Merkel: The Refugee Crisis is a Universal Human Rights Issue

In a press conference (31 August, 2015) German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed Germany’s commitment to taking in significant number of asylum-seekers and called for other EU countries to share the burden. Acknowledging that this will be a “huge national challenge … not only for days or months but for a long period of time” she emphasized that this was not a mere matter of charity, but of a duty to respect the “universal civil rights” of the refugees:

“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, if this close link with universal civil rights is broken, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for.”

For excerpts from the press conference see Deutsche Welle, “Merkel warns that refugee crisis tests Europe’s core ideals.”

The University of Illinois Law Review symposium on “Foreign Life Valuation”

The symposium — published in 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. Slip Opinions – addresses the question how many—if any—scarce domestic resources should be allocated to the prevention of foreign harms?

The contributions discuss the article by Arden Rowell and Lesley Wexler, Valuing Foreign Lives, 48 Ga. L. Rev. 498 (2014). That article examined reasons that might lead policymakers to distinguish between foreign and domestic lives, and surveyed actual U.S. government policies concerning that question in diverse contexts such as environmental regulation and international armed conflict.


Lorand Bartels: The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects

In his Article, Lorand Bartels examines a rarely discussed but extremely important question: Whether states can by their domestic conduct that has extraterritorial effects be responsible for violating the human rights of persons outside their territorial jurisdiction. This article takes as its case study the EU’s external obligations under EU law. 

See also the Reply by Enzo Cannizzaro, and Bartels’s Rejoinder.

Evan J. Criddle: States have Standing to Impose Countermeasures for Human Rights Violations Abroad

In his forthcoming Article, Standing for Human Rights Abroad (100 Cornell Law Rev., forthcoming 2015), Evan J. Criddle argues that under some circumstances, international law authorizes states to impose countermeasures as fiduciary representatives, asserting the human rights of oppressed foreign peoples for the benefit of those peoples.