Black Lives and German Exceptionalism

Racism is not limited to anti-blackness nor restricted to the context of policing; however, I use policing and blackness as touchstones for this commentary precisely because this constellation of race and law is consistently thought to present a problem exceptional to the United States. It is not. This article examines the case of police brutality. The nature of policing, not only in the United States but in many places in the world, and certainly in Europe, is such that holding police to account for the deaths of innocent people is not only statistically improbable, but it is designed to be legally impractical.

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One day (Vandaag) …

Yes I do … have a migration background. Yet, due to mere genetic randomness, my “Germanness” has hardly ever been challenged – at least until the moment when it comes to the correct spelling of my family name: “KHan” not “KaHn” – Dschinghis, not Oliver – please! Occasionally, I still get carried away with coquetting in my lectures: “I would be inclined to say – I am a case of successful integration.” Some students may then be slightly embarrassed, in particular after a controversial discussion about immigration policy. But that’s it basically, my personal home story about “racism”! But to be very clear and unambiguous: my father’s story is a much longer and a much more painful one! But that’s another story.

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“Race” and the Constitution: A South African perspective

For a South African constitutional lawyer, watching from afar, the current debate in Germany on the removal of the word “race” from section 3 of article 3 of the German Basic Law, is perplexing. In the South African context, a similar call would widely be viewed as a regressive step aimed at protecting white privilege and reinforcing the social and economic dominance of the white minority. The South African and German contexts and histories differ, and the word “race” might have different connotations in German than it has in English, but it may nevertheless be of interest to consider why the words “race”, “racial” and “non-racialism” are mentioned in several provisions of the South African Constitution.

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The Origins of Racism and the new Basic Law: Jewish Nation-State

The opponents of Israel’s Nation-State Law can be roughly divided into two camps. The first camp views the law and especially its Article 1 as racist while the second camp cosiders it as conflicting with basic democratic values because it does not include the right of equality. This group also views Article 1 as simply declarative, as from the moment of its establishment the State of Israel has defined itself as a Jewish state. How does Israeli law perceive racism? And how tenable is the proposition of the Law being merely declaratory?

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The Hierarchy of Hate: Mixed Signals in the Combat against Hate Speech

There is a number of varying thresholds to free speech regulation set out by relevant legal tools which can do nothing but confuse countries. Moreover, anti-hate speech legislation developed on an international and European level is marred by what I refer to as the hierarchy of hate, namely the arbitrary focus on particular types of hate speech, such as racist speech, and the simultaneous disregard for other genres such as homophobic speech.

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Anti-Roma-Märsche in Ungarn: Staat muss Anzeichen auf Hasskriminalität nachgehen

Die Neonazi-Aufmärsche von Gyöngyöspata 2011 haben Ungarn eine Verurteilung vor dem EGMR in Straßburg eingebracht – und den Staaten Europas die klare Ansage, Hasskriminalität als HASSkriminalität zu verfolgen und die Augen vor rassistischen Motiven von Straftaten nicht zu verschließen.

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Rule of law in Greece buckles under institutionalised ill-treatment by law enforcement agents

Rampant police violence, institutionalized racism and a “culture of impunity”: The Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee’s latest report on Greece reveals once again a shocking lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law in the Greek law enforcement system.

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