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  • Author: Mara Tignino
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Evelyne Schmid’s new book, Taking Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Seriously in International Criminal Law, aims to provide a bridge between developing practice and existing knowledge. At the heart of her book lies the question of how, or to what extent, violations of ESCR are addressed in international criminal proceedings and transitional justice mechanisms. She criticizes the current marginalization of ESCR abuses in scholarship on international criminal law and bemoans the reality that ‘efforts to address the legacy of widespread human rights abuses display a bias towards civil and political rights’. While some have argued for an expansion of international criminal law to account more directly for violations of ESCR, Schmid claims such an expansion is unnecessary; in her view, such violations already fall within the scope of international crimes.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, International Law, United Nations, War Crimes, Courts, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Korea, Cambodia, United Nations, Myanmar
  • Author: Angelika Nussberger
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Modern international law of the 21st century seems to be characterized by a farewell to the Westphalian understanding of state sovereignty, by the empowerment of the individual and by transnational solutions to common problems in a globalized world. This overview, however, is not true for Russian international law. The ‘powerful idea of Russia’s civilizational distinctness from the West’ is underlying the post-Soviet practice in international law (at 190). This is the main thesis of Lauri Mälksoo’s study on ‘Russian approaches to international law’. Russia was different, Russia is different and Russia is proud of being different.
  • Topic: International Law, Sovereignty, United Nations, History , Intellectual History
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Crimea
  • Author: Yishai Beer
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The exercise of brute force by militaries, though common, reflects professional incompetency. A well-trained military has an inherent interest in enhancing its operational effectiveness and constraining unnecessary brutality. The law of armed conflict, however, generally ignores the constraining effect of the necessity principle, originally intended to allow only the minimally necessary use of force on the battlefield. Consequently, the prevailing law places the burden of restricting the exercise of brute military force upon humanitarian considerations (and the specific norms derived from them). Humanity alone, however, cannot deliver the goods and substantially reduce war’s hazards. This article challenges the current dichotomy between the two pillars – mistakenly assumed to be polar opposites – of the law of armed conflict: necessity and humanity. It calls for the transformation of the military’s self-imposed professional constraining standards into a revised legal standard of necessity. Though the necessity principle justifies the mere use of lethal force, it should not only facilitate wielding the military sword but also function simultaneously as a shield, protecting combatants and non-combatants alike from excessive brutality. The suggested transformation would bind and restrain the prospective exercisers of excessive force, political and military alike, and restrict the potential damage that might be caused both intentionally (to combatants) and collaterally (to non-combatants). The combined effect of the current changes in war’s pattern and the law of armed conflict, in the military and social thinking of recent decades, and the new strategies available due to the development of new military technologies have all created a new war environment – one that may be ready to leverage the constraining potential of military professionalism into a binding legal standard and norms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Law, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Helen Keller, Cedric Marti
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article proposes a shift of perspective concerning the implementation of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgments. Acknowledging that implementation of the Court’s judgments is primarily of a political and domestic nature, the authors argue that the process has become increasingly internationalized and judicialized by the ECtHR in recent years. Taking a broad, three-tiered perspective that distinguishes between the pre-judgment stage, the judgment itself and the post-judgment stage, the authors analyse the means by which the ECtHR has engaged in implementation of its judgments and explore the benefits of judicialization in this area to secure a key aspect in guaranteeing effective protection and the long-term future of the European Convention on Human Rights system, namely full and timely judgment compliance.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Law, Courts
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Anna Dolidze
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Legal transplants scholarship has thoroughly examined the transnational diffusion of legal institutions. Although Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice acknowledges that international law draws upon domestic legal systems, the exchange of legal institutions between states and international law has yet to receive similar treatment. This article highlights the process of vertical diffusion – that is, the borrowing of legal institutions between the nation-state and international law. Vertical diffusion takes place in two forms: downward and upward diffusion. Scholarship on the internalization and vernacularization of international law has highlighted the process of downward diffusion. This article offers a theory of internationalization of law and the emergence of internationalized legal transplants. It draws on a study of the internationalization of the amicus curiae participation procedure from the United Kingdom to the European Court of Human Rights. Three main conditions must be present for internationalization: the institution’s structural transformation that results in a law-making opportunity, norm entrepreneurs, and access to the decision-making body. The study of internationalized legal transplants is important to have a more fine-grained perspective on the making of international law. The evidence of the diffusion of legal institutions between domestic law and international law also creates a bridge between international law and comparative law scholarship.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Legal Theory , Courts
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France
  • Author: Ruth Rubio-Marín, Mathias Möschel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Over the past years, the European Court of Human Rights has significantly developed and strengthened its Article 14 non-discrimination jurisprudence, including in a number of ground-breaking international law cases establishing increased state responsibility with regard to ethnic segregation in education and gender violence. However, in the type of cases that constitute a large part of its non-discrimination case load, namely physical violence against racial minorities, the Court has so far failed to adequately address Article 14 discrimination claims raised by the victims. We posit that this could be caused in part by what we call the ‘Holocaust Prism’. Put briefly, the experience of the Holocaust has shaped the manner in which continental European courts understand racism and race discrimination, at least (or especially) when it is combined with violence. Paradoxically, this entails that in the most heinous cases of race discrimination, the discrimination threshold is raised to the level of criminal conduct. Moreover, to the extent that it is, only the ethnic dimension of such discrimination is foregrounded even in cases that present obvious intersectional (for example, ethnicity plus gender) dimensions. We exemplify this phenomenon by discussing recent case law on forced sterilization of Roma women and argue that the Court should become aware of this issue, recognize intersectional discrimination and align its case law on racist violence with the discrimination doctrine emerging in its gender violence and educational race segregation cases, both for the sake of internal consistency and to better capture the structural nature of racial discrimination in Europe.
