BofaxeCurrent Developments

“No Quarter for Insurrectionists”

The troubling international legal implications of the political response to the Black Lives Matter protests

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism have broken out in the United States following the murder of George Floyd, American politicians’ rhetoric has taken on a militant tone to counter the citizens’ Constitutional right to protest. In a call to U.S. Governors, President Trump admonished states for being too lax in their response and encouraged them to respond in such a way that would send protestors to ”jail …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Bewaffnete Drohnen für die Bundeswehr?

Zur Völkerrechtmäßigkeit bewaffneter Drohneneinsätze

Die Bundeswehr setzt inzwischen regelmäßig Drohnen im Ausland ein. Ihr Arsenal umfasst eine Vielzahl von Modellen (darunter die Aufklärungsdrohne Heron 1 in Mali). Die bislang eingesetzten Drohnen dienen allerdings allein der Aufklärung und so dem Schutz der Soldatinnen und Soldaten. Eine Debatte ist nun erneut darüber entbrannt, ob und inwiefern die Bundeswehr Drohnentechnologie erwerben und später einsetzen darf, die mit abschussbereiten Waffen an Bord ausgestattet ist und Angriffe fliegen kann. …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Denying juveniles’ agency role: truly in their best interest?

How is it possible that thus far the agency role of juveniles in international law appears to be diminished and underestimated, even though they constitute a large number of the world´s population? Yet, instead of being treated as responsible agents who deserve to be involved in decision-making processes concerning international law issues, juveniles are being victimized and paternalized. This is well shown in the Preamble of the Convention on the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Undermining past efforts?

On the legality of using anti-personnel mines

On 31 January 2020, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced that the US government was planning to authorize high-level US military commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ “non-persistent” land mines specifically designed to reduce harm to civilians and partner forces. The Department of Defense had commented that the previous anti-personnel landmine (APM) policy could place American Forces at a severe disadvantage during conflict. This contribution critically discusses the employment …

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Current Developments

Zur Tötung von Qasem Soleimani: Wann darf man Soldaten töten?

Der tödliche Drohnenangriff auf Qasem Soleimani und Mitglieder der „Popular Mobilization Forces“, darunter deren Anführer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, wirft eine Reihe rechtlicher Fragen auf. Neben dem (an dieser Stelle nicht näher behandelten) ius ad bellum und dem US-Verfassungsrecht betrifft das auch das Recht auf Leben und das humanitäre Völkerrecht: Schon jetzt ist klar, dass die traditionelle Definition internationaler bewaffneter Konflikte bei gezielten Tötungen an ihre Grenzen stößt. Zeit, hier nachzuschärfen. Ein …

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Current Developments

The targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani – a short recapitulation

A lot has been said, written and tweeted about the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani and the aftermath since his death on January 3. This post aims to organize the jumble and point to remaining open questions in international law. The incident may not only shape the near future of state relations in the Middle East, it will also get its place in history through the legal assessment, because the …

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Current Developments

An unlikely couple

Informed consumer choice in EU law and the Middle East conflict

We are currently witnessing a general trend towards more ethical consumption, more sustainable food production, and more awareness about the origins of products. However, it seems a far stretch to link this societal trend (in Europe) to one of the most complex territorial conflicts today, namely about the status of the Palestinian Territories, i.e. the West Bank and East Jerusalem (‘Territories’). Not for the ECJ. In Organisation juive européenne and …

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Discussion

Harmony in the Chinese just war tradition

The Chinese approach to the relationship between jus ad bellum and jus in bello

One of the fundamental characteristics of international humanitarian law (IHL) is the separation between jus ad bellum and jus in bello, which was originally devised in the West, subsequent to the decline of its just war tradition in legal practice. China has adopted a philosophically different approach to the relationship between these two branches of law, and further, a distinctive moral rationale for compliance with IHL. At its core, the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Playing with Fire

Is the aid pledged by the G7 an offer Brazil’s President Bolsonaro cannot refuse?

“Our house is burning”, French President Macron found graphic words to address the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, which have reached threatening levels in the past weeks. 80,000 fires this year alone have resulted in the loss of approximately 350,000 hectares of rainforest. Notably, Brazilian President Bolsonaro is known to support the ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture, which is responsible for most of the fires, and only initiated a two month ban of …

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Cynical International LawSymposium

All’s fair in the law of war?

Legal cynicism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On June 1, 2018, Razan Al-Najjar, a twenty-one-year-old Palestinian paramedic, was killed by Israeli fire during demonstrations along the Israel–Gaza border. Her death triggered intense debates concerning the facts and circumstances of the shooting: was Al-Najjar the target of the Israeli fire, as several human rights organizations concluded, or was the deadly bullet directed at other violent demonstrators, as the Israeli military found? Was she standing alone, with only other …

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