BofaxeCurrent Developments

Does policy “Trump” international law?

On the legality of the US’ statement on Israel’s settlement policy

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has announced a reversal of US policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. While the Obama Administration deemed Israel’s settlement activities illegal under international as well as Israeli law and an obstacle to the peace process in the region, the Trump Administration now officially breaks with that position by stressing that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not …

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Saber-rattling in space

How international law does (not) regulate States’ plans for Space Forces

Does international law entitle states to have military space forces? Recent efforts by several states as well as NATO to strengthen their military space capabilities re-ignite this debate. The issue is not unregulated; international space law in particular is not silent on this issue. But the limits are not as strict as one might think. Renewed military interest in space At its 70th anniversary summit in London in December 2019, …

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Current Developments

Climate change in the Security Council

On the road to qualifying climate change as ‘threat multiplier’

Wildfires are heating the Earth from the Arctic to the Amazon, islands are drowning, and the record for the hottest year has been broken every year since 2015. No one would doubt that climate change causes these events. Despite people from all continents protesting in the streets to urge decision-makers to eventually take action to help combat climate change, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has not taken any binding measures …

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Current Developments

Social media platforms as expropriated investors

Reviewing state measures from the perspective of international investment law

The reach and expanse of social media in the past decade has been enormous. With its growth, several legal issues have emerged. Particularly, instances of refusal to share personal data of users have led platforms to shut down their operations in some states. These developments raise concerns if the conventional understanding and interpretation of investments and investor-state disputes must be modified for fitting modern forms of business models like social …

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Current Developments

The Gambia and the Rohingya’s nightmare

Which opportunity for individual criminal accountability after the possible ICJ decision against Myanmar for genocide?

The Gambia submitted an application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 11 November 2019 against the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for acts of genocide committed against the Rohingya people. The proceedings have been initiated in application of the Genocide Convention of 1948 which both countries have ratified. They have also accepted the ICJ’s jurisdiction provided for therein under article IX. The Rohingya constitute a minority group …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

India’s mosque that was and temple that will be

On the issue of minority land rights in international law

“Mandir mein, masjid mein tu aur tu hi hai imaano mein” [You’re there in the temples, in the mosques, and in all belief]. These lyrics, performed in a musical ode to the eternal sentiment of love as part of the famous 1960 Indian film “Mughal-E-Azam”, echoe the quest for inter-religious harmony in the subcontinent. This theme was at issue in the Indian Supreme Court’s landmark judgment of 9 November in …

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Current Developments

Justice for the Rohingya: three roads to accountability

The past week (11-15 November 2019) has seen Myanmar facing an arsenal of legal challenges for alleged international crimes before the International Criminal Court (ICC), International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the federal court in Argentina. After decades of documented (gross) human rights violations against the Rohingya, efforts to secure accountability has gained momentum following multiple allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide by various United Nations (UN) investigative efforts, …

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Current Developments

An unlikely couple

Informed consumer choice in EU law and the Middle East conflict

We are currently witnessing a general trend towards more ethical consumption, more sustainable food production, and more awareness about the origins of products. However, it seems a far stretch to link this societal trend (in Europe) to one of the most complex territorial conflicts today, namely about the status of the Palestinian Territories, i.e. the West Bank and East Jerusalem (‘Territories’). Not for the ECJ. In Organisation juive européenne and …

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Current Developments

Beyond  the exhumation  of the dictator

The role of Spanish civil society  in the search of victims of enforced disappearance  during the Franco regime  

After the pronouncement of the Spanish  Supreme Court  endorsing the exhumation of the remains of the dictator Franco from the “Valle de los Caidos” (the enormous mausoleum built by the prisoners of Civil War where Franco was buried for 44 years), the actual exhumation finally took place this week. This measure was foreseen in  Royal Decree-Law 10/2018,  adopted by the socialist government of Pedro Sánchez in August 2018,   which modifies …

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Current Developments

Europäische Einigkeit in Action: Menschenwürde im Strafvollzug

EuGH konkretisiert Mindestanforderungen für Haftbedingungen im Kontext des Europäischen Haftbefehls

Dass eine nationale Justizbehörde beim Vollstrecken eines Europäischen Haftbefehls ausnahmsweise dem Grundrechtsschutz Vorrang vor der Wirksamkeit des Haftbefehls einräumen darf und muss, hat der Gerichtshof in der Rechtssache Aranyosi und Căldăraru erstmals bekräftigt. Im Urteil C-128/18 Dorobantu vom 15.10.2019 bestätigt der EuGH nun die enge Orientierung der grundrechtlichen Prüfung an der Rechtsprechung des EGMR. Zusätzlich betont er den absoluten Charakter des Verbots unmenschlicher oder erniedrigender Behandlung. Hamburg – Karlsruhe – …

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