ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

Phantom sovereignty and the imaginary version of international law

In the ABC of the OPT, Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard and Hedi Viterbo offer a guidebook for the legal tourist – a narrated cartography to the strange legal planet that has become Israel/Palestine, governed by hundreds of military and civil officials that harbor wide discretion and a flexible rule that I call phantom sovereignty. Shaped as a lexicon, it includes entries that offer both a thematic and a chronological history …

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ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

Mobilizing the untapped capacity of international law

It is a particular honour to be asked to contribute to the Book Review Symposium at Verfassungsblog because of the occasion: the arrival of an outstanding work on international law that addresses – dispassionately, authoritatively and comprehensively – one of the most pervasive and most tragic issues of our time: Israel’s interminable occupation of Palestine. This book du jour – The ABC of the OPT – by Orna, Michael and …

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ABC of OPTBook ReviewSymposium

From “Assigned Residence” to “Zone”

Introduction to the Book Review Symposium on The ABC of the OPT

Israel’s occupation or “control” (as the book prefers to call it) of Palestinian Territory that began with six days in June 1967, presents a depressing and tragic political and moral conundrum. For the international lawyer, it is also a legal laboratory of global relevance. “The Israeli occupation of Palestine embodies a fateful and troubling paradox regarding international law that we must acknowledge and think our way through”, writes Michael Lynk, …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Dilemmatic Discomfort: Author’s Response

I am very grateful to Rostam Neuwirth, Surabhi Ranganathan, Wolfgang Thierse and Lea Wisken for taking the time to engage with my book in such a thoughtful and constructive manner. I would also like to thank the Völkerrechtsblog, and in particular, Sebastian Spitra, for arranging this symposium and Valentina Kleinsasser for translating the interview with Wolfgang Thierse. The four contributions raise many more points and questions than I have space …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

“Irresolvable Norm Conflicts”: An Oxymoron?

Norm conflicts in international law have received surprisingly little attention, given their fundamental relevance for law in general and the present international legal order in particular. Long ago, a few pages in Emer De Vattel’s Le droit des gens, published in 1758 (De Vattel 1758: 507-514, and an article by C. Wilfred Jenks titled “The Conflict of Law-Making Treaties”, published in 1953 (Jenks 1953), would have nearly completed the list …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Legal dilemmas: the first step towards a solution is to acknowledge the problem

Imagine that you are the captain of a ship located halfway between several people drowning. You have a duty towards each of them but are unable to save everyone. In such a situation, Valentin Jeutner argues, you are confronted with not only a moral but possibly also a legal dilemma. The notion of a legal dilemma challenges the assumption that international law is a coherent system providing a binary classification …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Romancing the State

Perhaps the first and very pleasant thought that will strike readers of Irresolvable Norm Conflicts in International Law is that the medium is not the message. The book is about the impossibility of reconciling norms that pull in different directions. The writing, however, achieves the feat – not impossible, but very difficult – of balancing erudition with intuition, and complexity with concision. Over the slender course of 153 elegantly drafted …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Irresolvable Norm Conflicts: The Concept of a Legal Dilemma

A Book Symposium

Over the course of the next few days the Völkerrechtsblog is pleased to host an online symposium of Valentin Jeutner’s recently published book: Irresolvable Norm Conflicts in International Law: The Concept of a Legal Dilemma (OUP 2017). Those who have not (yet) read the book may be referred to a cinematic short film based on the book’s central argument. Valentin Jeutner is a Senior Associate Lecturer in Law at Lund …

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Book ReviewResponse

Heroes and theories

A response to Raphael Schäfer

In his post, Raphael Schäfer provides a considerate, careful and kind re-reading of my dissertation on Hermann Mosler and West German international legal scholarship after 1945. Raphael makes, by and large, three critical remarks. First, he indicates that my exploration of alternative conceptions to the practice-oriented method might be a misfit. Second, he wonders whether I overemphasize Mosler’s formative influence on German international legal scholarship. And third, he suggests that I …

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Book ReviewKick-off

Practice as method

Germany’s rehabilitation in and through international law

‘International law is what international lawyers do.’ This statement slightly abridged taken from Martti Koskenniemi’s seminal Gentle Civilizer of Nations, points forthright to one of international law’s key characteristics: it is shaped by practice. This practice – not being a source of international law in itself without supporting opinio juris – is of course first and foremost set by states. On a second layer state practice is to a certain …

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