This paper analyses the overt provision of assistance to opposition groups in the contemporary conflicts in Libya and Syria. Applying an R2P lens to this new and emerging State practice, the paper argues that R2P has served as the inspiration for a re-aligned conceptualisation of the limits of State responses to atrocity crimes, charting a way forward for the international community which is at once sensitive to State sovereignty but also responsive to humanitarian imperatives.
R2P is the international community’s organising principle for responding to mass atrocity crimes. It reflected and contributed to the shift from power towards norms as the pivot on which history turns. The old, discredited and discarded ‘humanitarian intervention’ represents the national interest and power end of the intervention spectrum. R2P is an effort to insert the global justice and normative end and has much better prospects of a convergence of legality and legitimacy in the use of force. It will be easier to prevent unilateral use of force by great powers if their interventionist instincts are moderated by the discipline of multilateral norms. R2P has a secure future because it is demand-driven. On the realism side of the ledger, many leaders rule on the basis of brute force and occasionally will commit atrocities. On the normative side, the better angels of most people in many countries will demand effective and timely action by governments and the UN to halt the atrocities and punish the perpetrators. R2P is the answer to the challenge of global justice being done and being seen to be done, both by states as the primary units of the global order but also by peoples in whom sovereignty ultimately resides. And it does so by reconciling several inherent tensions between competing interests, competing values, and competing interests and values: between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly; between human and national security; between states and the international community; between institutionalised indifference and unilateral intervention; and between the global North and South.
Arguably, more than any other state or interstate actor, German federal authorities, including the German Federal Public Prosecutor General (Generalbundesanwalt, gba) and German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt), have been at the forefront of issuing arrest warrants for senior members of the Syrian government suspected of atrocity crimes in the wake of the Arab Spring. This includes German federal authorities making the first arrest of a senior member of the Syrian government in February 2019 for crimes against humanity. This article argues that in relation to core international crimes, Germany’s concept of law reflects one based on a ‘standard’ and international rule of law. Moreover, German federal authorities have demonstrated a willingness to use international humanitarian and criminal law (ichl) in relation to those most responsible for core international crimes. In this way, Germany’s current investigations into alleged crimes against humanity in Syria since 2011 provides for an illuminating case for extending universal jurisdiction, as well as the ‘responsibility to prosecute’ as a legal obligation. It also indicates how a multiplicity of actors – including state and non-state actors – can extend the reach of international criminal law, when the International Criminal Court (icc) cannot act.
The failure of the international community to adequately respond to patterns of discrimination against the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar (Burma) eventually led to a genocide. The so-called “clearance operations” launched by Myanmar’s military in August 2017 tested the resilience of the international community’s commitment to defending human rights and upholding its Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Two years later the UN Security Council has still not adopted a single resolution to name the crime committed against the Rohingya, or to hold the perpetrators accountable. Nevertheless, Rohingya survivors and international civil society have continued to campaign for justice under international law, and to advocate for targeted sanctions to be imposed on those responsible for atrocities. Faced with an inert Security Council, some UN member states have adopted inventive diplomatic measures to uphold their responsibility to protect.
While international human rights law enshrines family life as a cornerstone of society, when it intersects with migration, issues and problems arise in countries where migration is high on the political agenda. This is true in a number of EU states. Both EU law and European human rights commitments, however, require states to provide for family reunification subject to a margin of discretion to the state. While family reunification for refugees and beneficiaries of international protection has been at the top of some political agendas in Europe, this article looks at family reunification (generally known as family reunion) for another group—nationals of the Member States. In particular it poses two questions: do EU Member States accept their own nationals to come back to their home state with third country national family members they have acquired while abroad? Secondly, to what extent do EU Member States discriminate against their own nationals in comparison with the generous EU rules of family reunion for nationals of other Member States who have exercised a free movement right in their country. This article is based on reports by experts from all EU Member States in light of the 2014 judgment in O & B (C-456/12) by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Dano and Alimanovic decisions of the ECJ have triggered various developments in German social security law and (social) court jurisprudence. While the German courts’ rulings regarding the rights of non-active EU migrants still vary, the legislator has moved towards excluding more EU citizens from receiving non-contributory benefits. In the aftermath of Dano and, more specifically, Alimanovic, the provisions of Book II of the German Social Code were revised at the end of 2016. The new rules not only ‘confirm’ the ECJ-decisions, but also go beyond, as far as to exclude EU migrants who have residence rights according to Reg. (EU) No. 492/2011.
This article discusses these recent developments. It focuses on the ECJ-case law regarding Art. 10 of Reg. (EU) No. 492/2011 (former Art. 12 of Reg. 1612/68), in particular the Ibrahim and Teixeira rulings. Which residence rights do prevail—those according to Dir. 2004/38/EC or those based on Reg. (EU) No. 492/2011? It is argued that a new discussion on the interrelation between Dir. 2004/38/EC and Reg. (EU) No. 492/2011—an aspect ignored by the German legislator—is emerging: What started as a restriction of access to national welfare for economically non-active persons has obviously reached the ‘economically active’ (= workers) as well. The German example shows that Member States may be testing which other residence rights—in addition to those for short stays and job searches—might be valid before the ECJ ‘as residence rights without social rights’.
The purpose of this article is to investigate how EU citizens’ free movement rights are applied and enforced in practice and determine whether the situation on the ground demonstrates the existence of a so-called ‘implementation gap’ involving a disconnect between, on the one hand, how the EU free movement rules are intended to operate and, on the other, their application in practice at the national level. Drawing upon a multitude of sources from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, France, Sweden and the UK, an exploration is undertaken of the ways in which this ‘implementation gap’ manifests itself through a review of the various instances where Member States have sought to restrict the exercise of free movement rights through the adoption of national measures relating to the transposition, application and enforcement of Directive 2004/38 on residence rights.