Current DevelopmentsResponse

Not for sale?

Some thoughts on human rights in cases of cession of territory

Pierre Thielbörger and Timeela Manandhar have given an innovative and thought-provoking account of the lawfulness of the incumbent US president’s potential plans to purchase Greenland. Vividly and succinctly they make their case against the possibility of a sale of the island under international law. However, their colorful picture of the legal scenery arguably glosses over some nuances. I do not intend to comment again on President Trump’s announced intention to acquire the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Una-Fjord-able: Why Trump cannot buy Greenland

Many people thought it was a belated April’s Fools joke: US media reported that US President Donald Trump is considering to purchase Greenland, currently an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark. Since Mr. Trump tweeted that given Denmark’ Prime Minister “would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting (…) for another time…”, we know that the idea was dead serious. “Make …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionResponse

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination: Long Shots and Legal Flair

The image conjured by the first subtitle of Zoran Oklopcic’s post on the referendum on Catalan self-determination, that of a zombie self-determination resurrected from its post-Kosovan resting place and back to haunt international legal rhetoric perfectly captures the mood amongst many in the international community who had perhaps been hoping that the rhetoric of self-determination had all but given up the ghost. As Oklopcic underlines, the past 15 years have …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part II)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

What encouraged the Catalans to place their bets on the persuasive power of remedial self-determination were two constitutional, not international legal texts: the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec, and the 2013 Edinburgh Agreement between the British and the Scottish governments on the referendum of the independence of Scotland. Though neither offered support to the Catalan remedialist vision of self-determination—the Secession Reference empathetically rejects Quebecois’ remedial …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part I)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Scheduled to take place on 1 October 2017, the referendum on the independence of Catalonia looks to be a turning point in the history of the Iberian peninsula; if not a point of no return, then at least the moment after which the relationship between Catalonia and Spain will never again be the same. Though it is hard to predict what will happen on that day—the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal has …

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