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Current Developments

Fighting modern slavery in Brazil

The Fazenda Brasil Verde decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and current implementation challenges

Formally abolished by law in 1888, slavery – in its modern forms – continues to exist in Brazil to this date. In 1995, the Brazilian State officially recognized this fact and has since then taken a variety of legislative and institutional measures to combat slave labour on its territory. Translating these measures into concrete change on the ground remains a challenge though and may be further complicated by the current …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

The Contract for the Web: The newest manifestation of digital constitutionalism?

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is intended to bring together the multistakeholder community to talk about the current and the future Internet. It is distinctly not supposed to bring about agreements that bind these actors to certain norms. Disregarding this custom, the Contract for the Web (Contract) was launched on November 25, 2019 on “Day Zero” of this year’s IGF in Berlin. Whether the Contract will turn out to be …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

India’s mosque that was and temple that will be

On the issue of minority land rights in international law

“Mandir mein, masjid mein tu aur tu hi hai imaano mein” [You’re there in the temples, in the mosques, and in all belief]. These lyrics, performed in a musical ode to the eternal sentiment of love as part of the famous 1960 Indian film “Mughal-E-Azam”, echoe the quest for inter-religious harmony in the subcontinent. This theme was at issue in the Indian Supreme Court’s landmark judgment of 9 November in …

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Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Ein globaler „Dauerbrenner“

Der Umgang mit Hate Speech auf Online-Plattformen

Hate Speech umgrenzen, verstehen und bekämpfen – ein weiterhin aktuelles Thema im Kontext von Online-Kommunikation. Das Thema ist demzufolge auf dem Internet Governance Forum gut aufgehoben, denn es betrifft alle globalen Kommunikationsdienste und alle Rechtsordnungen, wenn auch auf unterschiedliche Art und Weise. Doch der Umgang mit Hate Speech und die Gegenmaßnahmen zeigen bisher wenig Wirkung. Ein mehrversprechender Ansatz wäre, sich mit der Verantwortung von Plattformen zu beschäftigen, ohne sie zwangsläufig …

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Current Developments

Europäische Einigkeit in Action: Menschenwürde im Strafvollzug

EuGH konkretisiert Mindestanforderungen für Haftbedingungen im Kontext des Europäischen Haftbefehls

Dass eine nationale Justizbehörde beim Vollstrecken eines Europäischen Haftbefehls ausnahmsweise dem Grundrechtsschutz Vorrang vor der Wirksamkeit des Haftbefehls einräumen darf und muss, hat der Gerichtshof in der Rechtssache Aranyosi und Căldăraru erstmals bekräftigt. Im Urteil C-128/18 Dorobantu vom 15.10.2019 bestätigt der EuGH nun die enge Orientierung der grundrechtlichen Prüfung an der Rechtsprechung des EGMR. Zusätzlich betont er den absoluten Charakter des Verbots unmenschlicher oder erniedrigender Behandlung. Hamburg – Karlsruhe – …

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Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

“Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement”

The LGBT community facing a social stigma in Africa

With the High Court’s judgment from June 11th 2019, judge Michael Elburu suspended section 164 a and c and section 165 of the Penal Code from 1965 which punish same-sex relations in Botswana with up to seven years in prison and ordered to modify section 167. In recognising the discriminatory nature of the laws in question, the Botswanan High Court gave hope to the LGBT (Lesbian- Gay- Bisexual- Transgender) community …

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Current Developments

(Un-)Precedented?

The relevance of the Urgenda case to the Children vs. Climate Crisis Communication

The communication brought by sixteen children before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to address the effects of states’ inaction on climate change seems at first glance unprecedented and foreign to our common ideas about international environmental law. Yet, as the Urgenda case shows, a rights-based approach to climate change is not wholly unheard of. Individual communications to the Committee on the Rights of the Child              The fact …

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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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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Not for sale?

Some thoughts on human rights in cases of cession of territory

Pierre Thielbörger and Timeela Manandhar have given an innovative and thought-provoking account of the lawfulness of the incumbent US president’s potential plans to purchase Greenland. Vividly and succinctly they make their case against the possibility of a sale of the island under international law. However, their colorful picture of the legal scenery arguably glosses over some nuances. I do not intend to comment again on President Trump’s announced intention to acquire the …

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Current Developments

Thank you, Greta & friends!

Procedural aspects on the climate crisis-related communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixteen children, among them the popular Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, from 12 different countries have filed a communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure. The communication complains of a rights violation by five different states: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. The petitioners’ claim: Each of these states …

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