Current Developments

A puzzle coming together

The henchmen of Assad’s torture regime on trial in Germany

Today marks a historical event in international criminal justice. Two former members of the Syrian General Intelligence Service will stand trial before the Oberlandesgericht Koblenz (Higher Regional Court). It is the first time that former members of the Assad regime will be held responsible for state-run torture before a criminal court. While the German coverage of the trial is quite extensive (see the excellent editorial in Süddeutsche Zeitung, episode 8 …


Cynical International LawSymposium

Cynicism? Yes, please!

Embracing cynicism at the International Criminal Court

Debates surrounding cynicism in international law have an inherently negative focus. But why not try to take something positive-constructive out of the cynicism an institution is experiencing? Since there are few institutions, which are currently facing more cynical backlash than the International Criminal Court (ICC/Court), this piece will take a look at the reasons and at the question how cynicism manifests itself in the context of the Court and how …



Where the Kaiser meets Pinochet

Some thoughts on the role of museums in memorialising international crimes

I recently visited a rather dubious location in Santiago de Chile. A restaurant, owned by a German, designed like a Bavarian beer house, praised by the local press as an ‘authentic German enclave’ in Santiago. There is nothing dubious to this as such of course. But when I entered the place, saw the fence surrounding it and the Prussian flag in its logo, I could not help the feeling that …


Current Developments

A power struggle or something more?

The current disqualification saga at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

The past six months at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the successor organisation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (in the following: the Mechanism), have witnessed an unprecedented series of disqualification motions in both the Mladić and Karadžić appeals trials. While the events have been largely claimed to be the result of an internal power struggle between two senior judges at …