InterviewPractitioner's Corner

“To be a judge means to be criticized from all sides”

An interview with Angelika Nußberger

Angelika Nußberger was the German judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for nine years; her term of office came to an end at the turn of the year. Back at her chair at the University of Cologne, the German jurist and Slavicist looks back with us on her years at the Court, which she also headed as Vice-President since 2017. A conversation about legal challenges in today’s …

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InterviewPractitioner's Corner

„Richter sein bedeutet, von allen Seiten kritisiert zu werden“

Ein Interview mit Angelika Nußberger

Angelika Nußberger war neun Jahre die deutsche Richterin am Europäischen Menschenrechtsgerichtshofs (EGMR), zum Jahreswechsel ist ihre Amtszeit zu Ende gegangen. Zurück an ihrem Lehrstuhl an der Universität Köln blickt die deutsche Rechtswissenschaftlerin und Slavistin mit uns zurück auf ihre Jahre am Gerichtshof, dem sie seit 2017 auch als Vizepräsidentin vorstand. Ein Gespräch über rechtliche Herausforderungen in der heutigen Welt, die unterschiedliche Kritik am Gerichtshof, Erfolg und Misserfolg der zahlreichen Reformen …

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Current Developments

SDGs and the rule of law: the need to globalize the ethics of legal tech

In the context of the rapid adoption and integration of legal technology at a global level, this blog will problematize the consequences of the bias of current discussions on the ethics of legal tech in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs strongly emphasize the importance of the rule of law as a basis for development.  While there is a fast-growing literature on the ethics of legal …

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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

Somaliland and Secession Politics in Eastern Africa

Somalia has been that isolated relative that no one speaks about. The one that lives in a little hut, far away from the general community, with little interaction with anyone. Nieces and nephews do not visit her, because she is said to be a witch. Everyone fears her, and so she is largely ignored. Nobody wants to go near her homestead. Since the overthrow of Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia …

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Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Agenda 2030 – Time to Revisit Rule of Law programming

As the development community re-focuses on how the rule of law agenda enables sustainable development as expected in fulfilment of Agenda 2030, questions will continue to arise concerning the mixed results of rule of law assistance projects. D. Marshall in his treatise “The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and the Way Forward,” emphasizes that there is a profound knowledge deficit regarding the justice system, its actors, …

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Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

Does the African Union truly defy the United Nations peace and security regime?

A response to Theresa Reinold In her recent post, Theresa Reinold critically examines the efforts by the African Union to further democracy on the African continent. She pertinently notes that these efforts suffer from an incumbency bias, favoring already established regimes over potential political change, especially in states where no open democratic culture exists. I find her argument by and large convincing and would like to focus on one specific aspect: …

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Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

No unalloyed good

The AU’s rejection of “unconstitutional changes of government”

Democracy and Africa are two words that rarely appear in the same sentence. If they do, the sentences are usually framed in exhortatory or aspirational terms rather than as statements of facts. Yet even though free and fair elections are still far from being the habitual way of obtaining and transferring political power in Africa, the African Union (AU) has developed an impressive array of instruments that seek to nurture …

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Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

Revolution or Regression?

Law and Development after the ‘Rights Revolution’

‘Law and development’ is all over the place! Indeed, law as development has become a mantra of development discourse deeply entrechened in the programming of the multilateral financial institutions, international development agencies, and civil society organizations, so much so that rule of law promotion has, to an extent, become synonymous with development policy itself. Yet, behind the celebratory chorus of legal scholars-turned-development experts who endorse law as a toolkit for …

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Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train”

Conference symposium “Rule of law goes global” “The rule of law maintains things as they are. Therefore, to begin the process of change, to stop a war, to establish justice, it may be necessary to break the law, to commit acts of civil disobedience, as Southern blacks did, as antiwar protesters did”. In his autobiography “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”, American historian and activist Howard Zinn confronts us …

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