Digital surveillance and cyber espionageSymposium

The dark side of digitalization

It is difficult to imagine today’s world without digitalization. We are shopping online, write messages to our friends on WhatsApp, let the world know what we think about a newly elected political leader on Twitter, post a picture of our morning breakfast on Instagram and attend an online-course in “Creative Writing” in the evening. In addition, applications of the “internet of things” silently work around us without us even noticing: …

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Land GovernanceSymposium

The Human Right to Land

A Case of Too Many Rights Spoiling the Broth or a Recipe for Justice?

Land rights are not typically perceived to be a human rights issue“, as legal scholar Jeremie Gilbert observes. This is surprising, given the vital importance of land, a finite resource, for a variety of human rights. These include access to life-sustaining resources, such as food and water, as well as other means to ensure an adequate standard of living (as codified in Art. 11 International Covenant on Economic, Social and …

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Land GovernanceSymposium

Grab me if you can?

The global scramble for land in local context

This post opens our symposium on “Land governance”, which accompanies an international conference at the Law and Society Institute of Humboldt University Berlin. Lawyers and political scientists from Germany, India and Brazil will reflect on the global scramble for land in local contexts. Land as such is a rather localized phenomenon, but land governance matters in much wider political, economic, social and ecological contexts: Control over land has always been …

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Current Developments

Von der komplizierten Freiheit, die eigene Muttersprache zu sprechen

Der Fall Semir Güzel vor dem EGMR

Sprachenrechte gehören, wie der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) in entsprechenden Urteilen regelmäßig betont, als solche nicht zu den von der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) geregelten Rechten und Freiheiten. Dass es keinen übergreifenden Artikel gibt, muss aber nicht heißen, dass die Konvention nicht ausreichend Grundlage bietet, um die verschiedenen Aspekte sprachlicher Rechte sinnvoll zu garantieren. In den letzten Jahren hat sich das Gericht unter diversen Artikeln der EMRK damit befasst – …

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DiscussionResponse

The Role of Human Rights in the Realm of Arms Transfers

The Example of Germany

Elif Askin picked a current, important, and yet rarely discussed issue for her insightful post and offered a compelling perspective on human rights law and arms transfers. By transferring arms to regions where the human rights situation is precarious, Germany risks to contribute to human rights violations, as Elif has highlighted. I will use this opportunity to take up the example of Germany and look at how the human rights situation …

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DiscussionKick-off

Blackmarketing “Bundeswehr” Weapons in Northern Iraq

Applying a Due Diligence Approach to Arms Transfers?

In September 2014, the German army started shipping weapons from its own stocks to the security forces of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq (Peshmerga) to support the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh). Strong reservations arguing that these weapons might end up in the wrong hands and likely be used to commit human rights violations were voiced, especially considering …

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DiscussionResponse

Understanding the impact of different concepts of surrogate mother for the regulation of international surrogacy arrangements

A response to Sharon Bassan

In her post to this blog, Sharon Bassan advances the argument for a duty on consumers’ states to regulate cross-border surrogacy transactions. The factual background is as follows: intended parents residing in a country with a higher average income, travel to a country with a lower average income, usually in eastern Europe or the global south, to make use of the services of a surrogate mother, and then return to …

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DiscussionKick-off

Cross-border surrogacy transactions (CBST):

Can consumers’ states choose whether or not to regulate?

Whether surrogacy is ethical or not is subject to lively debate. But so far, it is the prerogative of each sovereign state to decide whether to allow or forbid in its territory the provision of surrogacy treatments, according to its own national values. However, when citizens’ personal values and interests do not go hand in hand with the chosen regulation of their home state (consumers’ state), globalization enables them to …

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Current Developments

A Financial Crisis or Something More?

A turning point for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On May 23, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a press release giving notice of an immediate financial crisis leading to the “suspension of hearings and imminent layoff of nearly half its staff.” The IACHR asserted that this situation arose as a result of the Organization of American States (OAS) member states’ failure to support the fulfilment of the Commission’s mandate. The IACHR’s budget deficit is, nevertheless, …

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Interview

„Who among us gets to be global?“

An Interview with Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian wrote a book entitled „The Cosmopolites“, which speaks about global citizenship in a way that is deeply informed by the theoretical discussion but at the same time rich in concrete stories. These involve stories about stateless persons, for whom their state of residence decided to buy citizenship of another state, stories about the merchandising of passports for a global elite, and stories of a man who decided …

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