Günter Grass und das Völkerrecht (Günter Grass and Public International Law)
Stefan A. G. Talmon
University of Bonn, Institute of Public International Law
April 24, 2012
Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 3/2012
On 4, April 2012, German Nobel Laureate for Literature, Günter Grass published his controversial poem "What must be said" which deals with a possible attack by Israel on Iran in order to stop that country's nuclear (weapons) programme. Grass accuses Israel of endangering "the already fragile world peace" by claiming a "right to the first strike". Although, strictly speaking, Grass does not put forward a legal argument, he raises three interesting legal questions: First, the right of a State to anticipatory self-defense in cases where the threat in question is not imminent but still claimed to be real. For example, where a State tries to acquire nuclear weapons-making capability with allegedly hostile intent. Second, the international responsibility of a State (Germany) and the criminal responsibility of its officials for aiding and abetting another State (Israel) that might engage in premature acts of self-defense; and, third, the different treatment accorded by the international community to the nuclear (weapons) programmes of Israel and Iran.
Note: Downloadable document is in German.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: International law, anticipatory self-defense, international responsibility, criminal responsibility, Iran nuclear programme, Israel, law and literatureworking papers series
Date posted: April 24, 2012
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