SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Irrational, unprofessional, radical?

Towards a differentiated perspective on age in international law and politics scholarship

2019 has marked the year in which the climate crisis has entered broader public debate. The main trigger were young people protesting around the globe and demanding that their governments finally take the threat seriously and significantly increase the efforts in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The “Arab Spring” movement is yet another recent example in which young people demonstrate their political potential. Transnational movements such as #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and #FridaysforFuture …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Denying juveniles’ agency role: truly in their best interest?

How is it possible that thus far the agency role of juveniles in international law appears to be diminished and underestimated, even though they constitute a large number of the world´s population? Yet, instead of being treated as responsible agents who deserve to be involved in decision-making processes concerning international law issues, juveniles are being victimized and paternalized. This is well shown in the Preamble of the Convention on the …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Enter the youth, a protagonist behind the scenes

The 1992 Rio Declaration suggested that young people would soon become protagonists in international law-making. Accordingly, it should be no surprise that the youth has become louder and louder in voicing its concerns. Yet, scholars appear not to have acknowledged that change. For while international law becomes more humanised, international bodies jettison their ‘states-only’ requirement, and climate change haunts future generations – commentators keep postponing the theorisation of young people’s …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Rejuvenating international law

An introduction to an emerging field of research

Announcing a “Youthquake”, Time Magazine rang the bell of change, declaring that a new generation is on its way to power. International legal scholarship, however, has not yet recognised this dynamic as an emerging field of research.  In this light (or darkness), students of Freie Universität Berlin hosted a conference on the question of youth in international law this January. The event was shaped by questions such as “Is international …

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Current Developments

Voting rights for future?

Lowering the voting age from a children’s rights perspective

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 on by rational consideration of distant motives’ and therefore, unable to enjoy liberty and make decisions for themselves. Mill’s statement reflects a broader argument according to which the distinction between adults and children in political influence is justified due to …

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Current Developments

(Un-)Precedented?

The relevance of the Urgenda case to the Children vs. Climate Crisis Communication

The communication brought by sixteen children before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to address the effects of states’ inaction on climate change seems at first glance unprecedented and foreign to our common ideas about international environmental law. Yet, as the Urgenda case shows, a rights-based approach to climate change is not wholly unheard of. Individual communications to the Committee on the Rights of the Child              The fact …

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Current Developments

Thank you, Greta & friends!

Procedural aspects on the climate crisis-related communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixteen children, among them the popular Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, from 12 different countries have filed a communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure. The communication complains of a rights violation by five different states: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. The petitioners’ claim: Each of these states …

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