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?
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
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
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...
Russia Has Not Breached the Jus Contra Bellum in 2022; It Did in 2014
There is hardly any doubt that the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine started on 24 February 2022 is a blatant violation of international law. According to the news arriving from...
To Close or Not to Close
This analysis by Nilüfer Oral first appeared on the NUS-CIL blog and is a revised and updated version of the original text. President Zelensky’s Request to Turkey to Invoke...
More than Names and Numbers?
On Monday, the Ukrainian representative on the Governmental Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sent an e-mail asking the President and CEO of ICANN...
The Sadly Neglected Crime of Aggression
International criminal law has experienced an unexpected renaissance in the domestic sphere in recent years. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Germany’s consistent application of universal jurisdiction in...
Vereint gegen den Krieg
„Resolution ES-11/1 adopted“: mit einem lakonischen Tweet verkündete gestern Nachmittag der Vorsitzende der UN-Generalversammlung, dass die Weltgemeinschaft in einer Notstandssitzung den Angriff Russlands auf die Ukraine verurteilt hat. 141 Staaten...
Uniting for Peace
In the last week, we’ve seen Russia launch a full-scale invasion into Ukraine, constituting a clear breach of the prohibition on the use of force and an act of aggression....
From Grey Zones to Red Lines
On 25 February, in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe (CoE), the Committee of Ministers suspended Russia’s rights of representation for seriously violating Article...
Russia’s Recognition of the DPR and LPR as Illegal Acts under International Law
On 21 February 2022, following a televised address, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed the decrees recognising the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) – two Ukrainian breakaway territories,...
Seeking the Holy Grail?
UN talks on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) have been ongoing since 2014. Regardless of intense academic engagement on the topic as well as civil society pressure, last year the...
Even the Eagle does not Fly Higher than the Sun
An old Russian expression goes "Даже орел не летает выше солнца" ("Even the eagle does not fly higher than the sun"). This piece of wisdom should be kept in mind...
Fiddling (With Ecocide) While Rome (and Everywhere Else) Burns
Völkerrechtsblog has published another post on ecocide, this one entitled “Ecocide – Legal Revolution or Symbolism?” Written by Romina Pezzot and Jan-Phillip Graf, the post argues that, if adopted by...
The Armed Lifeboat Between Glasgow and Bruzgi
During the last three days of COP26, a group of about 2,000 asylum seekers was stranded in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of Bruzgi, the international border crossing...
The Hobbesian State of Nature as Cautionary Tale
In his contribution related to Carmen Pavel’s book, Law Beyond the State, my good friend and colleague Kostia Gorobets suggests Doing Away with Hobbes. However, his depiction of Hobbes’s premises...
The End of the Al-Khatib Trial
A German version of this article was previously published here on 14 January. January 13, 2022 marked the end of the world’s first trial on state torture in Syria....
Verfassungsrechtliche Verantwortlichkeit in der Klimakrise
Ein unterschätzter Entscheidungsaspekt Kaum eine Gerichtsentscheidung der jüngeren Vergangenheit hat so viel Aufruhr verursacht wie der Klimabeschluss (1 BvR 2656/18) des Bundesverfassungsgerichts vom März letzten Jahres. Nicht nur im schnelllebigen...
Don’t Stick to a Fossil Treaty – Pull the Plug on the Energy Charter Treaty
On the basis of the ECT treaty, companies like RWE claim billions from the Dutch state because they have to close their coal-fired power plants under the Dutch coal-exit law...
Raus aus dem fossilen Zeitalter – Zieht dem Energiecharta-Vertrag den Stecker!
Auf der Grundlage des Energiecharta-Vertrags fordern Unternehmen wie RWE Milliarden vom niederländischen Staat, weil sie nach dem niederländischen Kohleausstiegsgesetz von 2019 ihre Kohlekraftwerke schließen müssen. Doch der Europäische Gerichtshof entschied,...
Having its (Strasbourg) Cake, and Eating It
The UK government has proposed replacing its domestic rights charter, the 1988 Human Rights Act, with a new ‘Bill of Rights’. This may further destabilise its already turbulent relationship with...
The Minimum Principle
‘A politician (…) thinks of the next election, while the statesman thinks of the next generation,’ James Freeman Clarke wrote in an 1870 essay with the pressing title Wanted, a...
Das Ende des Al-Khatib-Verfahrens
Am 13. Januar 2022 endete der weltweit erste Prozess wegen Staatsfolter in Syrien. Das OLG Koblenz verurteilte Anwar R. zu lebenslanger Haft wegen Tötung, Folter, schwerwiegender Freiheitsberaubung, Vergewaltigung und sexueller...
Critiques of International Criminal Law Revisited in the Light of the Rome Statute
As 2021 marked the 75th anniversary of the first international criminal trial in Nuremberg, this post will reflect on the current state of international criminal law (ICL). The conventional wisdom...
The Problem with Using Sanctions as Human Rights Accountability
In November 2021, the United States unveiled a flurry of sanctions in response to human rights and humanitarian law violations in the year-long armed conflict in northern Ethiopia. The conflict...
In-between the expectations of the international community and domestic rule of law realties, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt sentenced Taha Al J. to life imprisonment in a historic verdict....
