Trump verlässt das Weiße Haus – und hinterlässt Chaos im Westsahara-Konflikt
Mit Joe Bidens Amtszeit hat eine neue Ära im Weißen Haus begonnen. Doch Donald Trump hinterlässt ein umfassendes außenpolitisches Vermächtnis, welches sich auch auf den Nahen Osten und Nordafrika erstreckt:...
The ICC Israel Palestine decision: Clear skies for an investigation but not without asterisks and further questions
On February 5, the ICC rendered its long-awaited Decision on the case of Israel and the Palestinians. With a majority of 2-1, Pre-Trial Chamber I held that the ICC does...
The unforeseeable future and the rule of law
On December 22, 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 2) concerning the pre-trial...
Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire
Ansonsten drohen Konsequenzen, wie sich jetzt in einem Gerichtsverfahren vor dem Tribunal Administratif de Paris (Pariser Verwaltungsgericht) zeigte. 2018 haben sich Oxfam, Notre Affaire à Tous, Fondation pour la Nature et...
The history of international law matters
Speaking about the ‘turn to history in international law’ has now become an embarrassing cliché in the specialized literature and this should be celebrated. Firstly, because the expression the ‘turn...
Enforced disappearances in Turkey: an old habit or a new trend?
Turkey has a long history of state-sponsored abductions and enforced disappearances, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. At the beginning of this century, this grim trend seemed to be running...
The earth system, hydrosphere, and outer space: Cosmo-legal approaches
The law is an example of human design, which has imposed anthropocentric interests on everything considered non-human. With the example of the relationship between law, orbital space, and water, the...
“We contributed to the respect for international law and the peaceful resolution of international conflicts”
Last month, Germany’s two-year non-permanent membership in the Security Council of the United Nations ended (see here for Hannah Birkenkötter’s blog post). We seize this opportunity to reflect with Ina...
„Wir haben in diesem Gremium zur Einhaltung des internationalen Rechts und zur friedlichen Konfliktlösung beigetragen“
Im vergangenen Monat endete die nicht-ständige Mitgliedschaft Deutschlands im Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen (siehe hierzu bereits den Beitrag von Hannah Birkenkötter). Wir nehmen dies zum Anlass, um mit Dr. Ina...
The Facebook Oversight Board and its Trump test
Facebook exercises extraordinary power over individuals in the digital world, and the grave consequences of what is said on Facebook can easily spill into the physical world too. There is...
Informed dissent or misinformed rebellion? Making sense of India’s farmer protests
“We are food: we eat food, we are made of food, and our first identity, our first wealth, our first health, comes from the making, creating, giving of good food.”...
Von Felsen und Fischen – Zur Frage der Fischereirechte um Rockall
Bei der steinigen 624 m² großen Erhebung, die 162 Seemeilen in westlicher Richtung entfernt vom nördlichen Teil des Vereinigten Königreichs aus dem Nord-Ost-Atlantik ragt und die unter der Bezeichnung „Rockall“...
The Hague District Court on travel restrictions: A test for international human rights law?
On 31 December 2020, The Hague District Court issued its summary judgment in De Lugt v The Dutch Government, closing a tumultuous year which had started with the first confirmed...
Enforced disappearances in Syria and the Al Khatib trial in Germany
More than 100,000 Syrians have been subjected to enforced disappearances since 2011, when Syria descended into a civil war. The Syrian regime, operating through its four Intelligence Services, has used...
The Judgement of Solomon that went wrong: Georgia v. Russia (II) by the European Court of Human Rights
On 21 January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court or ECtHR) delivered its long-awaited judgment in the inter-state case Georgia v. Russia (II). This case concerns the...
Taking stock: A review of Germany’s two years on the Security Council
Germany’s two-year membership in the UN Security Council ended on 31 December 2020. Starting with big expectations, it hit the hard realities of increasingly divisive world politics in times of...
Withdrawing from the ‚Withdrawal Doctrine‘
Shortly after his election, President Joe Biden announced a number of issues he would tackle during his first days in office. Amongst others, this included reversing the effects of what...
South Korea’s denial of Japan’s immunity for international crimes
The issue of sexual enslavement of Korean women during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945 has been called ‘the most emotional historical dispute’ between South...
Chaos averted or executive overreach?
No “No-Deal Brexit”! On Christmas Eve 2020, a continent breathes a sigh of relief. The EU and the UK adopt the “EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement” (TCA) to resolve years...
Universal jurisdiction without universal outreach?
