Schranken für die weltweite Überwachung? Was die jüngsten Ankündigungen der NSA zu bedeuten haben

Am gestrigen Nachmittag gab die NSA überraschend bekannt, eine zentrale Komponente ihres globalen Überwachungssystems zu beenden. In der Zukunft will die Behörde nur Emails speichern, die von oder an verdächtige Ausländer gesendet wurden („to or from communications“). Hingegen werden nicht mehr alle Internet-Nachrichten daraufhin gescannt, ob sie Daten verdächtiger Ausländer im Text der Nachricht nennen („about communications“). Weniger Überwachung klingt gut. Und die ersten Reaktionen in den USA sind verhalten positiv, wird damit doch einer zentralen Forderung von BürgerrechtlerInnen entsprochen. Doch was bedeutet der Kurswechsel aus europäischer und deutscher Sicht?

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No Compromises on Reproductive Rights – Why Ireland Needs Constitutional Change

On April 22, the Irish Citizens Assembly has in an overwhelming majority confirmed the need for change in Irish abortion laws. According to the majority of members of the assembly, the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution, that de facto imposes a constitutional ban on abortion in most scenarios, needs to be amended or replaced. What constitutional change is needed?

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How Old is 14 Really? On Child Marriage and Case-by-Case Justice

A bizarrely archaic hiccup for old-school historicists, curiously ambivalent and legally intriguing to others, child marriages currently enjoy an unforeseen centrality in Germany’s public life. Europe today is hard pressed to look beyond its shores for instructive twenty-first century survival scripts. India’s past offers some lessons on child marriages for the current German predicament.

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Nonchalance im Rechtsstaat? Anfragen an den Spielhallen-Beschluss des BVerfG

Gut 19 Milliarden Euro werden bei bis vor kurzem sprunghaft steigender Tendenz jährlich mit Geldspielgeräten umgesetzt. Da dabei auch das Suchtverhalten kranker Menschen wirtschaftlich ausgenutzt wird, muss man kein Mitleid mit der Spielgerätewirtschaft haben, wenn die Landesgesetzgeber ihr in Ausführung des 2012 geänderten Glücksspielstaatsvertrags nun massiv zu Leibe rücken. Es gehört aber zum Markenkern des Rechtsstaats, dass die Anforderungen an die Eindämmung vormals erlaubten Verhaltens nicht davon abhängen, wie sympathisch man dieses findet. Vor diesem Hintergrund verdient der jüngste Beschluss des BVerfG zur Spielhallenregulierung Beachtung, weil rechtsstaatliche Mindeststandards hinter den immer wieder betonten besonders herausgehobenen Allgemeininteressen, die mit der Regulierung auch zweifellos verfolgt werden, stark verblassen.

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‘Girls belong in school, and not in front of the altar’: Is the German Bill on child marriages violating international law?

As much as international law categorizes child marriage as harmful practice due to its potential wide ranging negative effects on education, health, increased risk of violence and sexually transmitted diseases, and poverty, the regulation of already existing marriages should not aim to be aligned with the age of marriage. Already existing child marriages have to be treated differently, as they already created a lived reality for the partners and cannot just be reversed, as this might end up in unwanted legal and practical consequences for the child. Therefore, with regards to already existing marriages, it is a misconception that the only possible way to end child marriage is to actually ‘end’ child marriage.

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Stopping forced sterilisation is not enough – the limitations of the recent ECHR judgement on trans rights

The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in A.P., Garçon and Nicot v. France constitutes an important decision for trans rights in many ways. The ECtHR determined that France’s requirement of sterilisation, applying to persons wishing to legally change their names and gender on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity, is a violation of the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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The Holy Word does not come strictly in Italian – Another Islamophobic Law stopped in Northern Italy

The saga continues: again have regions in Italy governed by the right-wing party Lega Nord tried to use an administrative law to restrict the building of new mosques in the regions. This time, Veneto came up with something new: they made it mandatory to speak only Italian in religious buildings. But the Constitutional Court took a clear stance, for religious freedom and for the importance of language as a cultural good.

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The Great Repeal Bill and the Charter of Fundamental Rights – not a promising start

On the day Brexit happens EU Law will be incorporated into the UK legal system, including the entirety of the Court of Justice’s case-law. This is a huge digestion of rules and judicial rulings, unprecedented in the way and speed in which it will take place. However, there is a piece of EU Law that will not be incorporated into UK Law. This is no ordinary or irrelevant piece. It is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is another revealing sign of the impact that Brexit will have in the UK and, above all, for UK citizens and their rights.

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