Participants’ Reflections on the 2023 Jessup German National Rounds
On 4 March 2023 the German National Rounds of the world’s biggest and most prestigious moot court competition, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, came to an end....
Return to the Jessup
It’s great to be back. Like so many things, the Jessup competition had to move online due to the pandemic but this year the Jessup is back in person. Undoubtedly...
Post-COP27 Thoughts on Greening the Cape Town Convention
In June 2022, the governing council of UNIDROIT, a Rome-based intergovernmental organization with the objective to harmonize international private law across countries through uniform rules, discussed proposals for their upcoming...
Alle Macht den Staaten?
In Bezug auf die von sogenannten „Umweltaktivisten“ errichtete Blockade des Latschin-Korridors seit dem 12. Dezember 2022 und der damit einhergehenden humanitären Krise in Berg-Karabach, erließ der Internationale Gerichtshof (IGH) am...
The Future of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Human Rights
Over the last decades, the regulation of gender and sexuality has undergone major changes in Europe. From Athens to Reykjavik, same-sex unions are legal reality. States must no longer require...
Russia‘s Withdrawal from New START
Following US President Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv, Russian President Putin announced on 21 February 2023 the withdrawal from the New START Treaty – the last bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty...
In The Eyes of the Organizers
The 2023 German National Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court are upon us, and in the last few months, not only the competing teams have been...
Does International Law Close Open Borders for Humanitarian Aid?
The humanitarian catastrophe in north-west Syria, caused by the protracted war and exacerbated by the recent earthquakes, is once again drawing international attention to Turkish-Syrian border crossings. The dichotomy between...
Fuel Poverty in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is in a cost of living crisis. Among the most pressing problems is fuel poverty. People are increasingly having difficulties...
The Necessity of a Structural Investigation into the Cultural Genocide in Ukraine
Since the Russian invasion, both the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Federal Prosecutor's Office of Germany have started an investigation into events in Ukraine that...
On the Power of Formation
“Formation” may be defined as “an act of giving form or shape”. In international environmental governance, matters of form and shape are constitutive. Whether the formation of a global environmental...
The Future of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has a long history of adjudicating cases concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Many of those cases involved the controversial interpretive approach known...
Emergency Derogation or Curtailment of Human Rights?
Following the killing of Mahsa (Jina) Amini in the so-called "Morality Police" custody due to the alleged non-compliance with Iran's hijab regulation, mass protests erupted all over the country in...
Die „Bundesnotbremse II“ aus dem Blickwinkel der EMRK
Die bundesweiten Schulschließungen in Deutschland infolge der Corona-Pandemie im Jahr 2021, die Gegenstand des Beschlusses des Bundesverfassungsgerichts vom 19. November 2021 waren, liegen nun dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR)...
And the Azerbaijan-Armenia Lawfare Expanded
On 18 January 2023, the government of Azerbaijan announced that it had launched an inter-state arbitration proceedings against Armenia under the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and...
Questions of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia
On 25 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its decision on the admissibility of the interstate complaints lodged by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia in relation...
Self-Determination as Faux Remedial Secession in Russia’s Annexation Policies
“Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard … I decided to conduct...
Throughout the world, indigenous populations are in a renewed push, demanding reparations from former colonial powers. On 19 January 2023, the Namibian lawyer Patrick Kauta filed an application to the...
Will the FBI Investigate?
The killing of the American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11th, 2022 caused an international uproar, with many calling for investigations and legal actions against the soldier who supposedly...
Centering Europe and Othering the Rest
The theme of the 11th annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights reiterated the need to put “rightsholders at the center” of efforts to strengthen accountability and advance business...
A Multilateral Mechanism for Digital Sequence Information
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (hereinafter: CBD) has now reached a substantive conclusion, although not an official one. The latter is due...
How ‘Nazis’ Stole the New Year
Several concerns have been raised about memory politics in Russia turning the memory of World War II (WWII) into an instrument that set the stage for the current war in...
Rockhopper v. Italy and the Tension between ISDS and Climate Policy
On 23 August 2022, a Tribunal constituted under the auspices of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) handed down a long-awaited Award in the case of Rockhopper v. Italy. The investor’s...
