BofaxeCurrent Developments

“No Quarter for Insurrectionists”

The troubling international legal implications of the political response to the Black Lives Matter protests

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism have broken out in the United States following the murder of George Floyd, American politicians’ rhetoric has taken on a militant tone to counter the citizens’ Constitutional right to protest. In a call to U.S. Governors, President Trump admonished states for being too lax in their response and encouraged them to respond in such a way that would send protestors to ”jail …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The right to benefit from Big Data progress

Another argument for Universal Basic Income

Recent developments in the United States and Europe have focused attention on the possible obligation of Big Data-powered technology companies like Google and Facebook to share some of their corporate profits to users of their service. During the US Democratic Party presidential debates leading to the 2020 elections, candidate Andrew Yang, a proponent of a Universal Basic Income scheme for the US, argued that every American should get a check …

READ MORE →

BofaxeDiscussionResponse

Mine, mine, mine!

On the new US space resource policy and attitude towards outer space

In an impressive display of questionable timing and priorities, the US President may just have rung in the first round of a new space age. While “non-viral” news currently fly under the radar, the legal and policy implications of the newest ‘Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources’, quite literally, go above and beyond. In response to a recent post on the subject …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Legitimation through executive order?

The issue of space resources in international law

Resource extraction from and mining of celestial bodies such as the Moon or asteroids has matured from a fantastical idea of science fiction to a contentious issue of international law. It is characterized by a tension of  international treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967 and unilateral national initiatives. The US arguably broke the mold of theoretical discourse with its Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

Deutschland als amicus curiae

Zur Debatte um die Staatlichkeit Palästinas als Voraussetzung der Jurisdiktion des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs

Palästina ist seit 2015 Mitglied des Rom-Statuts (RS) des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH). Durch seinen Beitritt spielte Palästina den Ball in der kontrovers diskutierten Frage der eigenen Staatlichkeit dem Gerichtshof zu, was diesen nun vor rechtliche und faktische Hürden stellt. Die Chef–Anklägerin (AK) des IStGHs Bensouda hat nach Abschluss einer Voruntersuchung erklärt, dass die Voraussetzungen zur Einleitung einer Situationsermittlung bzgl. möglicher in Palästina begangener Verbrechen vorliegen. Nichtsdestotrotz bat sie den IStGH …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

Undermining past efforts?

On the legality of using anti-personnel mines

On 31 January 2020, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced that the US government was planning to authorize high-level US military commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ “non-persistent” land mines specifically designed to reduce harm to civilians and partner forces. The Department of Defense had commented that the previous anti-personnel landmine (APM) policy could place American Forces at a severe disadvantage during conflict. This contribution critically discusses the employment …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

From persecution to poverty

Trump’s Guatemala ‘agreement’ and the expansion of the ‘safe third country’ principle

A 2019 ‘safe third country’ agreement between Guatemala and the US allows the US to send asylum seekers who arrived at the US-Mexican border to Guatemala. Under the agreement Guatemala processes the asylum seekers’ claims sent by the US and if successful grant protection. On the 6th of January 2020 a U.S Department of Homeland Security spokesperson made a statement outlining that certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protection in the US …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Zur Tötung von Qasem Soleimani: Wann darf man Soldaten töten?

Der tödliche Drohnenangriff auf Qasem Soleimani und Mitglieder der „Popular Mobilization Forces“, darunter deren Anführer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, wirft eine Reihe rechtlicher Fragen auf. Neben dem (an dieser Stelle nicht näher behandelten) ius ad bellum und dem US-Verfassungsrecht betrifft das auch das Recht auf Leben und das humanitäre Völkerrecht: Schon jetzt ist klar, dass die traditionelle Definition internationaler bewaffneter Konflikte bei gezielten Tötungen an ihre Grenzen stößt. Zeit, hier nachzuschärfen. Ein …

READ MORE →

BofaxeCurrent Developments

Does policy “Trump” international law?

On the legality of the US’ statement on Israel’s settlement policy

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has announced a reversal of US policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. While the Obama Administration deemed Israel’s settlement activities illegal under international as well as Israeli law and an obstacle to the peace process in the region, the Trump Administration now officially breaks with that position by stressing that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not …

READ MORE →

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 …

READ MORE →