Creating a framework for the prosecution of international crimes under universal jurisdiction is clearly worthwhile. But as the intervention by the German Constitutional Court (BVerfG) in the Syrian war crimes...
One man’s martyr is another man’s malignant nuclear missile designer
‘Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh’, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018. On 27 November 2020, the world remembered. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a man who Israel and the United States have...
The Energy Charter Treaty and its (in)compatibility with EU law
Belgium is on the move again. After having submitted a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for an opinion on the compatibility of the Comprehensive...
The M/V Roseline A incident
On 22 November 2020, roughly 200 kilometres off the coast of Libya, the Turkish-flagged cargo ship M/V Roseline A was intercepted by the German naval frigate Hamburg. Soldiers boarded the...
Saying Yes to development projects
When a UN agency asked a rural community in Liberia about their development priorities after the civil war, the community asked for music instruments. Failing to understand the economic and...
One step forward – three steps back: why the hellfire from Ramstein may continue after all
Maybe it is the time of the year that Ramstein Air Base looks even greyer and gloomier than usual in the cold November twilight, maybe it is the bitter thought...
Jurisdiction – who speaks international law?
As it is the case with many productions, only a small fraction of the work is visible to the public. As organisers of next year’s international conference “Jurisdiction – who...
Between fiction and reality: rights of nature in German television and before the ICJ
Last week, the German public free-TV channel ARD broadcast the film "Ökozid" ("ecocide"), commissioned by ARD and produced by the independent production company zero one film, set in 2034, in...
Expanding the restricted realm of international trade law to animal welfare
Can products be banned for animal welfare? Intensive and unsustainable farming disregards animal welfare and represents a critical risk to both animals and humans. This article shows the relevance of...
Another brick in the wall?
Following several military operations by the Kingdom of Morocco, the Polisario Front is no longer committed to the 1991 ceasefire agreement. This marks the end to an almost thirty-year-absence of...
COVID-19, people, and other animals
The ongoing pandemic has put a spotlight on the interface between the health of humans, animals, and the environment. COVID-19 is a zoonosis: a disease that is naturally transmissible from...
Sorry, Elon: Mars is not a legal vacuum – and it’s not yours, either
On October 28th, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX published its Terms of Service for the beta test of its Starlink broadband megaconstellation. If successful, the project purports to offer internet connection...
Democracy in Latin America under COVID-19
Just like all over the world, Latin America’s current state of emergency concerns saving the health, integrity and lives of people. Nevertheless, in the context of COVID-19 the region is...
Three years after the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar: Has the ASEAN changed?
August 2020 marked the three-year commemoration of mass atrocities towards the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, causing around 730,000 Rohingya to flee to the neighbouring Bangladesh and other countries. This post...
Bridging the gap: the MPIA as a valuable short-term solution to the impasse of the WTO’s Appellate Body?
“At the core of a well-functioning multilateral trading system is an effective dispute resolution mechanism”, emphasized Appellate Body Member Peter Van den Bossche in his farewell speech. Reality in the...
Thou shalt not ‘break international law in a very specific and limited way’
On 9 January 2020, the House of Commons – one part of the British Parliament – passed the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, which enabled the United Kingdom (UK)...
The Aegean Sea dispute on the edge of escalating
The feud between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea counts several decades but has lately sparked international concerns about the region’s peace and stability. On 27 November 2019, the...
Invitation to sign: Note on the United States’ Claim to activate the snapback mechanism under Security Council Resolution 2231
On 20 August 2020, the United States attempted to launch the mechanism often referred to as the ‘snapback’ mechanism provided for by the Iran nuclear agreement, the a (JCPOA) of...
Creeping diversion from secularism in Turkey
On 10 July 2020, the Turkish government published its decision to re-transform the Hagia Sophia into a mosque in accordance with the decision of the highest administrative court. Since then,...
Violating international law through onerous procedural law
On June 15, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review issued proposed regulations that...
A turn to youth in international law?
And they did it again. On 14 July 2020, the UN Security Council voted unanimously in favour of Resolution 2523. The resolution, being the third of its kind, focuses on...
The complacency of constitutional courts: India’s Supreme Court and the Citizenship Amendment Act
It is a common assumption that Constitutional courts in a democracy perform the role of protecting citizens’ rights against arbitrary use of government power. This is an important limb of...
How is COVID-19 affecting Amazonia?
COVID-19 has spread throughout the world as a health crisis with deep socio-economic consequences. While the focus of the effects of COVID-19 often lie in urban centers, Indigenous people have...