The Vocal, yet Elusive Elephant in the Room of Supply Chain Regulation
Sitting at the helm of the EU Council on 1 December 2022, Jozef Síkela, the Czech Minister for Industry and Trade, seemed astonished at the result of a vote count...
Immunity of International Organisations Discarded?
Do international organisations enjoy immunity from jurisdiction under customary international law? In a recent ruling, Austria's Constitutional Court answered that question in the negative. The ruling arose in the context...
How “Attack on Titan” Complicates the Genocide Convention
There has been recent traction towards the idea that pop culture is relevant to the “study, practice, and teaching of international law”. Many scholars acknowledge that it is important to...
Noch einen Nachschlag gefällig?
Deutschlands Wohlstand und soziale Sicherheit war und ist unmittelbar verbunden mit einem möglichst freien Austausch von Waren, Dienstleistungen und Kapital nicht nur im Binnenmarkt, sondern auch mit Staaten außerhalb der...
The Violation of Ukrainian Refugees’ Right to Reproductive Self-Determination in Poland
Rape and sexualized violence have been employed throughout history as weapons in armed conflicts. The ongoing Russian war against Ukraine is no exception to a long tradition of sexualized violence,...
Die Rückkehr des „Bloody November” im Iran
Das International People’s Tribunal on Iran’s Atrocities (dt. Das Internationale Tribunal zu den Gräueltaten des Iran, kurz Aban-Tribunal) verkündete nach zweijährigen Ermittlungen zu den Ereignissen vom November 2019 in Iran...
The Return of Iran’s “Bloody November”?
On 30 September 2022, the International People’s Tribunal on Iran’s Atrocities (short Aban Tribunal) delivered its judgment after two years of investigation into the events of November 2019 in Iran....
Dealing with Loss and Damage at COP27
The fact that the topic of "loss and damage" was placed at the top of the agenda in the run-up to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh is a climate diplomacy milestone....
Foreign Election Interference
Prior to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have warned that foreign actors may create and disseminate disinformation to influence the outcomes...
Teaching in Non-Western Universities
I just returned from a 2-week stay in Rwanda. I visited the National University of Rwanda where I gave some lectures. The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between...
Reflections on Learning under Sands’ Tutelage
Since 1923, scores of doctoral students, diplomats and international legal professionals from different nationalities have attended the Academy’s Courses. This has also included artists who attended, according to Judge Hilary...
Forestalling the Responsibility to Protect Against Ecocide
Tremendous academic debate has ensued after the Stop Ecocide Foundation’s 2021 proposal to amend the Rome Statute in such a way that a new “fifth” international crime of “ecocide” would...
The Sham “Referenda” at Gunpoint
Despite ongoing fighting in the four partly occupied Ukrainian regions Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, “referenda” were held between 23 and 27 September 2022 under farcical modalities. Ballots were collected...
Legal and Judicial Responses to Disaster Displacement in Italy, Austria and Sweden
Francesca Biondi Dal Monte
Climate change and the growing climate crisis are expected to force more and more people to leave their homes. EU law and policy, however, do not explicitly address disaster displacement,...
Behind the Curtain
It is increasingly difficult to form social relations, to work, or to get information about the work of government or public offices without having access to information and communications technologies...
Rewriting als Methode
Es war zur Jahrtausendwende, als das Rewriting in der Luft lag. Und das tut es heute wieder. Rewriting steht hier für die Methode, Gerichtsentscheidungen aus spezifischen Perspektiven und Regeln neu...
Less a Wave Than a Tsunami
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) faces an unprecedented procedural situation in the Ukraine v. Russia case, as a result of the never-before-seen number of states intervening in the case...
The ICJ’s Only Friend in Ukraine v. Russia
On 18 August 2022, the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’ or ‘the Court’) issued a press statement announcing that the European Union (‘EU’ or the ‘Union’) had furnished the Court...
Tiptoeing Around the Right to Life
When the UN Human Rights Committee published its views on the case of Billy et al. v. Australia (Torres Strait Islanders) on September 23rd 2022, it made history as the...
