Closing Doors to Investor-State Dispute Settlement
Global South countries have often asserted that Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) ensnare them, culminating in manifestations of neocolonialism, where their populations endure poverty while foreign corporations profit from their vast...
From Rome with Love?
The 21st July judgment of the Italian Corte Costituzionale could bring an end to everyone’s favorite immunity dispute. “Jurisdictional Immunities 2.0” came into being when Germany instituted proceedings in 2022...
A Serious Humanitarian Crisis Leading to Genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh
It is already more than 270 days since the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, also known as the "road to life,” which connects the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Armenia and the...
Protecting Human Rights During the Climate Crisis
This blogpost was inspired by a question that arose in an international climate case concerning emissions reductions obligations under human rights law. During the oral proceedings of KlimaSeniorinnen and Others...
Who Is Responsible for Ensuring Human Rights in Global Sport?
In Semenya v. Switzerland, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) has weighed in on the issue of sex testing in sport. The decision comes after a series...
Islamic State, Women, and Their Role as Perpetrators in International Criminal Law
In June 2023, the Koblenz Higher Regional Court handed down one of the most significant sentences to female Islamic State (ISIS) returnees. The verdict against Nadine K. included charges for...
Islamischer Staat, Frauen und ihre Täterinnenrolle im Völkerstrafrecht
Das OLG Koblenz verurteilte die Rückkehrerin aus dem Islamischen Staat (IS) Nadine K. im Juni 2023 u.a. wegen der mitgliedschaftlichen Beteiligung an einer terroristischen Vereinigung, Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit durch...
Preventive Detention Under the Convention?
Preventive detention of climate activists is gradually turning into a popular practice with the German police. Recently, a video from Regensburg gained attention showing an activist of the so-called "Last...
The Last World: 150 Years of Franz Josef Land
This is an English version of Vec's original German article, translated by the editorial team with the author's consent. The title of Christoph Ransmayr's novel, "The Last World," fits...
Die letzte Welt: 150 Jahre Franz-Josef-Land
Für die Geschichte der Entdeckung des Franz-Josef-Lands vor 150 Jahren würde auch ein anderer Romantitel von Christoph Ransmayr passen: „Die letzte Welt“. Das Franz-Josef-Land, ein Archipel von rund 200 Inseln,...
Tackling Foreign Election Interference Through Self-Determination
The problem of foreign election interference through cyberspace has by now received immense traction in international legal literature. Yet compared to intrusive instances such as vote count manipulations, there remains...
Improving the Status Quo of Sustainable Governance
The Environmental Rule of Law is one of the key principles to save planet earth for future generations. Every regulation for environmental protection can only have an impact to the...
How (Over)Compliance by Private Actors Can Violate the Right to Health
What if sanctions would be enacted against your country and you could not get access to vital medicine, because the supply company fears a high fine by the US? This...
A Circumvention of Refugee Rights?
On the May 11, 2023, the pandemic US border regulation – Title 42 - ran out. To replace it, the Biden Administration put in place a new rule titled “Circumvention...
Should Third States Follow Ukraine’s Lead and Confiscate Russian State Assets?
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale attack against Ukraine. Reconstruction and recovery needs are estimated at over 400 billion USD. A potential source for rapid compensation is the...
The Internationalisation of Caste
A bottomless social stratification of inequality exists in the form of caste in Indian society. Caste transposes economic, cultural, political, and educational marginalisation. The egregious forms of discrimination that the...
Joining the Conversation
“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” — Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’ In ‘The Outside Keeps Creeping In,’ Sué González...
Iran’s Appointment as the Chair-Rapporteur of the UNHRC Social Forum
On 10 May 2023, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) President appointed the Islamic Republic of Iran to chair the 2023 Social Forum. The upcoming Forum focuses on...
In Line with the Vanguard of International Law?
When the sun sets over Mar Menor, flamingos wade slowly through the silt at the shores. The lagoon’s waters are shallow, used to be crystal clear and abundant with seahorses....
