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  • Author: Marie Davoise
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In July 2019, the International Law Commission (ILC) provisionally adopted, on first reading, a series of draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict (the Draft Principles). The role of businesses in armed conflict is addressed in Draft Principle 10 and Draft Principle 11. The latter, in particular, requires States to implement appropriate measures to ensure that corporations operating in or from their territories can be held accountable for environmental harm in the context of armed conflict. The inclusion of those two Draft Principles reflects increasingly vocal calls for corporate accountability, which has been the focus of the growing field of Business and Human Rights (BHR), an umbrella term encompassing a variety of legal regimes from tort law to criminal law. This contribution will look at the link between businesses, the environment, and armed conflict. Using the newly adopted Draft Principle 11 as a starting point, it explores three major liability regimes through which businesses could be held accountable for damage to the environment in armed conflict: State responsibility, international criminal law, and transnational tort litigation. Using case studies, the article discusses some of the challenges associated with each of those regimes, before concluding that the cross-fertilization phenomenon observed in this article (between public/private law, domestic/international level, and across various jurisdictions) is making BHR an increasingly salient discipline and useful tool in the fight against impunity for corporate environmental harm in armed conflict.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Business , Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karen Hulme
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Environmental protection is not specifically included in treaty law relating to State obligations during situations of occupation. While clearly not of the same scale as damage caused to the environment during armed conflict, damage caused during occupation is often similar in nature – largely due to those who seek to exploit any governance vacuum and a failure to restore damaged environments. What can human rights offer in helping to protect the environment during occupations? What protection can be offered by an analysis of environmental human rights law?
  • Topic: Environment, Human Rights, Governance, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Liam Halewood
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In 2015, the United Kingdom (UK) became the first European State to incorporate extraterritorial targeted killing with drones into its counterterrorism framework. This article examines whether the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) extend to such operations. Scholars have suggested not, based on a comparison of a drone strike to the circumstances of the landmark Bankovic case, which was inadmissible on jurisdictional grounds. Consequently, the UK policy is perceived as occurring in a legal black.hole outside the purview of the Convention. However, this article argues that the comparisons to Bankovic overlook the uniqueness of targeted killing operations and the context in which the UK policy is utilized. Considering the distinctiveness of the UK policy, this article re-evaluates the applicability of the ECHR and proposes that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) could find a jurisdictional link between the UK and the victims of targeted killing, thereby avoiding the perceived legal black.hole.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Military Strategy, Drones, Extrajudicial Killings
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Severin Meier
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) during international armed conflict. After a brief discussion of the different historic origins of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL), the article examines the test for establishing jurisdiction under Article 1 of the ECHR. A critical analysis of some contentious legal issues regarding derogations completes the picture of when jurisdiction is established. Subsequently, the article considers the interaction between the ECHR and IHL in international armed conflicts and concludes by arguing that a balance must be found between protecting human rights in international armed conflicts while not interfering unduly with IHL.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Bialek
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Infringements of human rights through the actions of transnational corporations are common in our globalizing world. While the international community has undertaken numerous attempts to hold private corporations responsible for their actions, only soft law instruments govern this area of public international law. Only recently, a first draft was released for a Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, the Activities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, also known as the Zero Draft. This article argues that the Zero Draft, while based on contemporary international law, represents a positive first step in the treaty-making process, but it still needs specification and clarification in order to close the gap in human rights protection effectively. First outlining the need for a closure of the gap in human rights protection, this article then closely examines the content of the Zero Draft. To that end, an in-depth analysis of the core provisions of the Draft is offered, especially focusing on the rights of victims, the prevention of human rights infringements, and corporate liability. Furthermore, this article analyzes current State practice and the expectations of the international community towards a legally binding instrument on the topic of business and human rights. Significantly, this article also compares the Zero Draft to existing soft law and previous recommendations on how to close the gap in a binding manner. Finally, the article concludes that, by indirectly holding companies accountable without depriving States of their sovereign power over their companies, the Zero Draft has the potential to be implemented as a future Treaty on Business and Human Rights.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights, Treaties and Agreements, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Floris Tan
