Current Developments

Dealing with marine debris the ASEAN way

A critical analysis of the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and its impact

According to current estimates, about eight million tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean every year. As per a 2019 Report by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment more than half of this comes from just five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. All of these excluding China recently signed the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Legitimation through executive order?

The issue of space resources in international law

Resource extraction from and mining of celestial bodies such as the Moon or asteroids has matured from a fantastical idea of science fiction to a contentious issue of international law. It is characterized by a tension of  international treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967 and unilateral national initiatives. The US arguably broke the mold of theoretical discourse with its Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

India’s battle against Covid-19: The lockdown of human rights

India is currently facing the largest lockdown in the world, with over 1.3 billion people locked inside their homes. While Prime Minister Modi adopted this measures to “win the battle” against the Covid-19 pandemic, a large portion of the country is left wondering if their well-being was also accounted for in the hasty decisions of the Government. In a bid to flatten the curve, the Indian government seems to have …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

A missed opportunity at the ICC

How (not) to use the VCLT to give meaning to the ‘interests of justice’

On 5th March 2020, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously authorized the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to commence an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan. This decision reversed the controversial Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) decision which, citing the ‘interests of justice’ (IoJ) clause, had refused to authorize the investigation requested by the OTP. However, the ACs decision failed to shed any light on the problematic reading of the …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

Wo kein Richter, da kein Wähler?

Die Bedeutung des Rückbaus der Rechtsstaatlichkeit für die polnische Wahlrechtsreform

Polen und die Rechtstaatlichkeit – das ist seit Längerem eine schwierige Beziehung. Am Abend des 6. April 2020 änderte der Sejm (eine der beiden Kammern des polnischen Parlaments) zum zweiten Mal in kurzer Zeit unter Protest der Opposition, aber mit absoluter Mehrheit der rechtskonservativen PiS-Partei, das Krisengesetz und damit das Wahlgesetz, das bereits für die kommenden Präsidentschaftswahlen am 10. Mai in Kraft tritt. Statt die Wahlen aufgrund der aktuellen Situation …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Human rights, criminal law: pas de deux ou faux amis?

Why international law acknowledges crimes without criminals

International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Criminal Law (ICL) may be historically entwined yet are unduly conflated. Teleologically, the division is clear: IHRL primarily deals with state responsibility, while ICL seeks to establish individual criminal liability. But as aptly illustrated by the standards of evidence respectively applied by human rights and criminal law tribunals, the disciplines’ shared vocabulary blurs that distinction. The IHRL-ICL divide is thus a tale of …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Afghanistan finally open for investigations

ICC Prosecutor succeeds before the Appeals Chamber

About 14 years after the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) started first examinations into the situation of Afghanistan, the ICC Appeals Chamber finally authorized investigations in March 2020. The situation relates to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan by US armed forces, the CIA, Afghan forces and the Taliban since 1 May 2003. With this decision, the Appeals Chamber amended the April 2019 decision …

READ MORE →

Call for ContributionsCurrent DevelopmentsIL in Pandemic Times

Call for Contributions: International law in pandemic times

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis of global dimension. With numerous countries imposing shut-downs, closing their borders and limiting international trade and cooperation, the crisis in some ways appears to have prompted a return of the nation state that seemed unimaginable only weeks ago and has already given rise to the question whether we are currently witnessing the end of globalization (see on this here and here). International …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent DevelopmentsResponse

Staat oder kein Staat unter dem Rom-Statut, das ist hier die einzige Frage!

Zur Frage der Zuständigkeit des IStGH im Palästina-Verfahren und der Stellungnahme Deutschlands als amicus curiae

In dem kürzlich veröffentlichten Beitrag „Deutschland als amicus curiae“ habe ich Stellung für die Bejahung der Zuständigkeit des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH) im Palästina-Verfahren bezogen und dies im Wesentlichen mit dem Schweigen der Mitgliedsstaaten (MS) auf den Beitritt Palästinas zum Rom-Statuts (RS) begründet. Gemäß dem Qui-tacet-Grundsatz haben die MS 2015 den Beitritt Palästinas und damit seine Staatsqualität unter dem RS nämlich akzeptiert. Deshalb ist es ihnen jetzt nicht mehr möglich, Palästinas …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Land ahoy? Solutions for Statehood in a post climate change world

Climate change is expected to cause receding coastlines due to rising sea levels. Geological formations like islands, rocks, reefs and other low-tide elevations would be permanently submerged, and this would affect the control of States over the sea if the baseline measurement changed with them. In fact, some low-lying States could conceivably lose their rights to exploit their territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to their land territory …

READ MORE →