“Stop quarantine, start war”
National clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis have recently taken over media headlines again. In the ECHR’s Chamber judgment on the Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary case of 25...
A bridge too far: Polish-Czech border incident
On 28 May 2020, when the Polish and Czech borders were closed due to the pandemic, two Polish soldiers, assigned to assist the Polish Border Guard, decided to relocate their...
Orbit tax – mitigating space debris or aggravating economic disparity?
Since the launch of Russian satellite Sputnik-1 in 1957, the space industry has never looked back. Currently, there are about 20,000 satellites orbiting the earth, and with the private players...
Ungleichheit ist die wahre Pandemie
Die aktuelle, durch COVID-19 verursachte globale Krise hat nicht nur die Schwäche des hegemonialen globalen Wirtschaftsmodells, sondern auch die dringende Notwendigkeit aufgezeigt, die Verteidigung der Menschenrechte aus einer transnationalen Perspektive...
Inequality is the real pandemic
The current global crisis caused by COVID-19 has highlighted not only the weakness of the hegemonic global economic model, but also the dire need to rethink the defense of human...
Incidental jurisdiction in the award in “The ‘Enrica Lexie’ Incident (Italy v. India)” – Part II
After having addressed the existence, requirements and limits of incidental jurisdiction of UNCLOS tribunals under Article 288(1) UNCLOS in the first post, this post turns to the approach taken by the...
Incidental jurisdiction in the award in “The ‘Enrica Lexie’ Incident (Italy v. India)” – Part I
On 21 May 2020 the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the The ‘Enrica Lexie’ Incident (Italy v....
An Islamic legal scholar as judge at the ICC: In conformity with Islamic law?
On 6 July 2020, Juliette Rémond Tiedrez wrote a fantastic article on Völkerrechtsblog titled Time for an Islamic legal scholar at the ICC? She suggested that there should be an...
Turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque (again)
The announcement by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to change the status of Hagia Sophia and to turn it into a Mosque last Friday, 10 July 2020, has provoked a worldwide outcry....
Die türkischen Operationen Claw-Eagle und Claw-Tiger im Irak – Zeit für Widerspruch!
Militärische Interventionen des türkischen Militärs in die kurdisch bewohnten Gebiete des Iraks haben eine erschreckende Regelmäßigkeit angenommen. Am 14. Juni dieses Jahres begann – unterstützt durch iranische Artillerie am 16....
Collective punishment in the Indian-administered Kashmir
On 19th May 2020, Indian security forces destroyed at least fifteen houses during a military operation against two separatist militants in Kashmir. This destruction of houses is merely a part...
The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law
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...
The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law
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,...
Swapping livelihood with electricity
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...
Time for an Islamic legal scholar at the ICC?
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,...
A crisis (not) averted
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...
Robert Koch, research and experiment in the colonial space
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...
“Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake”
The parallelism of different international proceedings examining atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar has been welcomed by many commentators. Indeed, international law (IL) appears to be showing its...
The right to benefit from Big Data progress
Recent developments in the United States and Europe have focused attention on the possible obligation of Big Data-powered technology companies like Google and Facebook to share some of their corporate...
Bouncers beyond Borders
Over the past two years, the EU has spent almost 100 million Euro to improve the Libyan coast guard’s ability to implement a “Search and Rescue Zone” in the Mediterranean....
The role of soft law in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases
In an increasingly globalised world, health issues transcend the domain of national legislation. This holds true not only for infectious diseases, as seen with the current outbreak of the Corona-Virus,...
24.000 EUR – für eine Auskunft?!
Offenlegung: Einer der Autoren dieses Beitrags arbeitet als Syndikusanwalt für FragDenStaat und ist unmittelbar in den Rechtsstreit mit Frontex involviert. 23.700,81 EUR hat Frontex, die Europäische Agentur für die...
The treaty to end all investment treaties
23 member states of the European Union (EU) decided that it was time to fish or cut bait. On 5 May they signed a plurilateral treaty to scrap all intra-EU...
Between the body and the politic
Herlihy writes of the Black Death, “the plague caused divisions between the healthy and the sick, those in the cultural mainstream and those in the margins… and between the mass...
Between the body and the politic
The mute substratum of political life. This is how Clifford Owens describes the body. When things are going well, it silently slips into the background of public life. When the...
Mine, mine, mine!
In an impressive display of questionable timing and priorities, the US President may just have rung in the first round of a new space age. While “non-viral” news currently fly...
