Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part II)

In the first part of this two-part post, we broadly addressed the legal framework provided by the International Health Regulations (IHR), a binding legal instrument within the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO). In the following subsections, we turn to two more legal dimensions, which were directly at stake during the 2014-2016 West African Ebola crisis and are also present in the COVID-19 pandemic, namely: 1) the role played …

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Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part I)

A deadly virus starts spreading in several communities. Reports are issued warning of the potential fallout if no action is taken. Yet both national authorities, as well as the WHO, the United Nations as such, and the international community as a whole are subjected to harsh criticism for ignoring the initial warning signs. Had they acted sooner, some say, more lives could have been saved. An overreliance on epidemiological assessments …

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Current Developments

Swapping livelihood with electricity

Legal analysis of human rights violations by Guinea’s new dam construction

Guinea’s Souapiti dam which is slated to start functioning in September 2020, is seen as a systematic means to provide urgent electricity access to the country. The construction of the dam, however, comes at a considerable human cost and will displace an estimated 16,000 number of people. A report documented by Human Rights Watch (HRW) highlights that the dam’s reservoir will eventually “flood 253 square kilometres of land, including a …

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Current Developments

Time for an Islamic legal scholar at the ICC?

On the International Criminal Court’s lack of Islamic law representation

2020 will be a busy year for the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Assembly of State Parties (ASP) as three elections are coming up in December: The elections of six judges, one prosecutor and six members of the Committee on Budget and Finance. The ASP should take this opportunity to bring an Islamic legal scholar, a Faqih, to the Court. The Court is an international court. It should therefore represent the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Germany’s commitment to international justice

On the groundbreaking first trial addressing genocide against Yazidis

Part I Six years after the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) began persecuting and annihilating the Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority group in Northern Iraq, the first trial of its kind addressing genocide against the group commenced in Frankfurt am Main on April 24, 2020. While the world is focusing its efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frankfurt judges are avidly going forward with the case against …

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Current Developments

A crisis (not) averted

How the government-imposed lockdown led to a mass exodus of migrant workers in India

The COVID-19 led humanitarian crisis in India has resulted in, what journalist P. Sainath calls, ‘the discovery of its migrant workforce’. The number of internal migrants in India is estimated to be 139 million (Census 2011) with an annual average movement of 9 million people recorded between the states during the period of 2011 to 2016 (Economic Survey of India 2017). In what is known as one of the most …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

“No Quarter for Insurrectionists”

The troubling international legal implications of the political response to the Black Lives Matter protests

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism have broken out in the United States following the murder of George Floyd, American politicians’ rhetoric has taken on a militant tone to counter the citizens’ Constitutional right to protest. In a call to U.S. Governors, President Trump admonished states for being too lax in their response and encouraged them to respond in such a way that would send protestors to ”jail …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Ohrenbetäubendes Schweigen

Zur Blockade des Sicherheitsrates im Kampf gegen Covid-19

Die aktuelle Covid-19 Pandemie präsentiert sich als globale Krise nationaler Alleingänge. Das liegt auch am Sicherheitsrat (SR) der Vereinten Nationen (VN), der sich seit Wochen nicht auf eine Resolution einigen kann und so sein Koordinierungspotential nicht realisiert. Politisch ist dieses Schweigen verheerend. Juristisch gesehen verpasst es der SR, an seine vorigen Resolutionen zur Eindämmung von Epidemien anzuknüpfen. In der laufenden Diskussion (hier und hier) zeigt sich nun jedoch, dass die …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Bewaffnete Drohnen für die Bundeswehr?

Zur Völkerrechtmäßigkeit bewaffneter Drohneneinsätze

Die Bundeswehr setzt inzwischen regelmäßig Drohnen im Ausland ein. Ihr Arsenal umfasst eine Vielzahl von Modellen (darunter die Aufklärungsdrohne Heron 1 in Mali). Die bislang eingesetzten Drohnen dienen allerdings allein der Aufklärung und so dem Schutz der Soldatinnen und Soldaten. Eine Debatte ist nun erneut darüber entbrannt, ob und inwiefern die Bundeswehr Drohnentechnologie erwerben und später einsetzen darf, die mit abschussbereiten Waffen an Bord ausgestattet ist und Angriffe fliegen kann. …

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Current Developments

Robert Koch, research and experiment in the colonial space

Or: Subjugating the non-European under the old international law

German colonialism is an inherent part of both German and global history, yet largely neglected and transcended into the vast depths of oblivion. As Jutta Blume wrote recently in an article for the German newspaper der Freitag, ‘the emergence of ‘tropical medicine’ (Tropenmedizin) is inextricably linked to the height of colonialism at the end of the 19th century’. Considering the current pandemic and the daily briefings, which the Robert-Koch-Institute provided …

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