Internet Governance ForumSymposium

A tale of two foundational orders

How international law and Internet governance protect the future of (us on) the Internet

The Internet – as a global technological facility enabling information and communication creation and exchange – has become an object of regulation by international law. But more than that: the Internet’s security, stability, robustness, resilience and functionality (its integrity) has crystallized into a global common interest. Internet integrity has become essential for the effective administration for all private and statal critical infrastructural resources. States are not able to regulate through …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Three eras of digital governance

To understand where digital governance is going, we must take stock of where it’s been, because the timbre of mainstream thinking around digital governance today is dramatically different than it was when study of “Internet governance” coalesced in the late 1990s. Perhaps the most obvious change has been from emphasizing networked technologies’ positive effects and promise – couched around concepts like connectivity, innovation, and, by this author, “generativity” – to …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Free speech in the age of online content moderation

Content moderation is not a novelty in the media sector. As content providers, traditional media outlets like televisions and newspaper have always selected the information to broadcast or disclose. Nevertheless, when social media companies are involved in this activity, content moderation raises serious concerns. In the last years, the digital environment has been playing a crucial role in promoting the sharing of opinion and ideas on a global scale. Nevertheless, …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Ein globaler „Dauerbrenner“

Der Umgang mit Hate Speech auf Online-Plattformen

Hate Speech umgrenzen, verstehen und bekämpfen – ein weiterhin aktuelles Thema im Kontext von Online-Kommunikation. Das Thema ist demzufolge auf dem Internet Governance Forum gut aufgehoben, denn es betrifft alle globalen Kommunikationsdienste und alle Rechtsordnungen, wenn auch auf unterschiedliche Art und Weise. Doch der Umgang mit Hate Speech und die Gegenmaßnahmen zeigen bisher wenig Wirkung. Ein mehrversprechender Ansatz wäre, sich mit der Verantwortung von Plattformen zu beschäftigen, ohne sie zwangsläufig …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Thoughts on ‘one World, one Net, one Vision’

Joint Symposium on the Internet Governance Forum 2019 of the United Nations

That the Internet is more than a global infrastructure is old news. But the changes and challenges to our global understanding of territorial boarders, governance, sovereignty and communication are still ongoing and many questions still remain unanswered or unconsidered. The Internet is subject to diverse developments and has many challenges in store for the law. The Internet Governance Forum With the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

The role of museums

When we talk about addressing the colonial past and decolonization, museums should play an active role and make their numerous voices heard. In order to play a relevant role in this context, a museum must address all issues that affect society. It must offer a space to exchange and debate ideas, for a community to present its diverse talents, and celebrate its history and culture. It has to involve today’s …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

German colonialism, reparations and international law

Reparations have become an increasingly important entry point to the conversation about the unfinished business of decolonization. Even though reparations have an established role in transitional justice and human rights, very little attention has been paid to the transition from colonialism or the legacies of colonial human rights abuses. While Namibia’s political independence was an important first step, the decolonization process did not confront two pivotal dimensions of colonial legacies. …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

Participation rights of indigenous peoples

Over the past three decades, indigenous peoples’rights have become an important component of international law and policy. This is a result of a movement driven by indigenous peoples, civil society and other stakeholders. One of its main achievements is the United Nations General Assembly’s 2007 adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. By 2010, the vast majority of UN member states supported the declaration, and none …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

From ideological fixity to moral argument

Today, international law – and international human rights law in particular – provides the dominant frame, often augmented by negotiations, for responding to acts of genocide. While this frame is necessary, it may not be sufficient to address the deeper emotional and psychological scars associated with the 1904–1908 genocide in erstwhile German South West Africa. This is because the colonial project’s ideological fixity deeply implicates aspects of international law. Moreover, …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

Racist repercussions and transgenerational exclusion

Legal means to deal with Germany’s colonial legacy

The German and Namibian governments seem to be about to finalize their negotiations on (the costs of) reconciliation. Several civil society actors and Ovaherero and Nama representatives criticize the procedure and want to be included in the negotiations – inter alia in a US lawsuit against Germany. The German government, however, denies that a genocide (in legal terms) occurred, referring to the principle of intertemporality in international law. What legal …

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