Günter Grass und das Völkerrecht (Günter Grass and Public International Law)

Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 3/2012

5 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2012

See all articles by Stefan A. G. Talmon

Stefan A. G. Talmon

University of Bonn, Institute of Public International Law

Date Written: April 24, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: International law, anticipatory self-defense, international responsibility, criminal responsibility, Iran nuclear programme, Israel, law and literature

Suggested Citation

Talmon, Stefan A. G., Günter Grass und das Völkerrecht (Günter Grass and Public International Law) (April 24, 2012). Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 3/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2045683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2045683

Stefan A. G. Talmon (Contact Author)

University of Bonn, Institute of Public International Law ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
D-53113 Bonn
Germany

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