Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Dilemmatic Discomfort: Author’s Response

I am very grateful to Rostam Neuwirth, Surabhi Ranganathan, Wolfgang Thierse and Lea Wisken for taking the time to engage with my book in such a thoughtful and constructive manner. I would also like to thank the Völkerrechtsblog, and in particular, Sebastian Spitra, for arranging this symposium and Valentina Kleinsasser for translating the interview with Wolfgang Thierse. The four contributions raise many more points and questions than I have space …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

“Irresolvable Norm Conflicts”: An Oxymoron?

Norm conflicts in international law have received surprisingly little attention, given their fundamental relevance for law in general and the present international legal order in particular. Long ago, a few pages in Emer De Vattel’s Le droit des gens, published in 1758 (De Vattel 1758: 507-514, and an article by C. Wilfred Jenks titled “The Conflict of Law-Making Treaties”, published in 1953 (Jenks 1953), would have nearly completed the list …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Legal dilemmas: the first step towards a solution is to acknowledge the problem

Imagine that you are the captain of a ship located halfway between several people drowning. You have a duty towards each of them but are unable to save everyone. In such a situation, Valentin Jeutner argues, you are confronted with not only a moral but possibly also a legal dilemma. The notion of a legal dilemma challenges the assumption that international law is a coherent system providing a binary classification …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Romancing the State

Perhaps the first and very pleasant thought that will strike readers of Irresolvable Norm Conflicts in International Law is that the medium is not the message. The book is about the impossibility of reconciling norms that pull in different directions. The writing, however, achieves the feat – not impossible, but very difficult – of balancing erudition with intuition, and complexity with concision. Over the slender course of 153 elegantly drafted …

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InterviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

„Wer entscheidet, macht sich schuldig“

Ein Interview mit Wolfgang Thierse

Wolfgang Thierse (SPD) war von 1998 – 2005 Präsident und von 2005 – 2013 Vizepräsident des Deutschen Bundestages. Von 1991 – 2013 war Thierse Vorsitzender der Grundwertekommission der SPD. Das Interview führte Valentin Jeutner mit Wolfgang Thierse am 21. Mai 2019 in Berlin. Eine englische Übersetzung des Interviews findet sich hier.   Valentin Jeutner: Lieber Herr Thierse, ich möchte mit Ihnen heute über mein kürzlich veröffentlichtes Buch sprechen. In dem …

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InterviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

“The one who decides is guilty”

An interview with Wolfgang Thierse

Wolfgang Thierse (SPD) was the President of the German Bundestag from 1998 to 2005 and its Vice-President from 2005 to 2013. From 1991 to 2013, Thierse was chairman of the SPD’s Values and Principles Commission. Valentin Jeutner conducted the interview with Wolfgang Thierse on 21 May 2019 in Berlin. This English translation of the authoritative German version was prepared by Valentina Kleinsasser.   Valentin Jeutner: Mr Thierse, today I would …

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Book ReviewIrresolvable Norm ConflictsSymposium

Irresolvable Norm Conflicts: The Concept of a Legal Dilemma

A Book Symposium

Over the course of the next few days the Völkerrechtsblog is pleased to host an online symposium of Valentin Jeutner’s recently published book: Irresolvable Norm Conflicts in International Law: The Concept of a Legal Dilemma (OUP 2017). Those who have not (yet) read the book may be referred to a cinematic short film based on the book’s central argument. Valentin Jeutner is a Senior Associate Lecturer in Law at Lund …

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Book ReviewResponse

Heroes and theories

A response to Raphael Schäfer

In his post, Raphael Schäfer provides a considerate, careful and kind re-reading of my dissertation on Hermann Mosler and West German international legal scholarship after 1945. Raphael makes, by and large, three critical remarks. First, he indicates that my exploration of alternative conceptions to the practice-oriented method might be a misfit. Second, he wonders whether I overemphasize Mosler’s formative influence on German international legal scholarship. And third, he suggests that I …

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Book ReviewKick-off

Practice as method

Germany’s rehabilitation in and through international law

‘International law is what international lawyers do.’ This statement slightly abridged taken from Martti Koskenniemi’s seminal Gentle Civilizer of Nations, points forthright to one of international law’s key characteristics: it is shaped by practice. This practice – not being a source of international law in itself without supporting opinio juris – is of course first and foremost set by states. On a second layer state practice is to a certain …

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Current Developments

Gender Inclusive Trade and the Limits of Liberal Feminism

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO saw the coming together of 121 WTO members to support the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment (hereinafter ‘Gender Declaration’). Members went on to endorse a liberal feminist strategy to promote gender equality within the international trading system. Pursuant to the Gender Declaration, the WTO has convened a series of conferences and workshops to deliberate upon ways to promote women’s participation in …

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