South and East Asian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Multiperspectivism in and on international law

The symposium on “South and East Asian perspectives on international law” postulates that perspectives matter for the understanding, interpretation, and application of international law. I agree, but would like to caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater by giving up the never-ending struggle for a bottom-up universalisation of the international legal discourse. Our scholarly approaches, arguments and assessments are value-loaded and connect to underlying political and theoretical preferences …



Between Narratives and Borders

Analyzing Ethiopia’s Domestic Labor Migration to the Gulf Countries

A significant number of Ethiopians are migrating to the Gulf countries to work in the domestic labor market. In late 2013, the Ethiopian government passed a temporary ban on labor migration, which was subsequently lifted five years later in January 2018. How have these legal developments shaped the current situation, and what are the major push factors influencing Ethiopian labor migration? Two factors are particularly noteworthy: first, a state monopoly …


Current Developments

Kofi Annan and International Law in Kenya

Dr. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, died recently. Many Kenyans took to social media to mourn the death of the African diplomat they had come to know through his efforts in curbing the 2008 post-election violence. Annan and the 2007 Election in Kenya The 2007 election in Kenya was charged and emotive. Mr. Raila Odinga, the then President Kibaki’s main challenger, had assembled an impressive …


Cultural Heritage in a Post-Colonial WorldSymposium

Dekoloniale Perspektiven zu Berlins Humboldt Forum

Positionen und Kritik von Dekolonisierungsaktivist*innen

Jährlich demonstrieren Afrikaner*innen aus ehemaligen (deutschen) Kolonien sowie People of Colour (PoC) und Schwarze diasporische bzw. migrantische Communities für die Anerkennung kolonialen Unrechts und die Rückgabe von Gebeinen und Kultursubjekten,[1] die im Zuge des Kolonialismus nach Deutschland gebracht wurden. Die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für koloniales Unrecht und die Rückgabe von Gebeinen und Kultursubjekten war bisher begrenzt, bekommt nun aber durch ein ca. 600 Millionen Euro schweres Projekt neuen Auftrieb: Derzeit wird …


Business and Human RightsSymposium

Giving Human Rights a Future

The Transnational and Transformative Character of a Business and Human Rights Treaty

The future of human rights, as scholars and practitioners alike emphasize, depends on its ability to address economic inequality. For this aim, human rights lawmaking needs to listen to more voices than just the ones of the powerful states and the human rights movement needs to include more actors than it did in the past to tackle questions of fair distribution:


Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Between (Re-)Empowerment and (Hyper-) Conditionality

The Rise of Accountability-Driven Governance in Development Cooperation

Ever since David Trubek and Mark Galanter’s seminal ‘Scholars in Self-Estrangement’, which Philip Dann, during the seminar that gave rise to this post, aptly termed the ‘law and development movement’s defining moment’, there has been intense self-reflection by scholars on the role of law in and for ‘development’ and about the analytical and normative currency of this approach. And in line with the broader ‘turn to history’ in law, this …


Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Agenda 2030 – Time to Revisit Rule of Law programming

As the development community re-focuses on how the rule of law agenda enables sustainable development as expected in fulfilment of Agenda 2030, questions will continue to arise concerning the mixed results of rule of law assistance projects. D. Marshall in his treatise “The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and the Way Forward,” emphasizes that there is a profound knowledge deficit regarding the justice system, its actors, …


Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Law and Development: Theory and Practice

The field of Law and Development studies positions itself at a highly interesting, yet academically challenging juncture: What is the relationship between law and social and economic development? For most scholars of Law and Development, this question itself tends to raise more questions than answers: What conceptions of law are we actually talking about? And should the notion of ‘development’ be critically re-appropriated beyond modernized ideals of economic growth? Or …


Call for ContributionsCultural Heritage in a Post-Colonial WorldSymposium

CfP: Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem

The Voelkerrechtsblog is happy to announce an interdisciplinary online symposium on “Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem”. Cultural and anthropological objects from colonized or de-facto colonized territories have arrived in Europe in great amounts since the 18th century. Many European metropoles established large collections of those artefacts and human remains to display this shared “heritage” to their people – all projects closely …



On history, geography, and radical change in international law

An interview with BS Chimni

These are exciting times for international legal scholarship – on this point, the interviewers and Professor BS Chimni can immediately agree. But what are the consequences of recent challenges to the international legal order for critical approaches? Professor Chimni’s groundbreaking work on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) has contributed greatly to international legal scholarship during the last decades. A fascinating scholar, an enthusiastic teacher, and an effortlessly charismatic …