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Das Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) als Prüfstein für die Demokratie in Europa

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The ACTA was negotiated by the European Union, its member states and ten other states between 2008 and 2010. Controversial issues included the disclosure of the identity of internet users having infringed upon intellectuals property rights (IPRs), a ban on internet access in case of repeated infringements of IPRs as well as service provider liability. These issues, which touch upon every day life of numerous internet users, are highly sensitive from a human rights perspective. A fair balance must be struck between freedom of expression, privacy and the protection of IPRs. In a democracy governed by the rule of law, striking this balance is up to Parliament on the basis of a procedure which is open to public debate.

In fact, the ACTA was negotiated by governmental experts meeting in confidential negotiation rounds. National Parliaments such as the German Bundestag hardly gained any influence. The European Parliament (EP), by contrast, efficiently used its additional competences under the Treaty of Lisbon in order to impose more transparency and respect for users' rights. The case study shows that the EP is an important guarantor of human rights which has to be taken seriously in any debate on democratic legitimacy in Europe.

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Archiv des Völkerrechts (Archive of Public International Law - AVR) has been founded as a quarterly journal in 1948. With its scientific papers, reports and book reviews, the journal covers the full spectrum of developments in public international law. AVR is a forum for the German-language community of scholars engaged in public international law and aims at entering into a dialogue with its international peers. AVR's content reflects dogmatic and theoretical essentials of public international law as well as developments in international jurisprudence. Legal fields covered range from traditional core questions of public international law as law between states, the laws of armed conflict and the law of international organisations to human rights law, international environmental law, world trade law and international administrative law.

    In the recent past, the comprehensive analysis of particular and universal legal orders as well as the creation of a material international legal order based on principles have been in the spotlight besides contributions on today's conflicts with a public international law angle.

    AVR is published on a quarterly basis with contributions in German, English and French.

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