A puzzle coming together
Today marks a historical event in international criminal justice. Two former members of the Syrian General Intelligence Service will stand trial before the Oberlandesgericht Koblenz (Higher Regional Court). It is...
Dealing with marine debris the ASEAN way
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...
Legitimation through executive order?
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....
A missed opportunity at the ICC
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....
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”...
Human rights, criminal law: pas de deux ou faux amis?
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...
Afghanistan finally open for investigations
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....
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...
The citizenship test in India
The National Register of Citizens (NRC), published on August 31, 2019, which documents legal citizens in India, has declared 19 lakh (or 1,9 million) residents of Assam as illegal immigrants,...
Der Alptraum in Idlib
Am 27. Februar 2020 veränderte sich die Dynamik im syrischen Bürgerkrieg grundlegend. Durch einen gemeinsamen Angriff der syrischen und russischen Luftwaffen im Gouvernement Idlib auf die türkische Armee wurden mindestens...
Voting rights for future?
When John Stuart Mill referred to liberty as the greatest value that guarantees people’s freedom and right to have a choice, he pointed out that children were ‘incapable of being acted...
Schnell heißt nicht rechtmäßig
In einem Legal-Tribune-Online-Beitrag vom 02.03.2020 nimmt der Autor mit dem Pseudonym Johann Verhaelen die schnelle Vergabe von russischen Staatsangehörigkeiten (200.000 Einbürgerungen seit Mai 2019) zum Anlass, einige Fragen im Kontext...
Is the spread of Coronavirus already a pandemic?
On 26 February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the current spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) “has pandemic potential”. That is, despite the fact...
40 days and 40 nights
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...
Staat oder kein Staat, das ist hier die (einzige) Frage
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...
When your landlord is North Korea
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”...
And the victims’ voices?
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...
EGMR billigt Festung Europa mit Toren
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...
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...
“To be a judge means to be criticized from all sides”
Angelika Nußberger was the German judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for nine years; her term of office came to an end at the turn of the...
Entre ambitions et réalités
Circuler librement entre les États du continent africain ; résider et s’établir librement dans l’un ou l’autre de ses pays – voici les ambitions du Protocole au Traité instituant la Communauté...
The 2019-2020 novel coronavirus outbreak and the importance of good faith for international law
The 2019-2020 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak first identified in Wuhan, China currently stands at the center of the international community’s focus. The World Health Organization (WHO) issues daily situation reports...
„Richter sein bedeutet, von allen Seiten kritisiert zu werden“
Angelika Nußberger war neun Jahre die deutsche Richterin am Europäischen Menschenrechtsgerichtshofs (EGMR), zum Jahreswechsel ist ihre Amtszeit zu Ende gegangen. Zurück an ihrem Lehrstuhl an der Universität Köln blickt die...
Grundrechte schützen – eine grenzenlose Verpflichtung?
Mit Spannung konnte man in der letzten Woche eine außergewöhnliche Verhandlung vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht verfolgen. Die geheimste deutsche Behörde, der Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), musste sich im Rahmen einer Verfassungsbeschwerde den kritischen...
SDGs and the rule of law: the need to globalize the ethics of legal tech
In the context of the rapid adoption and integration of legal technology at a global level, this blog will problematize the consequences of the bias of current discussions on the...
Zur Tötung von Qasem Soleimani: Wann darf man Soldaten töten?
Der tödliche Drohnenangriff auf Qasem Soleimani und Mitglieder der „Popular Mobilization Forces“, darunter deren Anführer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, wirft eine Reihe rechtlicher Fragen auf. Neben dem (an dieser Stelle nicht näher...
The targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani – a short recapitulation
A lot has been said, written and tweeted about the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani and the aftermath since his death on January 3. This post aims to organize the...
The Brexit agreement: an unlikely role model for the WTO?
On the one hand, the WTO. This institution that was considered the ‘jewel in the crown’, has now been deprived of an Appellate body, a problem which is only the...
Fighting modern slavery in Brazil
Formally abolished by law in 1888, slavery – in its modern forms – continues to exist in Brazil to this date. In 1995, the Brazilian State officially recognized this fact...
Saber-rattling in space
Does international law entitle states to have military space forces? Recent efforts by several states as well as NATO to strengthen their military space capabilities re-ignite this debate. The issue...
Climate change in the Security Council
Wildfires are heating the Earth from the Arctic to the Amazon, islands are drowning, and the record for the hottest year has been broken every year since 2015. No one...