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 …

READ MORE →

Interview

‘Understanding our colonial past is a prerequisite to understanding the current migration situation’

An interview with Wolfgang Kaleck

Wolfgang Kaleck is the founder and General Secretary of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a legal human rights organisation based in Berlin, Germany, dedicated to hold torturers and war criminals as well as transnational corporations accountable. In his latest book, ‘Law versus Power: Our global fight for human rights’, he underscores the notion that standards of human rights can prevail when people are willing to struggle …

READ MORE →

Discussion

Recognizing violent encounters in North East India as internal armed conflict – the way forward to curb human rights violations?

The Non-State Armed Groups in North East India have been consistently engaged in hostilities with the Indian armed forces, resulting in a myriad of human rights violations by both sides. In a span of 15 years (2000 to 2015), North East India has witnessed over twelve thousand casualties out of which more than five thousand are civilians. Though the number of casualties has been on a decline since 2015, human …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

Of BITs and pieces, resistance and simplification

It has been a pleasure to read to what now amounts to an exchange of views between Prof. Ranjan and Kanad Bagchi on some of the critical issues surrounding the foundations and functioning of international investment law (IIL), especially in relation to ‘Third World’ countries. Being deeply interested in the topic, and a member of the KFG ‘International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?’ that has been mentioned by …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

A new object in the sky

Space law points the telescope to its relationship with cyber law

While cyber activities have been growing rapidly since the 1970’s, the law was not able to catch up with this development immediately. However, over the years, law-making efforts at the international level have resulted in the enactment of international conventions regarding cybercrime such as the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime, or the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual …

READ MORE →

Semi-ColonialismSymposium

Semi-colonialism and international legal history: the view from Bhutan

As simply a matter of history, the Kingdom of Bhutan’s experience with Occidental powers could not be more different than that of the colonial experience of Bhutan’s neighbor and closest ally, India. Bhutan proudly – and for all intents and purposes, rightly – claims that it has never been conquered or colonized, either by a European power or by an Asian neighbor. Furthermore, consequences of geography and geology make comparisons …

READ MORE →

DiscussionResponse

A BIT of resistance

A response to Prof. Prabhash Ranjan’s plea for embedded liberalism

In our current framework of post-truth/factual/reality politics, much of the debates surrounding crucial issues of both domestic and international governance are invariably couched in an inflexible, partisan and for most parts, in parochial terms. There is either utter disdain towards opposing perspectives or deliberate display of ignorance for plausible and varying rationalities. Nothing has been as vehemently contested as the role of the state in the economy, financial intermediation and …

READ MORE →

Semi-ColonialismSymposium

The a-historicity of Preah Vihear and the space for inter-disciplinarity in international law

Of International Law, Semi-colonial Thailand, and Imperial Ghosts is wide-ranging in research, nuanced in analysis, and replete with archival nuggets and food for thought. Prabhakar makes a number of important and interesting contributions in this paper. First, he convincingly substantiates a practical and theoretical distinction between colonies and semi-colonies. He goes on to demonstrate the continuing relevance of this distinction to the engagement of former colonies and semi-colonies with international law. …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Alea iacta est?

Post-Achmea investment arbitration in light of recent declarations by EU-member states

Almost a year has passed since the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its ground-breaking judgment– Achmea C-284/16 – concerning the incompatibility of EU law and a Dutch-Slovakian bilateral investment treaty (an intra-EU BIT) (for a discussion see here). While there have been divergent views on the potential scope of Achmea (here restrictively, here more broadly), arbitral tribunals have not yet upheld a jurisdictional challenge by respondent states based …

READ MORE →

Semi-ColonialismSymposium

The Gods and Demons of the Preah Vihear Temple

The Churning I finally visited the Temple of Preah Vihear on 22 December 2018. Strikingly, the makers of the ancient temples of Cambodia appear infatuated with a particular Indian mythic leitmotif, the churning of the milk ocean. In order to churn the milk-ocean, Vishnu, a Hindu god, turns into a turtle to allow the planting of the Mount Mandhar, the churner, on his shell. Next, Vasuki, the serpent, is wrapped …

READ MORE →