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines an underexplored avenue for the protection of the rule of law in Europe: Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This provision prohibits States from restricting the rights enshrined in the European Convention for any other purpose than provided for in the Convention. In this contribution, the author argues, based on a combination of textual, systematic and purposive interpretations of Article 18, that the provision is meant to safeguard against rule of law backsliding, in particular because governmental restrictions of human rights under false pretenses present a clear danger to the principles of legality and the supremacy of law. Such limitations of rights under the guise of legitimate purposes go against the assumption of good faith underlying the Convention, which presupposes that all States share a common goal of reinforcing human rights and the rule of law. Article 18 could therefore function as an early warning that European States are at risk of becoming an illiberal democracy or even of reverting to totalitarianism and the destruction of the rule of law. The article then goes on to assess the extent to which the European Court’s case-law reflects and realizes this aim of rule of law protection, and finds that whereas the Court’s earlier case-law left very little room for an effective application of Article 18, the November 2017 Grand Chamber judgment in Merabishvili v. Georgia has made large strides in effectuating the provision’s raison d’être. As the article shows, however, even under this new interpretation, challenges remain.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Heike Krieger
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Immunities here have, on the one hand, been calls for the limitation or even the abolition of immunities, in particular based on the argument of a lack of responsibility for grave violations of human rights. Contrarily, opposed tendencies can be observed which raise ideas such as the extension of the scope of persons to be protected by immunities, resting upon the pluralization of actors in the globalized world. This article examines these two contradictory aspects of development of immunities in public international law and how they might interrelate with each other. It analyses how the simultaneous evolution and stagnation of immunities can be explained. For that purpose the contribution evaluates at first the current state of the legal development. Further, it takes a look at a certain stagnation of legal development and clarifies the structural parameters within public international law which have led to such a stagnation. In this context, it is critically dealt with the question, whether immunities meet the demands of a globalized world. Lastly, this article addresses the development regarding a denial of immunity in cases of grave human rights violations and asks how it could be more cautiously brought forward.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights, Legal Theory
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pierre Thielbörger
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article uses the case of the Libya intervention to address three general claims about international law. Firstly, it examines whether the reliance of the intervention on the mechanisms of collective security under the UN Charter suggests that international law relating to peace and security has finally overcome its post-9/11 crisis. It concludes that the resolution's vague wording – which makes the distinction between what is “legal” under the resolution, and what is not, hard to draw – undermines such an assumption. Secondly, it explores whether the Libya intervention has put new emphasis on what has been termed the “emerging right of democratic governance”. In spite of the underlying democracy-enhancing spirit of the execution of the intervention, Resolution 1973 was exclusively written in the language of human rights. It did little to indicate a changed attitude of States towards a norm of democratic governance. Finally, the article examines whether the case of Libya shows a renewed international attitude towards States which violate the most fundamental human rights of their citizens. The article concludes by suggesting that, in this third respect, a more muscular liberalism is indeed on the rise again in international law, challenging the formerly almighty concept of State sovereignty. In contributing to this subtle transformation, the Libyan case has made a genuine contribution to the development of the international legal order.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Jens M. Iverson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: According to the current jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court, Article 98 of the Rome Statute does not forbid the issuance of an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state. The African Union Commission vehemently objects to this reading of Article 98. Because it viewed the function of Article 98 as forbidding such arrest warrants, it views the current jurisprudence as effectively reading Article 98 out of the Statute, with no continuing function. This article demonstrates the continuing function of Article 98. This continuing function includes immunities resulting from agreements under Article 98(2), as well as customary immunities pertaining to property, persons, diplomatic immunity, and state immunity. Countering the rhetoric and providing a close analysis of the current state of Article 98 in ICC jurisprudence is useful, both with respect to understanding the current operation of Article 98 and to reflect on balancing multiple maximands of criminal law, human rights law, and the international law of immunity.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rome
  • Author: Nicolas Klein
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Legal research conceptualized the relationship between International Investment Law (IIL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) until recently rather as opposing fields of law with colliding policy interests as well as contradictory rules and regulations. However, lately a new approach is gaining increasing support in the academic community: Investment protection could be understood as being part of human rights law. Such a conclusion may be perceived as highly controversial, however, from a conceptual perspective IIL and IHRL share more common ground than differences. This article will argue, first, that certain material standards of IIL can be conceptualized to be human rights-like guarantees of a minimum standard of protection and second, that such an understanding does not lead to a neoliberal proliferation of economic rights but, to the contrary, may serve as an important conceptual tool to prevent overly extensive interpretations of investment treaties and to balance economic rights with other human rights in case of norm conflict. After all, IIL could prove to be not more, but also not less, than “One Out of a Crowd” of all other fundamental human rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Germany, Guinea