Abortion in International Human Rights Law at a Crossroads
In March 2023, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) held public hearings in Beatriz v El Salvador. Beatriz deserves close attention. It is the first time that the Court...
Rectifying the Coloniality of Omission
On the 24 February 2023, the German Federal Ministry of Justice published a white paper outlining proposals of legislative amendments that in its view seek to develop and strengthen international...
What To Expect When You’re PhDing
This blogpost does not claim to provide professional advice on mental health. The author merely reflects on personal experiences and relies on studies published in this field. If you are...
Germany Has to Grant Reparations for Colonial Crimes
On 24 April 2023, several United Nations Special Rapporteurs started publishing their joint communication with the German government (AL DEU 1/2023) and the Namibian government (AL NAM 1/2023), on violations...
Inhuman and Degrading ‘Hotspots’ at the EU Borders
On 4 April 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) published its judgment A.D. v. Greece, for the first time condemning the living conditions in the so-called ‘Hotspots’ on...
Turkey’s Constitutional Court Back to Old Tricks
On March 9, 2023, Turkey's Constitutional Court (TCC) reversed its January 5, 2023 decision to "precautionarily" block the accounts of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the lawsuit demanding HDP’s...
The ICC’s Channels of Communication
In May 2022, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Outreach Unit conducted an outreach mission in Timbuktu, Mali, as part of the The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag...
On the Potential of GATT Article XX for the Renewable Energy Sector
Energy security is a critical concern for many States, as it involves ensuring reliable access to affordable energy resources. Therefore, renewable energy becomes indispensable for the growing energy needs of...
Beyond Property Relations
In December 2022, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the supervisory body of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) adopted General Comment No....
Certain Iranian (Frozen) Assets
Mit seinem jüngsten Urteil im Streit zwischen dem Iran und den USA hat der Internationale Gerichtshof (IGH) dem Iran unter Heranziehung einer widersprüchlichen Maßstabsbildung den Zugang zu eingefrorenen Zentralbank-Vermögen versperrt....
The OSCE Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is currently facing unprecedented difficulties created by one of its participating States, namely Russia. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of...
A Court, Not a Policymaker
On Wednesday, under the eyes of great public interest, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) opened a chapter to what may become the ECtHR’s greatest...
Participants’ Reflections on the 2023 Jessup German National Rounds
On 4 March 2023 the German National Rounds of the world’s biggest and most prestigious moot court competition, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, came to an end....
Return to the Jessup
It’s great to be back. Like so many things, the Jessup competition had to move online due to the pandemic but this year the Jessup is back in person. Undoubtedly...
Post-COP27 Thoughts on Greening the Cape Town Convention
In June 2022, the governing council of UNIDROIT, a Rome-based intergovernmental organization with the objective to harmonize international private law across countries through uniform rules, discussed proposals for their upcoming...
Alle Macht den Staaten?
In Bezug auf die von sogenannten „Umweltaktivisten“ errichtete Blockade des Latschin-Korridors seit dem 12. Dezember 2022 und der damit einhergehenden humanitären Krise in Berg-Karabach, erließ der Internationale Gerichtshof (IGH) am...
The Future of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Human Rights
Over the last decades, the regulation of gender and sexuality has undergone major changes in Europe. From Athens to Reykjavik, same-sex unions are legal reality. States must no longer require...
Russia‘s Withdrawal from New START
Following US President Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv, Russian President Putin announced on 21 February 2023 the withdrawal from the New START Treaty – the last bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty...
In The Eyes of the Organizers
The 2023 German National Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court are upon us, and in the last few months, not only the competing teams have been...
Does International Law Close Open Borders for Humanitarian Aid?
The humanitarian catastrophe in north-west Syria, caused by the protracted war and exacerbated by the recent earthquakes, is once again drawing international attention to Turkish-Syrian border crossings. The dichotomy between...
Fuel Poverty in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is in a cost of living crisis. Among the most pressing problems is fuel poverty. People are increasingly having difficulties...
