Climate JusticeSymposium

Could “Net”-Zero Emissions prove to be a fatal blow for climate justice?

In 2015, after intense lobbying efforts and to the frustration of many climate justice activists, the Human Rights dimension of climate change was included not in the text, but only the preamble to the Paris Agreement. In the aftermath of the agreement, John Knox – at the time UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment – stated that „the Paris Agreement signifies the recognition by the international community …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Art. XX GATT 1994 – Climate change and disadvantaged nations

As signs of a looming climate catastrophe emerge, international law scholars and lawyers frequently seek additional paths to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions and to protect the environment. On a regular basis, their eyes turn towards the legal order of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Partly, this is due to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism (DSM), since an equivalent compulsory system of adjudication is wanting in international environmental law. In this regard, …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Global South climate litigation versus climate justice: duty of international cooperation as a remedy?

Imagine for a moment that you are a Bolivian small farmer whose livelihood depends on the continuing flow of a river to water your crops. Now, due to climate change, glaciers that used to feed local rivers are retreating, leading to a substantial reduction in water availability. After a couple of years, you see in the local newspaper that a fellow citizen, a concerned industrial farmer, won a constitutional lawsuit …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

International law in an age of catastrophe

Introducing our climate justice symposium

The symposium on climate justice is starting on the blog today, and it appears both a most urgent and a curious moment for it. Last year, the climate crisis finally entered broader public debate. Young people around the globe protesting for much needed climate action succeeded in putting the topic on the agenda, and the attention it received in the media grew exponentially. Earlier this year, when we published our call …

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Call for ContributionsCurrent DevelopmentsIL in Times of Pandemics

Call for Contributions: International law in pandemic times

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis of global dimension. With numerous countries imposing shut-downs, closing their borders and limiting international trade and cooperation, the crisis in some ways appears to have prompted a return of the nation state that seemed unimaginable only weeks ago and has already given rise to the question whether we are currently witnessing the end of globalization (see on this here and here). International …

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Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

The new wave of law and development

This short note was inspired by the 2019 Law and Development Research Network Conference in Berlin.  The Conference was organised by the Chair for Public Law and Comparative Law at Humboldt University, and was attended by over two hundred scholars from thirty-nine countries under the heading ‘The plurality of law and development’. I am greatly indebted to those who offered their views at the conference; what follows, however, is a …

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Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Alternatives to development in the Andes

Contesting cosmovisions and their path towards recognition

The concept of “development” has become a buzzword for social change, economic redistribution and ultimately socio-economic rights. This concerns both economic relations maintained in the international community built on the premise of State sovereignty and resulting intergovernmental agreements. Manifestations of such realities are manifold including a dominating WTO-steered legal order; new international trade deals such as current EU-Mercosur negotiations on the most extensive free trade zone on earth; the CETA …

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Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

The plurality of law and development

Reflections on a field in transformation

As a legal field, law and development is often traced back to the movement of US-American scholars and practitioners in the 1960s and 1970s, both epitomized and criticized by David Trubek’s seminal article “Scholars in Self-Estrangement”. While this strand remains an important reference, the story of law and development is arguably broader, more plural and more global. The plurality of law and development is marked by a variety of national …

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Current Developments

Gender inclusive trade and the limits of liberal feminism

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO saw the coming together of 121 WTO members to support the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment (hereinafter ‘Gender Declaration’). Members went on to endorse a liberal feminist strategy to promote gender equality within the international trading system. Pursuant to the Gender Declaration, the WTO has convened a series of conferences and workshops to deliberate upon ways to promote women’s participation in …

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Journal Cooperation

Who is calling the shots?

A comment on Amvane’s “UN peacekeeping and the developing world”

In his thought-provoking essay on UN peacekeeping and the developing world Gabriel Amvane sheds light on the mismatch between the fact that while peacekeeping operations are mainly carried out in and by states from the global South, it is the casualty-averse countries from the global North that fund these operations and thus call the shots in decision-making about where to deploy, with what mandate, and for how long. This results in …

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