Egypt: Homosexuality is legal – but not allowed

26 men were arrested in front of TV cameras and later charged with “habitual debauchery” after a crackdown had taken place at a local bathhouse in Cairo. Attorney Islam Khalifa defended 14 of the accused. It was not the first time in his career: only two months earlier he had defended seven men in another case that gained international attention where 8 men were charged with endangering public morality for attending a “marriage-like” ceremony on a Nile cruise. In this interview he talks about the legal practice in Egypt in general and the situation of the Egyptian LGBTQ community.

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Al-Bashir: flouting court orders are anti-poor and anti-democratic

The decision by the South African government to ignore the order of the Gauteng High Court not to allow President Omar al-Bashir from North Sudan to leave the country, constitutes a deliberate, pre-meditated, act of contempt of court. The case raises many complex legal and geo-political questions over which reasonable people could profitably disagree. But even in an overheated political climate in which emotions tend to overpower principles and logic, it is unclear how any level-headed South African could support the deliberate flouting of a court order.

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Quergelesen: Gibt es einen „Konstitutionalismus des globalen Südens“?

Die vornehmste Aufgabe einer Verfassung sei es, die Wunden der Vergangenheit zu heilen und die Gesellschaft in eine bessere Zukunft zu führen. Pius Langa, der im Sommer verstorbene erste Präsident des südafrikanischen Verfassungsgerichtshofs, entfaltete 2006 in einem Vortrag an der Universität Stellenbosch mit seinem Konzept eines „transformativen Konstitutionalismus“ eine für westliche Ohren ziemlich radikale Vorstellung […]

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Asylschutz gilt auch (und gerade!) für offen auftretende Homosexuelle

Ein Leben als Closet Gay ist keine Fluchtalternative. Wer in seinem Land nicht homosexuell sein darf, ohne Gefängnis oder Schlimmeres befürchten zu müssen, hat in der EU ein Anrecht auf Schutz. Für die Idee, Flüchtlingen nahe zu legen, Verfolgung durch entsprechend diskretes Verhalten zu vermeiden, gibt es im Europarecht keinen Anhaltspunkt. Das hat der Europäische […]

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Pius Langa: a man who knew the meaning of transformation

Former South African Chief Justice Pius Langa passed away earlier this week at the age of 74. This measured man, one who never seemed flustered and always seemed to have time to reflect before speaking, was both a good person and a brilliant jurist. His many meticulously crafted judgments leave behind a fitting memorial to his life and work. But it was his famous 2006 speech on the nature of “Transformative Constitutionalism” for which he might very well become best remembered.

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Ethnische Konfliktlösung durch Verfassungsdesign: Donald Horowitz in der American Academy

Wenn der Bürgerkrieg vorbei ist, die Guerrillas ihre Waffen niedergelegt haben, die neue, demokratische Verfassung geschrieben und das wiedervereinte Volk sich in Freiheit und Gleichheit ein Parlament und eine legitime Regierung wählt – dann wird alles gut. So glauben wir zumindest gern, wenn wir in der Zeitung davon lesen. Dass dann aber oft mitnichten alles […]

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The Politics of Space: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum

Law is a ‘politics of space.’ The last week’s Supreme Court decision in ‘Kiobel’ significantly cuts the possibilities to sue human rights violators before courts in the United States, particularly when the relevant conduct occurred on the territory of a foreign sovereign. The decision builds upon a highly territorialized notion of law and points to […]

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