  • Topic: International Law, Ethnicity, Gender Based Violence , Holocaust, Roma, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Ann Hertogen
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In an increasingly interdependent world, state sovereignty is inherently limited in order to protect the equal sovereignty of other states. However, identifying the precise constraints on states is a different and far more difficult question. The traditional answer is found in the Lotus principle, which consecrates a freedom to act unless explicitly prohibited by international law. The principle has rightly come under attack because of its incompatibility with the needs of a modern international community. This is usually followed by calls to disregard the precedential value of the Permanent Court of International Justice’s Lotus judgment on which it is based. This article defends the Lotus judgment but argues that the principle is the wrong reading of the majority opinion and that it fails to create the right conditions for interstate co-existence and cooperation, the twin goals of international law identified by the majority. The article then examines the meaning of ‘co-existence’ for contemporary international law and weighs the principle of ‘locality’ as an additional criterion that ought to be considered when resolving conflicting claims of jurisdiction.
  • Topic: International Law, Sovereignty, International Affairs, Courts
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, France
  • Author: John R. Morss
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article offers a re-examination of the international legal status of what is here termed the Vatican/Holy See complex (VHS), focusing on claims to statehood. The problematic ‘effect’ of Vatican City, of the Holy See, of the papacy and of associated entities is interrogated at the level of international law, entering as little as possible into administrative or theological distinctions. The various grounds cited as supporting status amounting to statehood are argued to be inadequate. The continuing exchange of representatives with states by the VHS is missionary and hierarchical in character and is reflective neither of the reciprocity of peers nor of customary obligation going to law. Agreements entered into by the papacy with the Kingdom of Italy (the Lateran Pacts) in 1929, relating to the status of the geographical territory known as Vatican City, cannot be determinative of international status. Nor can membership of international agreements and organizations confer a status amounting to statehood. Events and practices since 1929 have not substantially altered international status as of 1870. The Roman Catholic Church is but one of many faith-based international movements, and since the eclipse of the papal state nearly one-and-a-half centuries ago, the status in international law of its temporal headquarters in Rome should not be privileged.
  • Topic: International Law, Religion, Sovereignty, History
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, Vatican city
  • Author: André Nollkaemper
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This brief Comment responds to Jan Klabbers’ recent article, ‘The Transformation of International Organizations Law’. It focuses on three points: the polemical style and disengagement with substance in the article; the question of whether we can do without some form of functionalism; and the further question of what it means to speak of ‘responsibility beyond functionalism’.
  • Topic: International Law, International Organization, Law, Critique
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Guy Fiti Sinclair
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This Comment interrogates the central and determining role accorded to functionalism in Jan Klabbers’ account of international organizations (IOs) law in his recent article, ‘The EJIL Foreword: The Transformation of International Organizations Law’. Specifically, it expresses doubts regarding Klabbers’ designation of functionalism as the dominant, paradigmatic theory of IOs law; questions whether the article’s account of functionalism’s historical origins is persuasive; and argues that the ‘rise and fall’ narrative set forth in the article presents an overly sanitized picture of IOs law, largely free from political struggle. The development of IOs law has been more contested than Klabbers’ narrative suggests; minimizing that contestation carries the danger of closing off possibilities for reimagining IOs law today.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, International Organization, Critique
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus