Border – Entering Legally Murky Territories?

The Trump-Administration is increasingly concerned about the security situation within Mexico. It views it as a threat to national security in light of its cross-boundary implications, such as the flow of irregular migrants and drugs into the US (for further details see Cooper). In reaction, President Trump has decided, among other measures such as building a wall (see Proclamation 9844, establishing a controversial ‘state of emergency’ to fund it), to …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Legal dilemmas: the first step towards a solution is to acknowledge the problem

Imagine that you are the captain of a ship located halfway between several people drowning. You have a duty towards each of them but are unable to save everyone. In such a situation, Valentin Jeutner argues, you are confronted with not only a moral but possibly also a legal dilemma. The notion of a legal dilemma challenges the assumption that international law is a coherent system providing a binary classification …

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DiscussionResponse

Mehr davon!

Völkerstrafrecht und das Streben nach Glück

In seinem Beitrag „Neues Tribunal, neues Glück?“ vom 12. Juni 2019 stellt Simon Gauseweg umfassend die Möglichkeiten einer völkerstrafrechtlichen Aufarbeitung des „Islamischen Staats“ dar. Es geht ihm dabei nicht nur um eine reine Darstellung, sondern auch um eine Bewertung, „ob das Völkerstrafrecht von der Aufarbeitung des Konflikts (…) profitieren kann oder ob die Gefahr eines Rückschritts besteht.“ In eine ähnliche Richtung zielt der Beitrag „Endlich! Erster Haftbefehl gegen einen ranghohen …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Romancing the State

Perhaps the first and very pleasant thought that will strike readers of Irresolvable Norm Conflicts in International Law is that the medium is not the message. The book is about the impossibility of reconciling norms that pull in different directions. The writing, however, achieves the feat – not impossible, but very difficult – of balancing erudition with intuition, and complexity with concision. Over the slender course of 153 elegantly drafted …

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