The Necessity of a Structural Investigation into the Cultural Genocide in Ukraine
Since the Russian invasion, both the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Federal Prosecutor's Office of Germany have started an investigation into events in Ukraine that...
On the Power of Formation
“Formation” may be defined as “an act of giving form or shape”. In international environmental governance, matters of form and shape are constitutive. Whether the formation of a global environmental...
The Future of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has a long history of adjudicating cases concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Many of those cases involved the controversial interpretive approach known...
Emergency Derogation or Curtailment of Human Rights?
Following the killing of Mahsa (Jina) Amini in the so-called "Morality Police" custody due to the alleged non-compliance with Iran's hijab regulation, mass protests erupted all over the country in...
Die „Bundesnotbremse II“ aus dem Blickwinkel der EMRK
Die bundesweiten Schulschließungen in Deutschland infolge der Corona-Pandemie im Jahr 2021, die Gegenstand des Beschlusses des Bundesverfassungsgerichts vom 19. November 2021 waren, liegen nun dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR)...
And the Azerbaijan-Armenia Lawfare Expanded
On 18 January 2023, the government of Azerbaijan announced that it had launched an inter-state arbitration proceedings against Armenia under the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and...
Questions of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia
On 25 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its decision on the admissibility of the interstate complaints lodged by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia in relation...
Self-Determination as Faux Remedial Secession in Russia’s Annexation Policies
“Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard … I decided to conduct...
Throughout the world, indigenous populations are in a renewed push, demanding reparations from former colonial powers. On 19 January 2023, the Namibian lawyer Patrick Kauta filed an application to the...
Will the FBI Investigate?
The killing of the American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11th, 2022 caused an international uproar, with many calling for investigations and legal actions against the soldier who supposedly...
Centering Europe and Othering the Rest
The theme of the 11th annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights reiterated the need to put “rightsholders at the center” of efforts to strengthen accountability and advance business...
A Multilateral Mechanism for Digital Sequence Information
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (hereinafter: CBD) has now reached a substantive conclusion, although not an official one. The latter is due...
How ‘Nazis’ Stole the New Year
Several concerns have been raised about memory politics in Russia turning the memory of World War II (WWII) into an instrument that set the stage for the current war in...
Rockhopper v. Italy and the Tension between ISDS and Climate Policy
On 23 August 2022, a Tribunal constituted under the auspices of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) handed down a long-awaited Award in the case of Rockhopper v. Italy. The investor’s...
The Vocal, yet Elusive Elephant in the Room of Supply Chain Regulation
Sitting at the helm of the EU Council on 1 December 2022, Jozef Síkela, the Czech Minister for Industry and Trade, seemed astonished at the result of a vote count...
Immunity of International Organisations Discarded?
Do international organisations enjoy immunity from jurisdiction under customary international law? In a recent ruling, Austria's Constitutional Court answered that question in the negative. The ruling arose in the context...
How “Attack on Titan” Complicates the Genocide Convention
There has been recent traction towards the idea that pop culture is relevant to the “study, practice, and teaching of international law”. Many scholars acknowledge that it is important to...
Noch einen Nachschlag gefällig?
Deutschlands Wohlstand und soziale Sicherheit war und ist unmittelbar verbunden mit einem möglichst freien Austausch von Waren, Dienstleistungen und Kapital nicht nur im Binnenmarkt, sondern auch mit Staaten außerhalb der...
The Violation of Ukrainian Refugees’ Right to Reproductive Self-Determination in Poland
Rape and sexualized violence have been employed throughout history as weapons in armed conflicts. The ongoing Russian war against Ukraine is no exception to a long tradition of sexualized violence,...
Die Rückkehr des „Bloody November” im Iran
Das International People’s Tribunal on Iran’s Atrocities (dt. Das Internationale Tribunal zu den Gräueltaten des Iran, kurz Aban-Tribunal) verkündete nach zweijährigen Ermittlungen zu den Ereignissen vom November 2019 in Iran...
The Return of Iran’s “Bloody November”?
