Current Developments

How is COVID-19 affecting Amazonia?

Violations to human rights and the environment

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 increasingly faced devastating and disproportionate consequences to the spread of the virus. In this context, this blog post asks: Are there legal remedies to ensure the protection of Indigenous peoples from COVID-19 and environmental degradation? Are these remedies adequate to …

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Current Developments

“Stop quarantine, start war”

The legality of the use of force in Nagorno-Karabakh

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 May, the Court found a procedural violation of Article 2 (right to life) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Convention by Azerbaijan after it released and promoted an extradited officer who had murdered an Armenian soldier during training. In …

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Current Developments

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 zu überdenken. Seit mehr als 40 Jahren sind wir Zeug*innen eines Rückschlags beim Schutz und bei der Wahrung der Menschenrechte, insbesondere der kollektiven Rechte von Frauen, Arbeitnehmer*innen und indigenen Völkern. Beunruhigend ist vor allem, dass die Ungleichheit in fast allen …

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Current Developments

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 rights from a transnational perspective. For more than 40 years, we have witnessed a setback in the protection and safeguard of human rights, particularly the collective rights of women, workers, and indigenous peoples. Worryingly, inequality has risen in almost all …

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Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part II)

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 World Health Organization (WHO). In the following subsections, we turn to two more legal dimensions, which were directly at stake during the 2014-2016 West African Ebola crisis and are also present in the COVID-19 pandemic, namely: 1) the role played …

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Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part I)

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, the United Nations as such, and the international community as a whole are subjected to harsh criticism for ignoring the initial warning signs. Had they acted sooner, some say, more lives could have been saved. An overreliance on epidemiological assessments …

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Current Developments

A crisis (not) averted

How the government-imposed lockdown led to a mass exodus of migrant workers in India

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 to be 139 million (Census 2011) with an annual average movement of 9 million people recorded between the states during the period of 2011 to 2016 (Economic Survey of India 2017). In what is known as one of the most …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Ohrenbetäubendes Schweigen

Zur Blockade des Sicherheitsrates im Kampf gegen Covid-19

Die aktuelle Covid-19 Pandemie präsentiert sich als globale Krise nationaler Alleingänge. Das liegt auch am Sicherheitsrat (SR) der Vereinten Nationen (VN), der sich seit Wochen nicht auf eine Resolution einigen kann und so sein Koordinierungspotential nicht realisiert. Politisch ist dieses Schweigen verheerend. Juristisch gesehen verpasst es der SR, an seine vorigen Resolutionen zur Eindämmung von Epidemien anzuknüpfen. In der laufenden Diskussion (hier und hier) zeigt sich nun jedoch, dass die …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Creating a kingdom of stone walls

The crisis in India’s emergency communication strategy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

India has 376 million active social media users, out of which 66 million are aged between 5 and 11 years, suggesting that a significant number of India’s demographics on social media are school children. Such a vulnerable demographic coupled with the rampant media censorship has created a labyrinth of misinformation on social media in the past. Similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Social media is flooded with fake news – ranging …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

To sue or not to sue

Enforcing the obligation to notify under the international health regulations

Various areas of international law highlight the value of information and the essential role of the obligation to notify in fulfilling other duties. The current COVID-19 global crisis has further stressed the significance of notification requirements, given the hypothesized possibility that the pandemic could have been averted had the obligation to notify been fulfilled. Through International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) cases that analyze this obligation, mainly relative to the customary …

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