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Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

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Bystander Obligations at the Domestic and International Level Compared

Otto Spijkers



This article examines whether States have a legal obligation to assist victims of serious breaches of fundamental obligations owed to the international community as a whole. This so-called ‘bystander State responsibility’ is compared with a similar legal obligation to assist victims at the domestic level. First, the method of comparing the legal obligations of international bystander States with the legal obligations of domestic bystanders is examined. Is it appropriate to compare the two legal frameworks, and why (not)? What can we learn from such a comparison? After these preliminary remarks, the types of situation in which bystander intervention is – or ought to be – legally required are identified in general terms. This is followed by an exposé of the raisons d’être of bystander obligations. After having looked at reasons why bystanders ought to intervene in theory, the article analyzes justifications for not intervening in practice, both at the domestic and international level. Finally, the different stages of bystander intervention are compared. First, the bystander must be aware of the need to intervene, then the bystander must accept personal responsibility to do so, and then the bystander has to choose the appropriate type of assistance.



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