Current Developments

The Bemba Trial Judgment

A Small Step in the Right Direction

The decision On 21st March 2016 Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Bemba) guilty for murder and rape as a war crime and crime against humanity, as well as pillaging as a war crime, committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the period between 2002-2003.

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Current Developments

International Law – So 90s?

On periodization and the 1990s as crystallization point for contemporary International Law

The international legal order finds itself in turmoil. The crises in Ukraine and Syria, the questioning of the authority of the ECtHR, the opposition against the ICC by African states and the rise of global terrorism can all be interpreted as crisis symptoms justifying the need for a (re-)assessment of the current state and future of International Law.  

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Current Developments

The Karadžić Judgment: The ICTY at its Peak

In theater, the peak of a play in which all strings of the story converge and the intrigue is resolved, is called the climax. With its verdict against Radovan Karadžić, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has come to its climax.

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Current Developments

A new Solange judgment from Germany – or nothing to worry about?

In its recent decision (in German, press release in English) on Mr R the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG or the Court) rejected an extradition request pursuant to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The Court invalidated a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf to extradite Mr R to Italy under the EAW because the decision would violate human dignity as protected by Art 1(1) of the German Constitution.

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Current Developments

Exceptionality and context

Turkish intervention in Syria and the war on terror

The present Turkish military interventions in Syria and northern Iraq continue to raise the question of when States may use defensive force against armed non- State actors in other States. It is one of the ongoing and legally disputed actions of multiple, state and non-state, actors involved in the Syrian conflict. This post analyses the international legal implications of the ensuing military action by Turkey, especially the meaning of ius …

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Current Developments

Bauern vs. Monsanto

Die Kollision des Patent- und Sortenschutzes für Saatgut in Argentinien

Im Konflikt um das Recht am Geistigen Eigentum und die Lizenzgebühren auf genverändertes Soja in Argentinien seit 1997 waren die widersprüchlichen Rechtsregime des Sortenschutzes und des Patentschutzes für Saatgut ein Schlüsselbaustein. Der Fall veranschaulicht die Frage, wie überlappende Rechtsregime und -normen sich in der praktischen Anwendung zu einander verhalten. Ich argumentiere hier, dass kollidierende Rechtsregime zwar formal-rechtlich gleichwertig bleiben, aber temporär in der politischen Aushandlung einem Regime der Vorrang eingeräumt …

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Current Developments

The ECJ’s First Bitcoin Decision

Right Outcome, Wrong Reasons?

On 22 October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its first ever ruling on the digital currency known as Bitcoin. For those who haven’t been following this phenomenon, Bitcoin was the first and so far remains the most commercially successful of the recent wave of ‘cryptocurrencies’– a term defined by the online Oxford Dictionary as ‘a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate …

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Current Developments

Awakening dormant law

– or the invocation of the European mutual assistance clause after the Paris attacks

The terrorist attacks of 13 November have violently confronted France as much as its European neighbours with exceptional security challenges. By killing more than 120 people in less than 30 minutes in the heart of Paris, the jihadist group ISIS (or Daesh, the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has demonstrated its operational capacity to hit European States in an extraordinary ferocious way. This alarming …

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Current Developments

Schrems – Towards a High Standard of Data Protection for European Citizens

It has been almost six weeks since the ECJ handed down its groundbreaking Schrems judgment. This post reflects upon the institutional practices and scholarly discussion following the judgment. The Court held the transfer of data to the US based on the Commission’s safe harbor decision illegal as it violates the essence of the right to privacy. It refrained from setting a grace period. As the judgment concerns many large companies, one …

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Current Developments

Von sichtbarer und unsichtbarer Gewalt.

Politik an der Grenze.

Am 2. September 2015 ertrank Aylan Kurdi bei dem Versuch, in Europa Schutz zu finden, nachdem er mit seiner Familie aus Kobane, Syrien, geflohen war. Sein Bruder und seine Mutter verloren bei der Überfahrt ebenfalls ihr Leben. Der Körper von Aylan Kurdi wurde am folgenden Tag an der türkischen Küste gefunden. Das Bild dieses toten Kindes im Sand erzeugte einen Aufschrei in Europa und der Welt, einen Aufschrei mit der …

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