On 30 September 2022, the International People’s Tribunal on Iran’s Atrocities (short Aban Tribunal) delivered its judgment after two years of investigation into the events of November 2019 in Iran....
Dealing with Loss and Damage at COP27
The fact that the topic of "loss and damage" was placed at the top of the agenda in the run-up to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh is a climate diplomacy milestone....
Foreign Election Interference
Prior to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have warned that foreign actors may create and disseminate disinformation to influence the outcomes...
Teaching in Non-Western Universities
I just returned from a 2-week stay in Rwanda. I visited the National University of Rwanda where I gave some lectures. The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between...
Reflections on Learning under Sands’ Tutelage
Since 1923, scores of doctoral students, diplomats and international legal professionals from different nationalities have attended the Academy’s Courses. This has also included artists who attended, according to Judge Hilary...
Forestalling the Responsibility to Protect Against Ecocide
Tremendous academic debate has ensued after the Stop Ecocide Foundation’s 2021 proposal to amend the Rome Statute in such a way that a new “fifth” international crime of “ecocide” would...
The Sham “Referenda” at Gunpoint
Despite ongoing fighting in the four partly occupied Ukrainian regions Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, “referenda” were held between 23 and 27 September 2022 under farcical modalities. Ballots were collected...
Legal and Judicial Responses to Disaster Displacement in Italy, Austria and Sweden
Climate change and the growing climate crisis are expected to force more and more people to leave their homes. EU law and policy, however, do not explicitly address disaster displacement,...
Behind the Curtain
It is increasingly difficult to form social relations, to work, or to get information about the work of government or public offices without having access to information and communications technologies...
Rewriting als Methode
Es war zur Jahrtausendwende, als das Rewriting in der Luft lag. Und das tut es heute wieder. Rewriting steht hier für die Methode, Gerichtsentscheidungen aus spezifischen Perspektiven und Regeln neu...
Less a Wave Than a Tsunami
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) faces an unprecedented procedural situation in the Ukraine v. Russia case, as a result of the never-before-seen number of states intervening in the case...
The ICJ’s Only Friend in Ukraine v. Russia
On 18 August 2022, the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’ or ‘the Court’) issued a press statement announcing that the European Union (‘EU’ or the ‘Union’) had furnished the Court...
Tiptoeing Around the Right to Life
When the UN Human Rights Committee published its views on the case of Billy et al. v. Australia (Torres Strait Islanders) on September 23rd 2022, it made history as the...
Take It or Break It?
Vor gut sechs Jahren hat das britische Volk per Referendum für den Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs (VK) aus der Europäischen Union (EU) gestimmt (Brexit). Dystopien wie ein frequenter Gebrauch von...
Fortifying the Crime of Ecocide Through Transitional Justice Mechanisms
Recently, the crime of ecocide, which has been proposed to be added to the Rome Statute, has garnered much attention. Scholars have underlined both the definitional gaps and the practical...
On Ceasefire Agreements and (Counter)Offensives
On September 13th 2022, hostilities broke out once again along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia in connection with the long-lasting dispute for Nagorno-Karabakh. Reports estimate that heavy artillery shelling...
Zwischen normativem Anspruch und prozessualer Wirklichkeit – Teil II
Der erste Teil dieses Beitrags ist hier erschienen. Die prozessuale Hürde: Immunitäten Größter Vorteil – und größter Streitpunkt – einer internationalisierten Strafverfolgung ist die potentielle Umgehung von Immunitäten. Während...
Zwischen normativem Anspruch und prozessualer Wirklichkeit – Teil I
Seit am 24.02.2022 russische Truppen in die Ukraine einmarschiert sind, scheint das Völkerstrafrecht eine Renaissance zu erleben. Der Internationale Strafgerichtshof (IStGH) nahm bereits wenige Tage nach Kriegsbeginn Ermittlungen auf, eine...
What Have the Recent UN Attempts to Regulate Lethal Autonomous Weapons Brought?
Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) are no longer science fiction. They have already been deployed in real scenarios. According to the Panel of Experts on Libya established pursuant to United...
A Surprisingly Double Edged Sword
In March 2022, France passed a bill titled, ‘Law Aimed at Strengthening Parental Control over Means of Access to the Internet’ (“the Law”) which will amend Article L-34-9-3 of the...
There are two things every development agency does when launching a new program: First, formulating a robust theory of change, and second, devising an exit strategy. These steps serve to...
Dead Fish in the River Oder
A gigantic ecological catastrophe is unfolding in Central Europe: Thousands of dead fish were found in the river Oder since the end of July, now amounting to more than 100...
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic
On the difficult path from conflict to peace, peacekeepers can unfortunately become perpetrators of violence against the populations they seek to secure. Peacekeeping has been accused of occasionally creating a...
Intergenerational Justice: From Courtroom to Politics?
How to think long term in a short-term world? This is the question at the heart of Roman Krznaric’ book ‘The Good Ancestor’. Long-term thinking implies taking future generations into...
Was wird aus der Beistandsklausel der EU?
Finnland und Schweden haben seit dem Abend des 28. Juni Gewissheit: Beide werden Mitglieder im Verteidigungsbündnis der NATO. Nach einigen Zugeständnissen an die Türkei (ebenfalls NATO-Mitglied) können nun die Verfahren...
How India’s Legislation Risks Impunity for Genocidal Speech
Historically, genocides have been preceded by the gradual yet wide dissemination of speech targeting and demonizing particular communities, such as in the Rwandan genocide. The enormity of such speech is...
All That Glitters Is Not Gold(fish)
At the twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (12-17 June 2022), WTO Members reached a landmark Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (hereinafter: “the Agreement”). Pending ratification, the...
The Pandemic Treaty Dilemma
On April 12th and 13th 2022, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Body (INB) held public hearings at the seat of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the elaboration of a future instrument...
In Remembrance of Professor Cançado Trindade
Saudade is a special word in Portuguese. It can convey, all at once, deep nostalgia, the sadness of departures, and the joy and gratitude for memories of good times. May our...
Suspending Belarus and Russia from the World Bank and EBRD
On 2 March 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (hereinafter the Bank or the World Bank) issued a Joint Statement announcing the suspension of their...
Summoning Solidarity Through Sanctions
While the EU, US, and allies are increasingly imposing sanctions against Russia for its use of force in Ukraine, not as many followers have been attracted to join the sanctioning...
The Birth of Global Environmentalism
50 years ago, at least three events occurred that had a major and lasting impact on the (legal) relationship between human and nature. The release of the photograph “The Blue...
On the Restriction of International Organizations’ Immunity by the Supreme Court of the United States
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) financed the construction of a coal-based power plant in Gujarat, India in 2008. In 2015, local fishermen and farmers sued the IFC as the power...
Exploring Individuals’ Defenses against Denationalization under International Law
While States have long possessed the power to denationalize their citizens (i.e. to non-consensually withdraw their citizenship), the exercise of this power has seen a resurgence in the aftermath of...
Don’t Pull the Plug on the Energy Charter Treaty
As the Earth is facing global warming and the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement seem ever more distant (see new IPCC report), another international treaty has been receiving...
What Is the Role of Unilateral Cyber Sanctions in the Context of the Global Cybersecurity Law-Making?
Cybersecurity is part and parcel of the modern concept of national security. The growing incidence and severity of cyber-attacks attest to the veracity of this statement. Moreover, the development and...
No Citizenship is No Utopia
The word ‘utopia’ has come to denote a near-perfect social order. However, perhaps due to the awful violence unleashed by various 20th Century regimes in pursuit of supposed utopias, the...
The Question of Expelling Recalcitrant Member States
Most international organisations have not been empowered to expel Member States that violate their obligations, the European Union being a notable example. One of them that does so is the...
Some Refugees are Welcome, Others Not So Much
Over a quarter of Ukraine’s population has been uprooted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that...