It is Human Rights Day, again – an occasion to reflect on the state of academic debate about human rights. After a phase of significant human rights critiques, the debate has increasingly...
Remembering Professor Rudolf Bernhardt
Professor Rudolf Bernhardt, former President of the European Court of Human Rights and former director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law died on 1 December 2021...
Bringing Order to Orbital Chaos?
Three weeks ago, on 15 November 2021, a Russian anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test was reported, raising serious legal and political questions about the prohibition of the use of force in outer space. Not...
It’s All About Choice
Time and again, a debate pops up on whether access to the internet should be made a human right. While some have favoured universal access thereto with as little restrictions...
The Immunity of the Holy See in Sexual Abuse Cases
In multiple countries, allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have led to lawsuits against dioceses and clergy, and the establishment of investigation and claims commissions. However, because of...
Indicators 2.0: From Ranks and Reports to Dashboards and Databanks
In September 2021, the World Bank Group’s management announced its decision to discontinue one of its most notable and controversial products - the Doing Business Report. Michael Riegner had welcomed...
The Truth about Doing Business
As well-explained by Michael Riegner in his post The End of Indicators, the World Bank pulled the plug on its annual Doing Business report (DB), after scandalous irregularities were denounced...
Self-Reflexivity on the Judicial Bench
A knowledgeable and highly accomplished international lawyer gets appointed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This hardly qualifies as news. When Georg Nolte, who is no less a prominent...
Auslegung von Völkergewohnheitsrecht?
Obwohl führende Lehr- und Handbücher auf diese Fragestellung nicht eingehen, finden sich verschiedene Autor*innen in der jüngeren und älteren Vergangenheit , die Völkergewohnheitsrecht für auslegbar und dies auch für methodisch...
In its recent judgment in Moldova v. Komstroy, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has deemed intra-EU investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS) under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) incompatible...
The Normative Mess Governing Africa-EU Trade Relation Granted a New Lease of Life
Whatever little hope was left for Africa-EU trade relationship to be brought within a set of coherent rules agreed between the two sides has been put to rest, potentially for...
Leaving Just a Crack for Socioeconomic-Based Non-Refoulement
Much has been discussed about the potential of non-refoulement for preventing removal of persons to a country where they would face violations of their economic, social, and cultural rights (‘ESCR’)....
Is Immaterial Restitution Enough?
The discussion on the restitution of the Congolese cultural heritage is not a recent one. As estimated by Calafate Ribeiro Margarita and Pinto Ribeiro, it arose in 1936 along with...
Two Milestones in Favour of the Environment in Just a Few Days?
On Friday, 8 October 2021, the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations (UN) recognized the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This was welcomed with...
Trimming Pegasus’ Wings
For centuries, export control regulations have accompanied the development of new weapon technologies. The revelations of the ‘Pegasus Project’ have put the question of whether and how to regulate the...
A Sisyphean Task?
The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) with its 55 member states (including the EU’s except for Italy) is the only energy specific international investment agreement. The treaty is increasingly put under...
A Straight Line Towards the Sea
Almost to the day six months after the public hearings took place (for a comment see here), the International Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the case of Maritime...
Watch Your Facebook Comment Section!
Recently, in Sanchez v France, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) swung the door towards social media users’ liability wide open, allowing not only politicians, as in the...
Remedies for Bad Faith Violations
In this blog post, I discuss how the Committee of Ministers (CoM) has developed the Article 18 remedial jurisprudence in the field of individual measures through its monitoring of the...
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Last year, the Netherlands presented their comments on the International Law Commission (ILC)’s Draft Conclusions on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (jus cogens). The Dutch report, which is set...
The End of Indicators
On 16 September 2021, the World Bank unceremonially buried one of its most controversial projects, the Doing Business ranking: in a tight-lipped statement, the Bank announced that “management has taken the...
Is History a Good Legal Argument?
It has become a frequent occurrence for Russia’s top leaders to write about their views on the western approaches to international law and international relations concerning Russia or the Post-Soviet...
From Achmea to Komstroy
In a recent landmark decision Moldova v. Komstroy, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 2 September 2021 found intra-EU investment arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty...
Memoranda of (Mis)Understandings (Part II)
As described in Part I of our post, non-legally binding arrangements (NBAs) play an ever larger role in foreign policy. As a response to their growing popularity and to avoid...
Memoranda of (Mis)Understandings (Part I)
When thinking of international law, most lawyers’ first association might not concern non-legally binding arrangements (NBAs) between States (also described as ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ or ’MoUs’). After all, the terms...
Recognition of a Taliban Government?
After the horrible events of the last weeks, policy makers around the world will soon think about their future relationship with the new Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. Whereas some States...
An Urgent Call for Climate Mainstreaming
The world is facing climate emergency, one of a series of overlapping and mutually reinforcing environmental crises. In 2017, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries signed the World Scientists’...
Today marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. For many Syrians, survivor-led initiatives and family associations, this is a day of mourning. At least 100.000 Syrians have...
Article 14 ECHR in the Closet
On 13 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights rendered its judgment in Fedotova and Others v. Russia and unanimously decided in favour of the three complaining same-sex couples....
Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case
Authoritarian governments are exerting their influence on interstate political bodies to persecute political opponents at home and abroad. This results in practices that undermine the rights of individuals to a...