Current Developments

The Philippines’ move away from the International Criminal Court over the war on drugs: A blow for human rights in Asia

As a signatory to every human rights treaty and being at the forefront of promoting international human rights, Philippines is considered as one of the  “architects” of the United Nations and the human rights system. This was seen as a huge step forward for human rights in Asia. However, now with the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, and the International Criminal Court (ICC), this will be seen a …

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Current Developments

Stretching Abstract Reasoning to its Limits

The IACtHR and the Right to a Healthy Environment

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued the Advisory Opinion (AO) of 15 November, 2017 (OC-23/17), on the subject matter of the environment and human rights. Its wide-ranging features already sparked a lively debate in the blogosphere (see here, here and here). Whereas some welcome the Court’s engagement with environmental rights, others are either skeptical of the way in which the AO deals with criteria of state responsibility in human …

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Grafitti picturing Berta Cáceres on a wall in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Current Developments

Defending the Defenders

Assessing LAC-P10, the new treaty to protect environmental activists in Latin America

The assassination of Berta Cáceres On 3 March 2016 Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated. She was a coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and one of the leading voices in her people’s fight against Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Her activism had earned her the Goldman Environmental Prize and years of threats and intimidations by state and non-state actors, which …

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Current Developments

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers

A New Chapter for International Criminal Justice in the Balkans

As the doors were closing on Churchillplein 1, the Hague, the former home of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), only a short walk away a new institution began preparing indictments for war crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars. 

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Current Developments

Rainbow Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court?

Gender-based Persecution of Gays, Bisexuals and Lesbians as a Crime Against Humanity

On 8 November 2017, something happened which can be seen as a milestone for gay rights: a communication was submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that includes crimes committed based on the victims’ real or perceived sexual orientation. Such a case would be the first of its kind and, if successful, would create a strong message for the universal prohibition of gender-based crimes for all sexual …

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Current Developments

Opt-in vs. Opt-out = opt-in-opt-out?

On the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression

In December 2017, the States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) had the chance to realize in New York what Robert H. Jackson called for in his opening statement before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. While international criminal law was only applied against German aggressors at that time, the U.S. Chief Prosecutor emphasized that the condemnation of aggressive war should be the benchmark for any other nation in …

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Current Developments

Cheating Chile

The (il)legality of information and the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking

A rare mea culpa emanated from the leading international development institution, the World Bank, last week. The Bank’s Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to make a personal apology to Chile, and to any other country where we conveyed the wrong impression.” Romer, who took his post in late 2016, said he had found “irregularities” in the World Bank’s flagship publication, the “Doing Business” ranking. …

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Current Developments

Das Dilemma der Intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit

Der EuGH könnte im Fall Achmea bald die Unvereinbarkeit von intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichten mit europäischem Recht erklären – mit weitreichenden rechtlichen Konsequenzen

Über den Achmea-Fall (Rechtssache C-284/16), seine Hintergründe und die mündliche Verhandlung wurde auf diesem Blog bereits an anderer Stelle berichtet. Die dem Fall zugrundeliegende rechtliche Problematik beruht auf den bilateralen völkerrechtlichen Investitionsschutz-Verträgen zwischen EU Mitgliedstaaten (intra-EU BITs), die materielle Schutzstandards für Investoren beinhalten und in den meisten Fällen zur Streitbeilegung die Möglichkeit der Anrufung eines internationalen Schiedsgerichts vorsehen. Hundertfünfundneunzig intra-EU BITs sind noch in Kraft und fast alle von ihnen …

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Current Developments

Nature as a bearer of rights – a legal construction in pursuit for better environmental protection?

The World Climate Conference (COP 23), held in Bonn, Germany, has ended on November 17th and some of its key outcomes seem to be auspicious (e.g. the coal phase-out promoted by some states). Yet, one of the most dividing points in international environmental law has remained untouched: whether – when considering environmental rights and obligations – nature should be the carrier of rights and thus be protected for the sake …

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Current Developments

Zu ihrem Glück vereint

Die wechselvollen Beziehungen der Europäischen Union mit der Schweiz

Das öffentliche Interesse an dem Besuch von EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Junker am 22. November in Bern war groß. Im Vorfeld des – schon von langer Hand geplanten – Treffens mit dem Schweizer Bundesrat brannten erneute Diskussionen darüber auf wie die Beziehungen der Schweiz mit der Europäischen Union (EU) zukünftig aussehen könnten. Grund genug, sich den gegenwärtigen Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der Schweiz und der EU noch einmal vor Augen zu führen. …

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