Take It or Break It?
Louis Valentino Kolkmeyer
Vor gut sechs Jahren hat das britische Volk per Referendum für den Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs (VK) aus der Europäischen Union (EU) gestimmt (Brexit). Dystopien wie ein frequenter Gebrauch von...
Fortifying the Crime of Ecocide Through Transitional Justice Mechanisms
Recently, the crime of ecocide, which has been proposed to be added to the Rome Statute, has garnered much attention. Scholars have underlined both the definitional gaps and the practical...
On Ceasefire Agreements and (Counter)Offensives
Victor Santos Mariottini De Oliveira
On September 13th 2022, hostilities broke out once again along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia in connection with the long-lasting dispute for Nagorno-Karabakh. Reports estimate that heavy artillery shelling...
Zwischen normativem Anspruch und prozessualer Wirklichkeit – Teil II
Der erste Teil dieses Beitrags ist hier erschienen. Die prozessuale Hürde: Immunitäten Größter Vorteil – und größter Streitpunkt – einer internationalisierten Strafverfolgung ist die potentielle Umgehung von Immunitäten. Während...
Zwischen normativem Anspruch und prozessualer Wirklichkeit – Teil I
Seit am 24.02.2022 russische Truppen in die Ukraine einmarschiert sind, scheint das Völkerstrafrecht eine Renaissance zu erleben. Der Internationale Strafgerichtshof (IStGH) nahm bereits wenige Tage nach Kriegsbeginn Ermittlungen auf, eine...
What Have the Recent UN Attempts to Regulate Lethal Autonomous Weapons Brought?
Lutiana Valadares Fernandes Barbosa
Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) are no longer science fiction. They have already been deployed in real scenarios. According to the Panel of Experts on Libya established pursuant to United...
A Surprisingly Double Edged Sword
In March 2022, France passed a bill titled, ‘Law Aimed at Strengthening Parental Control over Means of Access to the Internet’ (“the Law”) which will amend Article L-34-9-3 of the...
There are two things every development agency does when launching a new program: First, formulating a robust theory of change, and second, devising an exit strategy. These steps serve to...
Dead Fish in the River Oder
A gigantic ecological catastrophe is unfolding in Central Europe: Thousands of dead fish were found in the river Oder since the end of July, now amounting to more than 100...
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic
On the difficult path from conflict to peace, peacekeepers can unfortunately become perpetrators of violence against the populations they seek to secure. Peacekeeping has been accused of occasionally creating a...
Intergenerational Justice: From Courtroom to Politics?
How to think long term in a short-term world? This is the question at the heart of Roman Krznaric’ book ‘The Good Ancestor’. Long-term thinking implies taking future generations into...
Was wird aus der Beistandsklausel der EU?
Finnland und Schweden haben seit dem Abend des 28. Juni Gewissheit: Beide werden Mitglieder im Verteidigungsbündnis der NATO. Nach einigen Zugeständnissen an die Türkei (ebenfalls NATO-Mitglied) können nun die Verfahren...
How India’s Legislation Risks Impunity for Genocidal Speech
Historically, genocides have been preceded by the gradual yet wide dissemination of speech targeting and demonizing particular communities, such as in the Rwandan genocide. The enormity of such speech is...
All That Glitters Is Not Gold(fish)
At the twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (12-17 June 2022), WTO Members reached a landmark Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (hereinafter: “the Agreement”). Pending ratification, the...
The Pandemic Treaty Dilemma
On April 12th and 13th 2022, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Body (INB) held public hearings at the seat of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the elaboration of a future instrument...
In Remembrance of Professor Cançado Trindade
Saudade is a special word in Portuguese. It can convey, all at once, deep nostalgia, the sadness of departures, and the joy and gratitude for memories of good times. May our...
Suspending Belarus and Russia from the World Bank and EBRD
On 2 March 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (hereinafter the Bank or the World Bank) issued a Joint Statement announcing the suspension of their...
