Ausgewählte aktuelle Publikationen

Ausgewählte aktuelle Publikationen:


The Human Rights Committee- Legacy and Promise, in Gerd Oberleitner (ed.), International Human Rights. Human Rights Institutions, Tribunals, and Courts - Legacy and Promise (Springer, voraussichtlich 2018)

Abstract: The UN Human Rights Committee, which  is recognized for its legal expertise in human rights law,  belongs to the most prominent institutions for the oversight of international human rights. The Committee was the first universal body with a mandate to examine individual communications. Among the international treaty bodies it continues to receive the highest number of individual petitions. Through the course of its four decades of existence, the Committee has developed a considerable body of jurisprudence affecting the interpretation of human rights by domestic and international institutions, including the International Court of Justice.

The present book chapter introduces readers to the work of this quasi-judicial expert body from the perspective of a Committee member. It locates the Committee’s institutional place in the overall structure of the human rights system and describes current challenges and developments. The author offers an in-depth assessment of the Committee’s legacy and makes proposals on how the Committee can refine its procedures and methodology. In times of increasing challenges for international human rights, the Committee’s principal task is to defend the integrity of the Covenant, maintain a norm-based dialogue with the States parties and render the Covenant’s interpretation truly universal. In absence of an international human rights court, the Committee needs to preserve its legacy as a central legal player in universal human rights protection, reinforce the legitimacy of its decisions and exercise its functions in accordance with its mandate as a body composed of legally experienced and independent experts. This process also requires the involvement of other stakeholders and States parties who carry the responsibility for the Committee’s composition, independence and structural capacity. The author reminds States parties of their role as trustees of the universal protection of human rights and calls for an active complementarity approach in line with their erga omnes partes obligations. States parties are required to increase their commitments towards treaty implementation and enforcement both domestically and internationally. The author makes proposals on how to procedurally link the international and the domestic level and how States can play a more active role in the international enforcement of human rights.


The Effect of Subsequent Practice on the European Convention on Human Rights: Considerations from a General International Law Perspective,               

in I. Motoc/A. van Aaken, The European Court of Human Rights and General International Law (forthcoming 2018)


Abstract: Under which conditions and to what extent can subsequent State practice legitimately influence the interpretation or even modify international treaties? This issue of general international law has been on the European Court of Human Rights’ agenda for quite some time and is ongoing as evidenced in Hassan v. the United Kingdom. While State practice has traditionally played a role in the interpretation of the Convention, the Court’s methodology to determine under what circumstance and to what extent State practice is able to affect the scope and meaning of the Convention remains uncertain. 

This article develops a general theoretical framework, which rationalizes the normative value of subsequent practice in the context of human rights treaty interpretation and sets out its relevant standards. Drawing from the ILC’s recent work on ‘Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to interpretation of treaties’, the author argues that the Vienna Rules provide a matrix. This perimeter allows sufficient flexibility to accommodate the specific nature of human rights law. The author proposes a normative scale, which can guide the Court in enhancing its methodological consistency. Pursuant to this scale, exigencies for the density of subsequent practice and the degree of acceptance pursuant to Article 38 (1)(b) VCLT vary depending on the nature of the rule and the claimed normative value of State practice. Once State practice meets the required standard, it can sustain the legitimacy of treaty interpretation. On this basis, subsequent practice can serve as a catalyst for the advancement of human rights.





Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights – Effects and Implementation, Nomos/Ashgate


Geleitwort, Vorwort und Inhaltsverzeichnis (Seiten 1-12)

Der Band beschäftigt sich mit der innerstaatlichen Wirkung von Urteilen des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte als Herausforderung des europäischen Mehrebenensystems. Ausgehend von aktuellen Divergenzen im Verhältnis zu den EMRK-Vertragstaaten wird nach Möglichkeiten der Neuorientierung in einer ebenenübergreifenden Ordnung gefragt, in der die Straßburger Rechtsprechung zunehmende Bedeutung für die verschiedensten Lebensbereiche entfaltet. Dabei werden aktuelle Tendenzen in der Rechtsprechung des EGMR aufgezeigt und vor dem Hintergrund des Subsidiaritätsprinzips erörtert. Eingehend werden die Geltungsweite und Rechtsfolgen von EGMR-Urteilen, Gegenstand und Umfang von Abhilfe- und Schadensersatzpflichten sowie die Funktion der nationalen Gerichtsbarkeit bei der Umsetzung der Urteile in den Blick genommen.


Durch die Beteiligung wesentlicher Akteure des europäischen Mehrebenenschutzes, darunter namhafte Richter, Vertreter der Rechtswissenschaften und Praktiker aus verschiedenen Europaratsstaaten, gelingt es, divergierende Gesichtspunkt in die Diskussion einzubeziehen und Strategien der dialektischen Konfliktlösung weiterzuentwickeln. Unter den Autoren finden sich auf Seiten der europäischen und nationalen Richterschaft der Präsident des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte, Dean Spielmann, die Richterinnen Angelika Nußberger und Julia Laffranque sowie die Richter Linos-Alexander Sicilianos, Sabino Cassese, Jacek Chlebny, Péter Kovács, Lord Justice Laws und Andreas Paulus.

