Den Behörden Beine machen: Das EuGH-Urteil zur Familien­zusammen­führung von Flüchtlingen

Der EuGH hat am 12. April 2018 im Urteil A und S den Familiennachzug von Eltern zu unbegleiteten Kindern maßgeblich erleichtert und dabei insbesondere die Frage geklärt, zu welchem Zeitpunkt die Person unter 18 Jahre alt gewesen sein muss. In dogmatisch überzeugender Weise arbeitet der Europäische Gerichtshof heraus, dass auf den Zeitpunkt der Asylantragstellung abzustellen ist. Ist also die Person unter 18 Jahre alt, wenn sie einen Asylantrag stellt, dann ist sie für die Familienzusammenführung auch dann als minderjährig anzusehen, wenn sie während des Asylverfahrens volljährig wird. Dieses Urteil hat erhebliche Auswirkungen auf die deutsche Praxis des Familiennachzugs zu unbegleiteten Minderjährigen. Mit der Entscheidung bestätigt der EuGH seine zunehmende grundrechtliche Orientierung in Migrationsfragen.

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„Doomsday“ für das kirchliche Arbeitsrecht?

Der Europäische Gerichthof stellt in seinem heutigen Urteil Egenberger das vom Bundesverfassungsgericht bislang stets hoch gehaltene Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Kirchen im Hinblick auf ihr Selbstverständnis in Frage. Das Ende des kirchlichen Arbeitsrechts steht deshalb aber noch nicht unbedingt bevor.

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Selmayr’s Appointment: Why this Juncker Crisis is Much More Dangerous for the EU Commission than the Santer Crisis in 1999

The promotion of Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of cabinet Martin Selmayr to secretary general of the EU Commission has caused quite a stir in some parts of the press, but rather little critique in the EU Parliament, among EU lawyers and in the eurobubble in general. This episode will come back recurrently during the populist campaign against the EU institutions in 2019. And later it will still be used to weaken the Commission. 2019 will sadly be far from the end of this story.

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Völkerrechtswidrig­keit benennen: Warum die Bundesregierung ihre Verbündeten für den Syrien-Luftangriff kritisieren sollte

Die Bundesregierung betont gerne, dass Deutschland für eine regelbasierte internationale Ordnung stehe. Das völkerrechtliche Gewaltverbot ist ein zentraler Eckpfeiler dieser Ordnung. Es zu verteidigen sollte Anliegen der deutschen Bundesregierung sein – auch gegenüber den westlichen Verbündeten. Dabei muss sich die Bundesregierung nicht mit Russland gemein machen.

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Bad Response to a Tragic Choice: the Case of Polish Council of the Judiciary

A few days ago, the courageous and intelligent Chief Justice of the Polish Supreme Court, Professor Małgorzata Gersdorf, announced that, after some agonizing due to important legal and moral dilemmas at stake, she decided after all to convene the first, inaugural meeting of the National Council of Judiciary. The meeting is to take place on 27 April. The decision was met with dismay on the part of some lawyers and relief on the part of others. Generally, however, it did not prompt any particularly strong responses on either side. But the decision is momentous, both in its practical consequences and as a matter of principle.

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The Pisciotti Saga: A Duel in Karlsruhe as Finale?

The arrest of the Italian businessman Romano Pisciotti at Frankfurt Airport on 17 June 2013 has been the cause of many judicial decisions. The latest, if not last, was rendered this week by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Considering the reasoning of the Court, the last decision on this matter might actually come from the German Federal Court of Justice: The German supreme court might get to answer the thorny question whether or not the German Federal Constitutional Court had violated EU law by not referring the case to the CJEU. Such an unprecedented clash between federal courts would surely be a worthy coronation of a long saga.

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Syria and the Humanitarian Reprisal – President Trump’s Poisonous Gift to International Law?

Among the many unwanted gifts Donald Trump has given international law as of yet, this may very well prove to be the worst: the humanitarian reprisal. Forcible countermeasures, so-called reprisals, were standard practice in order to enforce violations of international obligations at least until World War I and continued to be used and accepted even in the inter-war period. Not infrequently, they led to wider military conflicts. Thus, under the post-1945 international legal order established by the UN Charter, reprisals do not constitute licit countermeasures and in fact are covered by the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

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The Charming Smile of Viktor Orbán

The political campaign leading up to the recent Hungarian general elections was deeply flawed. One of the constitutionally suspicious steps of the party in power (Fidesz) was to blur the lines between the official communication of the Government (as a constitutional organ) and the campaign messages of Fidesz (as a candidate party). Unfortunately, none of the state institutions involved in the adjudication of the case could adequately address the constitutional issue.

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The Strange (German) Case of Mr. Puigdemont’s European Arrest Warrant

The decision by the Oberlandesgericht of Schleswig in the Puigdemont case is a flawed ruling that seriously undermines the effectiveness of the European arrest warrant, and I would even say its future survival. It is also a manifest example of mistrust between courts of Member States, the type of conduct that destroys the foundations of mutual recognition and judicial cooperation.

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Albtraumwelt und Narrenfreiheit: Versuch über die Symbolpolitik

In der Debatte um ein Kopftuchverbot in Kindergärten wird das Ressentiment schöpferisch und ersinnt sich eine soziale Bedeutsamkeit, die sich bei näherem Hinsehen als die Albtraumwelt von Moralisten erweist. Sie ist eine Welt von Eindeutigkeit und einfacher Kausalität. Lässt sich dagegen ankommen?

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Judicial Independence as a Precondition for Mutual Trust

The Celmer case calls for us to reflect on the question what role judicial authorities can and should play in ensuring compliance with democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) in other EU Member States. In our view, judicial authorities ultimately have an independent responsibility to put a halt to surrenders, in case the wanted person’s fair trial rights are put in peril due to a general lack of judicial independence in the issuing state. At the same time, the political responsibility for balancing diverse EU constitutional principles needs to be borne by democratically elected institutions. Therefore, the court of the executing state should not only halt or suspend judicial cooperation in the event that persuasive pieces of evidence point to a violation of the values shared by the EU and the Member States in the issuing state, but it should also freeze the case awaiting a resolution of the matter from political actors.

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The Copenhagen Declaration: Are the Member States about to Pull the Teeth of the ECHR?

On Thursday, the member states of the European Convention of Human Rights will meet in Copenhagen to adopt a joint declaration on the future of the human rights system in Europe. The Draft of the Copenhagen Declaration, presented on 5 February 2018 and sponsored by the current Danish Presidency of the Council of Europe, has met with considerable alarm on the part of human rights activists and academics. It makes unclear, ambiguous or inaccurate statements that could represent a serious crisis of the system if not redefined in the adoption of the final Declaration.

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