Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

German colonialism, reparations and international law

Reparations have become an increasingly important entry point to the conversation about the unfinished business of decolonization. Even though reparations have an established role in transitional justice and human rights, very little attention has been paid to the transition from colonialism or the legacies of colonial human rights abuses. While Namibia’s political independence was an important first step, the decolonization process did not confront two pivotal dimensions of colonial legacies. …


Current Developments

Finally holding the World Bank accountable?

Analyzing Jam v International Financial Corporation from a TWAIL Perspective

The World Bank (WB), a financial institution born in the Bretton Woods Hotel at the end of the Second World War which enjoys far-reaching immunity due to its status as international organisation, must respond to the US justice system. This was the decision issued on February 27, 2019 by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) with a wide margin of 7 votes to 1 in the case of …


Book Review

Hard times for voices from the Global South

Decolonization and the validity of existing treaties

For a long time, international legal scholars did not devote much attention to protagonists from the Global South as relevant actors in the field. The focus of the discipline – at least in continental Europe – was on contributing to the systematization of the international legal order. The few studies on particular national or regional approaches to international law largely focused on the perspectives of the Soviet and US American …



Of BITs and pieces, resistance and simplification

It has been a pleasure to read to what now amounts to an exchange of views between Prof. Ranjan and Kanad Bagchi on some of the critical issues surrounding the foundations and functioning of international investment law (IIL), especially in relation to ‘Third World’ countries. Being deeply interested in the topic, and a member of the KFG ‘International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?’ that has been mentioned by …



A BIT of resistance

A response to Prof. Prabhash Ranjan’s plea for embedded liberalism

In our current framework of post-truth/factual/reality politics, much of the debates surrounding crucial issues of both domestic and international governance are invariably couched in an inflexible, partisan and for most parts, in parochial terms. There is either utter disdain towards opposing perspectives or deliberate display of ignorance for plausible and varying rationalities. Nothing has been as vehemently contested as the role of the state in the economy, financial intermediation and …


Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Towards a Constitutionalism of the Wretched

Global Constitutionalism, International Law and the Global South

The field of Global Constitutionalism (also sometimes called “International Constitutionalism”) is a very odd field, one which, with very limited exceptions (Frankenberg, Schwöbel, and Volk), has been neglected by most critical international and constitutional law scholars. One reason it is an oddity is because of its disciplinary hybridity. That is to say, it is neither fish nor fowl – it is neither fully a discipline of comparative constitutionalism nor is …



Rethinking the International Criminal Justice Project in the Global South

A dialogue about methodology between TWAIL and ICL

Concerns about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) continuing relevance in Africa following exit announcements by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia are widespread. But the picture across the continent is more complex. While some African states have clearly rejected the Court, the majority remain members. How can we explain the fracturing of the Court’s support in Africa? More fundamentally – what is the best way of studying international criminal justice and its effects …



Thinking globally, acting globally

The case of corporate criminal liability and economic crimes

As stated in Ricarda’s post, the African Union surprised the international community in 2014 with its proposal for the creation of an integrated African Court of Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR) drafted in the Malabo Protocol. The planned criminal law chamber stirs academics as much as practitioners because of its not yet defined relationship to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The new chambers could either be upstream or equally ranked with …



Thinking globally, acting regionally

Towards the regionalization of international criminal law

In June 2014, the African Union (AU) General Assembly adopted the Malabo Protocol that attempts to change the AU court system as well as international criminal law (ICL) in a radical – yes, even revolutionary way. The Protocol foresees the creation of an integrated African Court of Justice and Human Rights featuring a human rights chamber, a general affairs chamber and a criminal law chamber that has jurisdiction over natural …