Summoning Solidarity Through Sanctions
While the EU, US, and allies are increasingly imposing sanctions against Russia for its use of force in Ukraine, not as many followers have been attracted to join the sanctioning...
The Birth of Global Environmentalism
50 years ago, at least three events occurred that had a major and lasting impact on the (legal) relationship between human and nature. The release of the photograph “The Blue...
On the Restriction of International Organizations’ Immunity by the Supreme Court of the United States
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) financed the construction of a coal-based power plant in Gujarat, India in 2008. In 2015, local fishermen and farmers sued the IFC as the power...
Exploring Individuals’ Defenses against Denationalization under International Law
While States have long possessed the power to denationalize their citizens (i.e. to non-consensually withdraw their citizenship), the exercise of this power has seen a resurgence in the aftermath of...
Don’t Pull the Plug on the Energy Charter Treaty
As the Earth is facing global warming and the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement seem ever more distant (see new IPCC report), another international treaty has been receiving...
What Is the Role of Unilateral Cyber Sanctions in the Context of the Global Cybersecurity Law-Making?
María Vásquez Callo-Müller
Cybersecurity is part and parcel of the modern concept of national security. The growing incidence and severity of cyber-attacks attest to the veracity of this statement. Moreover, the development and...
No Citizenship is No Utopia
Joshua Edward Haynes-Mannering
The word ‘utopia’ has come to denote a near-perfect social order. However, perhaps due to the awful violence unleashed by various 20th Century regimes in pursuit of supposed utopias, the...
The Question of Expelling Recalcitrant Member States
Most international organisations have not been empowered to expel Member States that violate their obligations, the European Union being a notable example. One of them that does so is the...
Some Refugees are Welcome, Others Not So Much
Over a quarter of Ukraine’s population has been uprooted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that...
The Effects of the Military Operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front
With the onset of a law enforcement operation by the Ethiopian government against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), violent clashes have resulted in hundreds of deaths, thousands of displaced persons and...
Attacking Through or Against Data?
It is a well-established fact that cyber operations have permeated the reality of armed conflict and have become a powerful weapon in the hands of a belligerent (as demonstrated lately),...
How to End an Illegal War?
It is a commonplace that wars are ended by peace treaties, and that is what many hope for in case of Russia’s ‘war of choice’ in Ukraine, which has been...
Erlaubte Interessensvertretung oder unzulässige Einmischung?
In den letzten Wochen hat sich in der deutschen Öffentlichkeit eine Debatte über die Rolle des ukrainischen Botschafters in Deutschland entfacht. In diese politische Debatte hält zunehmend ein juristisches Argument...
In Rescue of Rescuers Amidst Naval Warfare
The Russo-Ukrainian conflict has led the international community into a united voice of conscience vis-à-vis the protection of the most vulnerable amidst the course of hostilities. Representing the naval dimension...
Russia and the Jessup 2022 Dilemma
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world’s oldest and one of the most prestigious competitions in international law. It purports to ‘encourage communication among students...
From Russia Without Law
Effective security guarantees. That is what Ukraine proposed as a precondition for successful peace negotiations with the Russian Federation. The chief delegate emphasised that “the mistake that was once in...
Domestic Criminal Courts as Gap-Fillers?
Shortly after the Russian invasion and long before the Bucha massacre became public, scholars started a brainstorming on how to put those on trial who committed the crime that contains...
Awarding Damages Flexibly
Lili Hanna Feher
On 19 December 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court) handed down its judgment in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) v Uganda (Judgment)....
Committed in Ukraine, Prosecuted in Germany?
Public authorities are not particularly famous for quick reactions. However, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has not only triggered a swift response from the German Government alongside its...
Can we Blame the United Nations for the Crisis in Ukraine?
One of the most frequent questions asked by students on the current crisis in Ukraine relates to the reform of the United Nations (UN). Following discussions on sanctions, military assistance,...
Sovereignty and Non-Intervention
It is abundantly clear by now that China will not criticize the Russian Federation’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, started on 24 February 2022, despite China’s much-touted strict support for the...
