BofaxeCurrent Developments

“Give me your money, you tired, poor and huddled masses!”

On the introduction of application fees in U.S. asylum law

On 29 April 2019, the President of the United States of America ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers. The restrictions include a fee for asylum applications. This BOFAX reflects on such a fee against the backdrop of the United States’ obligations under international refugee law, especially the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol) to the 1951 Refugee Convention. The President of the U.S. gave the order …

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Current Developments

Meilenstein für LGBTIQ*-Rechte

Das Gutachten OC-24/17 des IAGMR und seine Umsetzung in der Region

In den nächsten Wochen wird sich das ecuadorianische Verfassungsgericht zur Ehe für alle äußern müssen. Ein Gericht (Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pichincha) hatte dem Gerichtshof die Frage vorgelegt, ob sich aus einem Gutachten des Interamerikanischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (IAGMR) aus dem Jahr 2017 (Opinión Consultiva OC-24/17) für Ecuador die Verpflichtung ergibt, das Institut der Ehe auch für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare zu öffnen. Vor wenigen Tagen fand eine mündliche Verhandlung statt, …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

“Nun sag’, wie hast Du’s mit der Gerechtigkeit?”

Zur Antwort des IStGH auf die Gretchenfrage, in Afghanistan Ermittlungen aufzunehmen

Viel ist darüber gesagt worden (s. hier und hier), wie moralisch enttäuschend und politisch besorgniserregend die Entscheidung des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofes (IStGH) ist, keine Situationsermittlung nach Art. 15 Abs. 3 Rom Statut (RS) in Afghanistan zu autorisieren. In diesem Post untersuchen wir die Kernelemente der Entscheidung. Zunächst analysieren wir den Ablehnungsbeschluss der Untersuchung durch die Vorverfahrenskammer aus Gründen von „Interessen der Gerechtigkeit“. In einem zweiten Schritt beleuchten wir die Bedeutung der …

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Current Developments

The necessity to develop a Regional Refugee Framework for South Asia

There are more than two and half million refugees in the South Asian countries, with majority of them residing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. At the same time, the South Asian countries are the place of origin for at least 3 million refugees, with Afghanistan being the country of origin for nearly 2.5 million refugees. Evidently, there is a significant refugee population in the South Asian countries and considering the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Keeping it clean (part II)

On the protection of outer space as part of the environment

This Bofax is the second part of a two-part series – inspired by India successfully testing an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile against an Indian satellite and thereby causing space debris – that deals with selected issues revolving around the use of ASAT missiles against satellites of other states. When space objects such as satellites are destroyed, a cloud of particles of different sizes, known as space debris, remains. This debris can …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Keeping it clean (part I)

On the prohibition on the use of force in an ASAT context

On March 27th India successfully tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile against one of its own test satellites, creating a cloud of space debris which might collide with the International Space Station (see the post of last week here). Since ASAT weapons are ultimately designed to be used against satellites of other states, scenarios in which space debris is caused through international hostilities become more realistic. As the conflict in the Indo-Pakistani Kashmir …

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Current Developments

The CLOUD Act

A new way for international tribunals to access digital evidence

From violent protests in Sudan to airstrikes in Syria, access to online open source material and digital information is becoming essential for the fight against impunity. Open Source Information is publicly available information that anyone can lawfully obtain by request, purchase, or observation. Today’s international criminal and human rights investigations increasingly rely on digital data, such as content posted on social media platforms, to support criminal proceedings and ultimately hold …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

New peak in the dispute concerning the Golan Heights

On the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory by Donald Trump

On Monday, 25 March 2019, US President Donald Trump accepted Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights by stating that “the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel” (see here). The Golan Heights are an area located in Syria close to the Israeli border and are of strategic importance, given their location in between the two states. The Six-Day War in 1967 resulted in …

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Current Developments

India’s anti-satellite missile test

Another reminder of the gaps in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty

In a much-publicized address on 27th March, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country successfully tested its anti-satellite (ASAT) missile by destroying a live mini-satellite placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), 300 kilometres from the earth’s surface. Codenamed “Operation Shakti”, the ASAT missile has been developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Reportedly, an interceptor missile was used, which was part of the DRDO’s ongoing …

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Current Developments

The alleged seizure of the El Hiblu 1 by rescued migrants

Not a case of piracy under the law of the sea

On 28 March 2019, a Maltese patrol vessel intercepted the Palau-flagged tanker vessel El Hiblu 1 (IMO: 9753258) at the outer limit of Malta’s territorial sea, and the ship was subsequently boarded and secured by a Maltese special operations team using a helicopter. The reason for this operation was that the El Hiblu 1 had allegedly been hijacked by members of a group of migrants it had rescued earlier, and that these migrants had …

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