Cynical International LawSymposium

Cynicism? Yes, please!

Embracing cynicism at the International Criminal Court

Debates surrounding cynicism in international law have an inherently negative focus. But why not try to take something positive-constructive out of the cynicism an institution is experiencing? Since there are few institutions, which are currently facing more cynical backlash than the International Criminal Court (ICC/Court), this piece will take a look at the reasons and at the question how cynicism manifests itself in the context of the Court and how …

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Cynical International LawSymposium

International law beyond cynicism and critique

A plea for a legal scholarship that offers alternatives instead of reinforcing the status quo

Cynics do not have to look far: critical international law has uncovered the ways in which the forces of colonialism and imperialism have been present in the international legal system from its foundation to the present. According to David Kennedy, it is not only cynical use of law by despots but experts, including legal scholars, that –subtly but surely – enable, reproduce, legalize and legitimize this international legal system. With …

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DiscussionResponse

Mehr davon!

Völkerstrafrecht und das Streben nach Glück

In seinem Beitrag „Neues Tribunal, neues Glück?“ vom 12. Juni 2019 stellt Simon Gauseweg umfassend die Möglichkeiten einer völkerstrafrechtlichen Aufarbeitung des „Islamischen Staats“ dar. Es geht ihm dabei nicht nur um eine reine Darstellung, sondern auch um eine Bewertung, „ob das Völkerstrafrecht von der Aufarbeitung des Konflikts (…) profitieren kann oder ob die Gefahr eines Rückschritts besteht.“ In eine ähnliche Richtung zielt der Beitrag „Endlich! Erster Haftbefehl gegen einen ranghohen …

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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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Forum

Where the Kaiser meets Pinochet

Some thoughts on the role of museums in memorialising international crimes

I recently visited a rather dubious location in Santiago de Chile. A restaurant, owned by a German, designed like a Bavarian beer house, praised by the local press as an ‘authentic German enclave’ in Santiago. There is nothing dubious to this as such of course. But when I entered the place, saw the fence surrounding it and the Prussian flag in its logo, I could not help the feeling that …

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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

The alleged seizure of the El Hiblu 1 by rescued migrants

Not a case of piracy under the law of the sea

On 28 March 2019, a Maltese patrol vessel intercepted the Palau-flagged tanker vessel El Hiblu 1 (IMO: 9753258) at the outer limit of Malta’s territorial sea, and the ship was subsequently boarded and secured by a Maltese special operations team using a helicopter. The reason for this operation was that the El Hiblu 1 had allegedly been hijacked by members of a group of migrants it had rescued earlier, and that these migrants had …

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Current Developments

The ICC’s ‘Evidence Problem’

The Future of International Criminal Investigations After the Gbagbo Acquittal

On 15 January, Trial Chamber I acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé of crimes against humanity. This is an important decision. Gbagbo is the first former head of state to be tried by the ICC, and his acquittal comes just months after the controversial acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba, a rebel-cum-vice-president of the DR Congo. Of course, as with Bemba (see here, here and here), international lawyers will disagree on …

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Current Developments

A power struggle or something more?

The current disqualification saga at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

The past six months at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the successor organisation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (in the following: the Mechanism), have witnessed an unprecedented series of disqualification motions in both the Mladić and Karadžić appeals trials. While the events have been largely claimed to be the result of an internal power struggle between two senior judges at …

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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 …

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