Anja Seibert-Fohr & Mark E. Villiger, 'Current Challenges in European Multilevel Human Rights Protection', in: dies. (Hrsg.), Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights - Effects and Implementation (Nomos/Ashgate 2014), S. 13-24.




Transnational Labour Litigation: The Ups and Downs under the Alien Tort Statute, in P.-T. Stoll/ H. Gött, Labour Standards in International Economic Law (forthcoming 2017)


Abstract:  When we consider the protection of labour rights, international standard-setting is only one aspect that deserves attention. What is equally important is the enforcement of these rights. Unfortunately, however, enforcement mechanisms are insufficient or unavailable in many developing countries. Therefore, victims of labour rights violations have turned to those jurisdictions where transnational corporations are incorporated in order to seek damages.

The contribution by Anja Seibert-Fohr addresses the question of how labour standards can be enforced by individuals in domestic courts. Taking the example of the US Alien Torts Act (ATS) she describes the experience gained under this over 200 years-old statute which gives district courts jurisdiction of civil action by aliens for torts committed in violation of international law. While ATS litigation initially focused on grave human rights violations, such as torture and genocide, a number of civil suits have been brought by foreigners seeking damages for the violation of international labour standards over the past decade. The contribution describes what obstacles are faced by the plaintiffs and asks to what extent civil litigation can contribute to the protection of labour standards abroad.



Judicial Engagement in International Human Rights Comparativism,

in: A. Reinisch/ M. E. Footer/ C. Binder, (eds.), International Law and …, Hart Publishing (2016)


Judicial Independence in Transition (Springer)

Strengthening the rule of law has become a key factor for the transition to democracy and the protection of human rights. Though its significance has materialized in international standard setting, the question of implementation is largely unexplored. This book describes judicial independence as a central aspect of the rule of law in different stages of transition to democracy. The collection of state-specific studies explores the legal situation of judiciaries in twenty states from North America, over Western, Central and South-Eastern Europe to post-Soviet states and engages in a comparative legal analysis. Through a detailed account of the current situation it takes stocks, considers advances in and shortcomings of judicial reform and offers advice for future strategies. The book shows that the implementation of judicial independence requires continuous efforts, not only in countries in transition but also in    established democracies which are confronted with ever new challenges.

Anja Seibert-Fohr, 'International Judicial Ethics'

in: Cesare Romano, Karen Alter & Yuval Shany (Hrsg.),

The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication, S. 757-778.

Judicial ethics - or the rules that seek to ensure the personal independence, impartiality, and diligence of adjudicators by guiding their judicial and extra-judicial conduct - in international adjudication is a relatively young and still evolving field.

While standards of judicial ethics at the national and transnational levels are old and well established, their applicability at the international level is not automatic because of fundamental differences in context. Although it may be tempting to draw from domestic rules on judicial conduct in order to fill this gap, there are structural differences between domestic and international adjudication to consider. The standards developed for the domestic sphere can hardly be transferred lock, stock, and barrel to international adjudication, which is different in nature, composition and function. Thus, international courts and tribunals are confronted with the challenge of developing their own judicial culture. This culture must satisfy universal expectations of fairness and propriety.

Prof. Seibert-Fohr's contribution gives an overview of the relevant legal rules that have been developed over time in various fields of international adjudication. Her analysis focuses on the three key values that must guide judicial conduct: independence, impartiality, and diligence.



Anja Seibert-Fohr, 'Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung im Planungsverfahren: Chancen und Grenzen am Beispiel des Planvereinheitlichungsgesetzes', in: Verwaltungsarchiv, Bd. 103, S. 311-326.

Die schwindende Akzeptanz von Großprojekten, seien dies Flughäfen, Energieleitungen oder Bahnhöfe, kann Auswirkungen auf die Rechtssicherheit und Verlässlichkeit einmal getroffener Planungsentscheidungen haben. Entsprechende Verfahren sollen unter der sorgfältigen Abwägung privater und öffentlicher Belange zu bestandskräftigen Ergebnissen führen, die nach Ausschöpfung der bestehenden Rechtsschutzmöglichkeiten nicht wieder revidiert werden. Dazu ist es erforderlich, dass innerhalb dieser Verfahren alle relevanten Aspekte vorgebracht werden können, sodass eine breite Entscheidungsgrundlage gewährleistet ist. Auf diese Weise kann vermieden werden, dass spätere Einwendungen eine solche Sprengkraft entfalten, dass einmal getroffene Entscheidungen im Wege von Volksabstimmungen mittelbar wieder zur Disposition gestellt werden.

Relevant wurde dies bei der Planfeststellung des Projektes Stuttgart 21. Die dadurch entfachte Diskussion im Bereich des Planungsrechts hat sich in dem 2013 in Kraft getretenen Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung und Vereinheitlichung von Planfeststellungsverfahren (PlVereinhG) niedergeschlagen. Der Beitrag untersucht - nach einem Vergleich der Neuerung und der Fachplanung Stuttgart 21 betreffend -, ob das Gesetz dem Anspruch gerecht wird, die Akzeptanz und legitimierende Wirkung von Planungsverfahren zu erhöhen. Er beschäftigt sich auch mit der Frage, welche Ziele im Planungsverfahren realistischerweise verfolgt werden können. Dabei werden nicht nur die Möglichkeiten der Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung, sondern auch ihre Grenzen aufgezeigt.


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Letzte Änderung: 05.01.2018
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