Current Developments

In the wake of the ICJ’s Opinion in Chagos: Britannia waives the rules

The United Kingdom recently reacted against the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. Has the UK abandoned the international rule of law? A unanimous verdict sows division On 25 February 2019, the ICJ handed down its Advisory Opinion on the UK’s separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius on 8 November 1965. The Opinion stated clearly that the excision of Chagos …

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Current Developments

Neues Tribunal, neues Glück?

Überlegungen zur völkerstrafrechtlichen Aufarbeitung des „Islamischen Staats“

Im Februar drohte U.S.-Präsident Donald Trump per Twitter an, Kämpfer der Terrormiliz „Islamischer Staat“ (IS), die sich im Gewahrsam kurdischer Milizen in Syrien befinden, freizulassen. Viele der Kämpfer sind Staatsangehörige westlicher Staaten und möchten möglicherweise in ihre Heimatländer zurückkehren. Vor diesem Hintergrund verstärkt sich die Debatte, wie der militärisch ausgetragene Konflikt mit dem IS juristisch aufgearbeitet werden soll. Sollte hierzu ein gesondertes Tribunal eingerichtet werden? Es steht außer Frage, dass …

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Current Developments

Ukrainische Matrosen bald auf der Heimreise?

Zur Entscheidung des ITLOS zu vorläufigen Maßnahmen in der Sache Ukraine v. Russia

Russland muss drei ukrainische Kriegsschiffe und 24 inhaftierte Crewmitglieder unverzüglich freilassen. Das hat der Internationale Seegerichtshof (ITLOS) am 25. Mai 2019 in einem Verfahren zum einstweiligen Rechtsschutz im Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) entschieden. Diesen vorläufigen Maßnahmen („provisional measures“) ging ein Zwischenfall im Schwarzen Meer am 25. November 2018 voraus, bei dem Russland die ukrainischen Kriegsschiffe Berdyansk, Nikopol und Yani Kapu angriff und samt …

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Current Developments

The climax of the Al-Bashir saga

The ICC’s Jordan judgment

In the judgment of 6 May 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found that Jordan had failed to comply with its obligation to arrest and surrender the (at that time sitting) Sudanese President Al-Bashir during the summit of the Arab League in Jordan. This may be the legal climax of the frustrating Al-Bashir saga, the saga of the wanderlust of an allegedly criminal president of a …

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Current Developments

Judge Ozaki’s Case

Moonlighting at the International Criminal Court?

On March 19, 2019, seventeen of the eighteen judges of International Criminal Court (hereinafter ‘the Court’) sat to decide on the fate of Judge Ozaki as a judge of the Court. Back in January this year, Judge Ozaki had requested the Presidency to change her status from a ‘full-time judge’ to a ‘non-full-time judge’ of the Court. The request was granted. Later, in February, Judge Ozaki informed the Court that …

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Current Developments

Meilenstein für LGBTIQ*-Rechte

Das Gutachten OC-24/17 des IAGMR und seine Umsetzung in der Region

In den nächsten Wochen wird sich das ecuadorianische Verfassungsgericht zur Ehe für alle äußern müssen. Ein Gericht (Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pichincha) hatte dem Gerichtshof die Frage vorgelegt, ob sich aus einem Gutachten des Interamerikanischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (IAGMR) aus dem Jahr 2017 (Opinión Consultiva OC-24/17) für Ecuador die Verpflichtung ergibt, das Institut der Ehe auch für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare zu öffnen. Vor wenigen Tagen fand eine mündliche Verhandlung statt, …

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Current Developments

The CLOUD Act

A new way for international tribunals to access digital evidence

From violent protests in Sudan to airstrikes in Syria, access to online open source material and digital information is becoming essential for the fight against impunity. Open Source Information is publicly available information that anyone can lawfully obtain by request, purchase, or observation. Today’s international criminal and human rights investigations increasingly rely on digital data, such as content posted on social media platforms, to support criminal proceedings and ultimately hold …

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Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part II)

This is the second part of a two-part analysis of the PCIJ’s Advisory Opinion concerning the Interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The first part reviewed the opinion’s background and the drafting history of article 3 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which the Advisory Opinion focussed on. Article 3 concerned the delimitation of the boundary between Turkey and Iraq following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The key …

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Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part I)

It is commonly accepted that the contemporary instability in certain areas of the Middle East is attributable, at least in part, to the arbitrary manner in which many boundaries were drawn by the victorious powers after the end of the First World War. Less often discussed is the role that international law and, in particular, the Permanent Court of International Justice (the ‘PCIJ’) played in this context. By scrutinising the …

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Current Developments

Imperialism, International Law and the Chagos Islands

Reflections on Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago

The Chagos tragedy (the Advisory Opinion of the ICJ can be found here) represents a story that in one way or the other is fundamentally a story of international law and its complicity in subjugating, oppressing and dominating an ‘inferior’ people. It shows that the erstwhile colonial world order is neither really ‘past’ nor that modern international law, as it is often claimed, is necessarily a harbinger for emancipation and …

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