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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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Trumping Mexico’s Sovereignty?

On a potential US extension of the “War on Terror” to a “War on Cartels”

President Trump reportedly planned to label Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, stating that the US considered to “go in and clear out”. The Mexican response was quick to follow, expressing concerns about a possible US intervention and the concomitant threat to Mexico’s sovereignty. Although President Trump has temporarily halted such designation in the face of Mexican protests (see here), questions remain: What (if any) consequences does the designation …

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Current Developments

Saber-rattling in space

How international law does (not) regulate States’ plans for Space Forces

Does international law entitle states to have military space forces? Recent efforts by several states as well as NATO to strengthen their military space capabilities re-ignite this debate. The issue is not unregulated; international space law in particular is not silent on this issue. But the limits are not as strict as one might think. Renewed military interest in space At its 70th anniversary summit in London in December 2019, …

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