Current Developments

Filtering fundamental rights

The European Union’s balancing of intellectual property and the freedom to receive information

The legislation process of the “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” has been accompanied by many unusual events, such as a – later removed – communication by the Commission containing insults of the opponents of the reform; a video published by the social media account of the Parliament defending the draft (before an actual vote by the parliament and created by one of the firmest lobbyist groups for the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Responsibility to punish

Zur Verantwortung Deutschlands für deutsche IS-Kämpfer

Über 1000 deutsche Staatsangehörige haben sich dem sogenannten Islamischen Staat (IS) angeschlossen, davon befinden sich mittlerweile gut 40 im syrischen Kurdengebiet in Gefangenschaft. Einige von ihnen werden verdächtigt, sich wegen Völkermord, Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit und Kriegsverbrechen strafbar gemacht zu haben. Schon im Koalitionsvertrag vereinbarten SPD, CDU und CSU zu regeln, dass „Deutsche, die eine weitere Staatsangehörigkeit besitzen, die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit verlieren können, wenn ihnen die konkrete Beteiligung an Kampfhandlungen …

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Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part II)

This is the second part of a two-part analysis of the PCIJ’s Advisory Opinion concerning the Interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The first part reviewed the opinion’s background and the drafting history of article 3 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which the Advisory Opinion focussed on. Article 3 concerned the delimitation of the boundary between Turkey and Iraq following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The key …

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Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part I)

It is commonly accepted that the contemporary instability in certain areas of the Middle East is attributable, at least in part, to the arbitrary manner in which many boundaries were drawn by the victorious powers after the end of the First World War. Less often discussed is the role that international law and, in particular, the Permanent Court of International Justice (the ‘PCIJ’) played in this context. By scrutinising the …

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Current Developments

Gender Inclusive Trade and the Limits of Liberal Feminism

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO saw the coming together of 121 WTO members to support the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment (hereinafter ‘Gender Declaration’). Members went on to endorse a liberal feminist strategy to promote gender equality within the international trading system. Pursuant to the Gender Declaration, the WTO has convened a series of conferences and workshops to deliberate upon ways to promote women’s participation in …

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Customary International LawSymposium

Religious Freedom and Customary International Law

The struggle for religious freedom is the oldest of all movements for international human rights. Nonetheless, religious freedom remains the most problematic of all human rights. Despite treaty protections for religious rights stretching from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) to the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and beyond, the role of customary international law remains considerable. For example, how does one define such rights as the freedom to establish …

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Customary International LawSymposium

The principle of responsibility-sharing in refugee protection

An emerging norm of customary international law

In December 2018, the Global Compact on Refugees was adopted. Especially over the last year, its drafting and negotiations could appear in odd contrast to the surrounding world, in which conditions for seeking asylum continued to harshen. Is the compact a step towards countering these conditions, or mere window-dressing without much effect on refugees’ rights? The compact is non-binding and one widely shared view is that all will depend on …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Trading Blows

On the military tensions between India and Pakistan

On Wednesday, February 27th 2019 Pakistan reportedly shot down two Indian warplanes, after India conducted airstrikes on the Pakistani side of the disputed border region of Kashmir against training camps of the Jaish-e Mohammed group which claims responsibility for a terror attack against Indian soldiers earlier in February. India confirmed the loss of one plane and claims to have shot down a Pakistani warplane as a response itself. The Kashmir region …

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BofaxeVölkerrechtsblog

New Collaboration between Völkerrechtsblog and Ruhr University Bochum’s Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV)

From 2019 onwards, Völkerrechtsblog is regularly publishing Bofaxe: academic snapshots of up-to-the minute news in international law as produced by international law researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum’s Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) and affiliated scholars. The series of the Bofaxe was originally started in 1988 when Professor Knut Ipsen founded the IFHV in Bochum. On one page, Bofaxe assess current legal and political events and contextualize …

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Event

Provoking the Single Story

A Report of the MPIL/JHIL-Conference “Politics and the Histories of International Law”

Telling a history of international law is every time a mode of echoing oneself in the present. The danger of a single storyand its oppressive force to identities and peoples that are misrepresented or not represented in it have been stressed in recent years by many scholars, but not only them. It was perhaps most remarkably and famously spelled out by the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in a TED …

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Current Developments

Sind die USA noch an den INF-Vertrag gebunden?

Der Vertrag über die Beseitigung nuklearer Mittelstreckensysteme (sog. INF-Vertrag, Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) wurde noch während des Kalten Krieges zwischen den USA und der damaligen Sowjetunion geschlossen und ist seit dem 1. Juni 1988 in Kraft. Er verbietet den USA und seit dem Zerfall der UdSSR der Russischen Föderation als deren Fortsetzungsstaat sowie gegenwärtig noch den früheren Sowjetrepubliken Kasachstan, Ukraine und Weißrussland den Bau und den Besitz landgestützter, atomar …

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Current Developments

Imperialism, International Law and the Chagos Islands

Reflections on Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago

The Chagos tragedy (the Advisory Opinion of the ICJ can be found here) represents a story that in one way or the other is fundamentally a story of international law and its complicity in subjugating, oppressing and dominating an ‘inferior’ people. It shows that the erstwhile colonial world order is neither really ‘past’ nor that modern international law, as it is often claimed, is necessarily a harbinger for emancipation and …

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Customary International LawSymposium

Corporate liability under customary international law

Is the tail wagging the dog?

Human rights and business issues are far more complex than is often considered in most scholarly writings on the topic. The following is an example of the complexity, taken from the case of Araya v Nevsun Resources 2017 BCCA 401, which is currently winding its way through the Canadian courts. The company is alleged to have aided and abetted serious human rights abuses, primarily conducted by the government of Eritrea. …

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Customary International LawSymposium

Why Customary International Law Matters in Protecting Human Rights

Does customary international law really matter in protecting human rights, and if so how? This was the theme of a panel at International Law Weekend in New York on October 20, 2018. International Law Weekend is an annual conference organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association. The panel was sponsored by the American Branch’s Committee on the Formation of Customary International Law, of which I serve as chair. …

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Journal Cooperation

Who is calling the shots?

A comment on Amvane’s “UN peacekeeping and the developing world”

In his thought-provoking essay on UN peacekeeping and the developing world Gabriel Amvane sheds light on the mismatch between the fact that while peacekeeping operations are mainly carried out in and by states from the global South, it is the casualty-averse countries from the global North that fund these operations and thus call the shots in decision-making about where to deploy, with what mandate, and for how long. This results in …

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Book Review

Hard times for voices from the Global South

Decolonization and the validity of existing treaties

For a long time, international legal scholars did not devote much attention to protagonists from the Global South as relevant actors in the field. The focus of the discipline – at least in continental Europe – was on contributing to the systematization of the international legal order. The few studies on particular national or regional approaches to international law largely focused on the perspectives of the Soviet and US American …

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