IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Claims after COVID?

COVID-19 and state defenses in response to investment claims

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc – not only by taking the lives of thousands of people across the world but also by impacting the national and international economy. The pandemic has disrupted business in all of its manifestations and caused millions of workers to be laid off. Many companies, including those owned and run by foreign investors, are subjected to an unprecedented host of state measures. These unexpected circumstances have …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Testing Europe: COVID-19 and the rule of law

“Sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” wrote the notorious constitutional law scholar Carl Schmitt in 1922 in his work Political Theology, “exception” understood as measures undertaken in a state of emergency. The democratic constitutions of Europe are grounded on the notion of popular sovereignty; Article 20 of the German Basic Law, for example, states that “[a]ll state authority is derived from the people”. The Treaty on European Union …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

A burden to share

The need to acknowledge the complexity of member state differences in the Eurozone

The spread of the Coronavirus disease prompts the question whether EU Member states should show solidarity and, if so, to what extent. It is clear that Italy is one of the European countries to have been severely struck by the consequences of the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019. The lock-down and restrictions for public life have a dire effect on the Italian economy. As a consequence, Italy has called …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Vulnerability in times of Corona

Guidelines from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the Right to Health

Two years ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court) issued a seminal ruling regarding the right to health established in Article 26 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). For the first time ever, it held a State Party to be internationally responsible for not guaranteeing non-discriminatory access to health services (previously discussed here and here). In the same case, the Court also established the justiciability of the …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

The Corona effect

On complex causality in the international anti-corruption arena

Can the flap of a bat’s wings in Hunan, China, send global markets into freefall and threaten democracy in the Americas? Today, most of us would answer in the affirmative – perhaps proof that Konrad Lorenz’s butterfly effect theory, which he first wrote about in 1972, is more relevant than ever. Catherine Mackinnon aside, few in the legal world have argued for complex causality in dynamic, unstable systems. Yet, the …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Beauty and the virus

Fashion brands, the UNGPs and (imagined) solidarity in pandemic times

Many parts of the world are in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As most of Europe was hit hard by the virus and its rapid spread, countries implemented lockdown measures, varying in reach, style and enforcement, but with a main commonality to close down facilities deemed non-essential. Consequently, apparel stores had to close their doors and customers have been restricted to online-shopping, resulting in a vast drop in demand. …

READ MORE →

IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Look for everyday solidarity

International law in pandemic times

The absent global leadership and starkly uncoordinated cross-border responses have exacerbated the spread of the coronavirus. On a positive note, countries are progressively joining forces to address immediate humanitarian appeals. They are engaging with diverse partners and experimenting on novel funding approaches through various forums, including the Coronavirus Global Response and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. These partnerships are bringing light to the spirit of solidarity. We want to …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Between the body and the politic

Reading recommendations on epidemics, international law, and history – Part II

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 of society and its cultural leaders”. Those in the margins of society included strangers, travelers, beggars, lepers, Jews, the poor… the list goes on. Towns routinely closed their gates to all outsiders. During the plague of the 1890s, the medical …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Between the body and the politic

Reading recommendations on epidemics, international law, and history – Part I

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 body becomes threatened, however, it transforms into “the source of the most profound disturbances in the political field”. After all, we humans are, despite our highest ethical ideals and furthest scientific advances, still inescapably tethered to our bodies. Our physical …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

Leaving no one behind?

Special needs in times of COVID-19

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the rights and special needs of persons with disabilities are once again neglected dramatically. It is bitterly unsurprising that the topic arrived on the agenda of international policy makers only when UN special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas, criticized the lack of awareness and resulting inaction in mid-March. UNICEF was finally the first international organization to publish considerations on children …

READ MORE →