Bernard Spragg, Diamond Princess, Flickr, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Current Developments

40 days and 40 nights

Human rights in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and quarantines

The word ‘quarantine’ is rooted in the practice of quaranta giorni, which meant isolating ships arriving from infected ports for 40 days. For ages, countries have dressed the curtailment of individual liberties in the garb of safeguarding public health, and the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is no different. Infected, symptomatic and even asymptomatic people are facing a violation of their privacy, inordinate restrictions on their movement and risk of infection …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Staat oder kein Staat, das ist hier die (einzige) Frage

Zur Debatte um die Staatlichkeit Palästinas als Voraussetzung der Jurisdiktion des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs

In dem hier kürzlich erschienenen Blogpost „Deutschland als amicus curiae – Zur Debatte um die Staatlichkeit Palästinas als Voraussetzung der Jurisdiktion des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs“ kritisiert Özgen Özdemir Deutschlands Rechtsauffassung, wonach mangels Staatlichkeit Palästinas keine Gerichtsbarkeit des IStGH besteht. Die geäußerte Kritik geht allerdings von rechtlich fehlerhaften Annahmen aus, welche im Folgenden aufgezeigt und thematisiert werden sollen. Zutreffend ist, dass die Jurisdiktionsgewalt des IStGH über die „besetzten palästinensischen Gebiete, einschließlich Ostjerusalem“ …

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Nicoma, Nordkoreanische Botschaft Berlin und das City Hostel, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Current Developments

When your landlord is North Korea

How a local authority in Berlin contributes to safeguarding international peace and security

In May 2018, Bezirksamt Mitte, the local authority managing Berlin’s central district, enforced a Security Council Resolution to restore public order. The Bezirksamt’s decision to close the “City Hostel Berlin” on the basis of EU sanctions law and ultimately a Security Council Resolution was recently upheld by the administrative first instance court of the State of Berlin (4 K 135.19). The decision exemplifies how local government can become key in …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Deutschland als amicus curiae

Zur Debatte um die Staatlichkeit Palästinas als Voraussetzung der Jurisdiktion des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs

Palästina ist seit 2015 Mitglied des Rom-Statuts (RS) des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH). Durch seinen Beitritt spielte Palästina den Ball in der kontrovers diskutierten Frage der eigenen Staatlichkeit dem Gerichtshof zu, was diesen nun vor rechtliche und faktische Hürden stellt. Die Chef–Anklägerin (AK) des IStGHs Bensouda hat nach Abschluss einer Voruntersuchung erklärt, dass die Voraussetzungen zur Einleitung einer Situationsermittlung bzgl. möglicher in Palästina begangener Verbrechen vorliegen. Nichtsdestotrotz bat sie den IStGH …

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Current Developments

And the victims’ voices?

On the ICJ’s provisional measures in the Myanmar genocide case and the role of the IIMM

On January 23, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unanimously issued its provisional measures order for the case of the Rohingya. Even though the international community has welcomed the indication of provisional measures as a step towards accountability for the heinous crimes committed against the religious minority, the importance of this order should not be overestimated. “There were so many bodies and so much blood in the river, it looked …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Undermining past efforts?

On the legality of using anti-personnel mines

On 31 January 2020, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced that the US government was planning to authorize high-level US military commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ “non-persistent” land mines specifically designed to reduce harm to civilians and partner forces. The Department of Defense had commented that the previous anti-personnel landmine (APM) policy could place American Forces at a severe disadvantage during conflict. This contribution critically discusses the employment …

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Ángel Gutiérrez Rubio, CC-BY-2.0.
Current Developments

EGMR billigt Festung Europa mit Toren

Das Urteil der Großen Kammer in der Sache N.D. und N.T. gegen Spanien

Am 13. August 2014 versuchten rund 600 Personen, den Grenzzaun der spanischen Exklave Melilla und damit die Außengrenze des Schengen-Raumes zu stürmen. Zwei von ihnen, N.D. und N.T., schafften es bis auf den inneren Grenzzaun, wo sie von der spanischen Guardia Civil gestellt und umgehend nach Marokko zurückgeschoben wurden. Unmenschliche oder erniedrigende Behandlung hatten sie dort nicht zu befürchten. Dennoch sah eine Kammer des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte (EGMR) in …

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Current Developments

One-eyed prosecution?

On the possibility to restrict the personal jurisdiction of an international ad hoc-tribunal for ISIS-fighters

The recent calls for the establishment of a new ad hoc-tribunal, namely to prosecute members of the terror armed group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), may re-spread the debate as to the exact nature and legality of international criminal courts. When the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN-Security Council (UNSC or Council) in 1993, the lawfulness of this novel step was controversial. …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

From persecution to poverty

Trump’s Guatemala ‘agreement’ and the expansion of the ‘safe third country’ principle

A 2019 ‘safe third country’ agreement between Guatemala and the US allows the US to send asylum seekers who arrived at the US-Mexican border to Guatemala. Under the agreement Guatemala processes the asylum seekers’ claims sent by the US and if successful grant protection. On the 6th of January 2020 a U.S Department of Homeland Security spokesperson made a statement outlining that certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protection in the US …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

A significant opening

On the HRC’s groundbreaking first ruling in the case of a ‘climate refugee’

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) has just added to the many important international legal developments of the young decade and issued its first ruling on the case of a “climate refugee”, i.e. a person fleeing their home country because of the effects of climate change. This post analyses the groundbreaking ruling which increases the pressure on states to take action against climate change and explains its significance (see the full …

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