BofaxeCurrent Developments

Germany’s commitment to international justice

On the groundbreaking first trial addressing genocide against Yazidis

Part I Six years after the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) began persecuting and annihilating the Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority group in Northern Iraq, the first trial of its kind addressing genocide against the group commenced in Frankfurt am Main on April 24, 2020. While the world is focusing its efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frankfurt judges are avidly going forward with the case against …

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Current Developments

“Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake”

Legal fragmentation in the context of the Rohingya proceedings before the ICJ and ICC

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 strength, pursuing individual as well as state responsibility for the repelling wrongdoings committed against the Muslim group of Rakhine State. Nonetheless, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) simultaneously dealing with legal questions embedded in …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

All eyes on the Court

On the ICJ hearings on provisional measures in The Gambia v. Myanmar

Whilst Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya minority has long been subject to public scrutiny, in November news broke that The Gambia instituted proceedings against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under Article IX of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) for the alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Last week’s hearings were confined to The Gambia’s request for provisional …

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Current Developments

Justice for the Rohingya: three roads to accountability

The past week (11-15 November 2019) has seen Myanmar facing an arsenal of legal challenges for alleged international crimes before the International Criminal Court (ICC), International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the federal court in Argentina. After decades of documented (gross) human rights violations against the Rohingya, efforts to secure accountability has gained momentum following multiple allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide by various United Nations (UN) investigative efforts, …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

From ideological fixity to moral argument

Today, international law – and international human rights law in particular – provides the dominant frame, often augmented by negotiations, for responding to acts of genocide. While this frame is necessary, it may not be sufficient to address the deeper emotional and psychological scars associated with the 1904–1908 genocide in erstwhile German South West Africa. This is because the colonial project’s ideological fixity deeply implicates aspects of international law. Moreover, …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

The genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama peoples

The German colonization of what became German South West Africa commenced in 1884 and ended with German forces’ surrender to the Union of South Africa in July 1915. The genocidal atrocities committed by German colonial troops from 1904–1908, sanctioned by General Lothar von Trotha’s 1904 and 1905 orders to exterminate the Ovaherero and Nama, significantly changed the course of history and socio-economic status of the people who lived in Namibia …

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Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

Historical originis of the Ovaherero and Nama Genocide

One cannot discuss the issue of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide without referring to the causes that gave rise to it. Although Eurocentric historiographers have written most of the history of our genocide, which therefore includes undue biases, people who follow the dictates of their conscience have also written records that are more objective. The first contact between Germans and the Ovaherero and Nama occurred through missionaries, followed by many …

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Current Developments

Strafverfolgung ohne Jurisdiktion?

Das Legitimitätsdilemma des IStGH angesichts der Rohingya-Ermittlungen

Die Chef-Anklägerin des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH) sorgte mit ihrem neusten Antrag vergangene Woche für einigen Wirbel. Am letzten Donnerstag ersuchte Fatou Bensouda die Vorverfahrenskammer um Erlaubnis, mit ihren Ermittlungen um die Geschehnisse in Bangladesch/Myanmar im Jahr 2017 fortfahren zu dürfen. Damit befindet sich der Fall nun in jener Phase, an der die gerichtliche Aufarbeitung der Situation in Afghanistan im April scheiterte, nachdem sich der IStGH in seinem wegweisenden Beschluss gegen die …

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Current Developments

Setback for the descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero indigenous peoples

A New York Court declines jurisdiction in Rukoro et al. v. Germany

Almost two years after members and descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero indigenous peoples filed a class action complaint against the Federal Republic of Germany in a United States District Court, the New York Court dealing with the case dismissed the complaint on March 6, 2019 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Responsibility to punish

Zur Verantwortung Deutschlands für deutsche IS-Kämpfer

Über 1000 deutsche Staatsangehörige haben sich dem sogenannten Islamischen Staat (IS) angeschlossen, davon befinden sich mittlerweile gut 40 im syrischen Kurdengebiet in Gefangenschaft. Einige von ihnen werden verdächtigt, sich wegen Völkermord, Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit und Kriegsverbrechen strafbar gemacht zu haben. Schon im Koalitionsvertrag vereinbarten SPD, CDU und CSU zu regeln, dass „Deutsche, die eine weitere Staatsangehörigkeit besitzen, die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit verlieren können, wenn ihnen die konkrete Beteiligung an Kampfhandlungen …

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