Two Ways of Thinking About Fossils
Palaeontologist Prof. Dr. Eberhard Frey, curator of the Karlsruhe Natural History Museum and involved in the study of several fossils that sparked considerable criticism concerning their legal and ethical acquisition, retired in...
ILC Draft Article 7 on Immunity of State Officials from Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction
In 2017, the International Law Commission (ILC) adopted Draft Article 7 ('the article') on the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction. The article identified six crimes under international...
Russia’s Plans for ‘Nationalizing’ Foreign-Owned Companies
The ongoing Russian military invasion into Ukraine has backfired on the Russian economy. As a response to the invasion, economic sanctions have been adopted by European and other states targeting...
Lessons for the EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence from the German Supply Chain Act
On February 23, 2022, the European Commission published its proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (EC Draft). While the document presented by the Commission is only a...
The ICJ Order in Ukraine v. Russia
On March 16th, 2022, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), handed over its Order on provisional measures in the case concerning...
The Individual Expressions of Judges in the ICJ Provisional Measures Order in Ukraine v. Russia
Last Wednesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its much-awaited order on provisional measures in the case brought by Ukraine against Russia’s military invasion. The Court decided on three...
Of Bullshit, Lies and ‘Demonstrably Rubbish’ Justifications in International Law
In an essay titled ‘The Importance of International Law’, Sir Arthur Watts raised the interesting question of why states feel that they have to provide legal justifications for their actions...
“No chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction were developed on my land”
Ideally, political actions and decisions should be based on a transparent, solid, and credible factual foundation. When different participants pursue different interests, this ideal runs at risk of being compromised,...
„No chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction were developed on my land”
Idealerweise sollten politische Handlungen und Entscheidungen auf einer transparenten, soliden und glaubwürdigen Faktengrundlage beruhen. Wo Akteure unterschiedliche Interessen verfolgen, läuft dieses Ideal Gefahr, unter die Räder zu kommen; sei es,...
The Emergency Special Session on Ukraine
On March 2nd 2022, the UN General Assembly (GA), convened by the Security Council (SC) for an Emergency Special Session on Ukraine, adopted a resolution that, inter alia, demanded the...
On Critique and Renewal in Times of Crisis
Many of us are struggling to absorb the news coming out of Ukraine. Putin’s reckless and unjustified invasion has already generated significant loss of life, millions of refugees, and nuclear...
Between Relief and War Crimes
As the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine has entered its third week, Russian forces continue their assaults against key Ukrainian cities. Amid heavy fighting, Ukraine and Russia agreed to establish...
The Weaponisation of International Law in Ukraine
A provocative feature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been invocation by Russian officials of the legal language of “sovereignty”, “self-defence”, “genocide” and of “international law” itself. In tactical terms,...
Media Pluralism in the Americas
In its first judgment on community radio broadcasting, notified on 17 December 2021, the Inter-American Court (Court or IACtHR) indicated that states are obliged to guarantee access to radio broadcasting...
Parting Paths – Russia’s Inevitable Exit From the Council of Europe
Since 24 February 2022, Europe has been shaken by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This blatant violation of international law led to the suspension of Russia’s rights of representation at...
Neither Neutral nor Party to the Conflict?
Russia's attack on Ukraine marks a profound turning point in Germany's foreign and security policy. For the first time, Germany supplies weapons to a party to an armed conflict. At...
Weder neutral noch Konfliktpartei?
Der Angriff Russlands auf die Ukraine markiert eine tiefgreifende Zäsur in der Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik Deutschlands. Erstmals werden Waffen an eine Partei eines bewaffneten Konflikts geliefert, die Militärausgaben sollen massiv...
How Are Nuclear Power Plants Protected by Law During War?
The world held its breath when, on the morning of March 4, 2022, reports became public that Russian military forces had attacked the largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia in...
Wie sind Atomkraftwerke im Krieg durch das Recht geschützt?
Die Welt hielt den Atem an, als am Morgen des 4. März 2022 bekannt wurde, dass die russischen Streitkräfte das größte Atomkraftwerk in Zaporizhzhia in der Ukraine in der Nacht...