I was not aware of this Kurt Schumacher quote from his speech in the Reichstag in 1932: if we have to appreciate anything in national socialism, we have to appreciate that for the first time in German politics they achieved a full mobilization of human stupidity. /1
Kurt Schumacher was jailed in July 1933, put into a KZ - and after the war led the SPD.
And yes, I should add that this Europe day I both applaud his judgment and courage vis-a-vis the Nazis - and celebrate his political, democratic defeat by Adenauer on Germany‘s position in the world. As a democrat he would respect that.
A short thread for those who want to understand just why twitter (well, the trade part of it) is going crazy surrounding an "IP waiver" for covid vaccines (thread)
In an age long past intellectual property - let's limit ourselves to patents - were were not part of world trade law. The rules of international IP were negotiated in the World Intellectual Property Organization alone.
Now the IP treaties did not really harmonize IP law. They made it a bit simpler to get protection in several countries. And the world was - oversimplifying a LOT here - largely split: the Global North protected IP, the Global South did not to such an extent. Why?
I agree with several of the statements in this column. There are some mistakes, however. For example the second senate is not in charge of EU-related rulings in general. The famous right to be forgotten decisions were handed down down by the 1st senate.
And of course, there are loads of reasons that allow you to coherently agree with the decision on climate change but to disagree with the PSPP decision. In constitutional law terms they are quite diffferent.
To students: identifying your sources - and knowing what information is trustworthy - is vital in the Internet environment. Mistakes happen particularly if you write about foreign jurisdictions. And they can happen to the best of us. /1
Amongst the news items it carries: How PCR tests can work like asbestos or how covid vaccines destroy your immune system. So.... not the type of website that will reliable report about a judgment on covid stuff to say the least.
A short thread on why the comments about MEPs being yes-men (as they overwhelmingly voted for the TCA) are miles off the mark. Or kilometres (thread)
Approval of the TCA puts MPs and MEPs in a tough spot. Brexit means there’ll be barriers to trade. A no-deal Brexit implies more barriers. More jobs lost. More economic harm. What are the choices for the Parliamentarians?
Realistically on the large vote: kill the TCA or let it live. Be responsible for more economic harm or just the one we have now. That’s not really ... optimal? So why the delay in the first place?
UK TCA Treaty Scrutiny edition. One of the issues that has been worrying those of us working on the role of parliament for treaties is the role of parliament AFTER treaties are signed. Let me explain (thread)
Some time in the distant past we have discussed the role of parliaments in treaty-making. Each country has its procedures in this regard uktradeforum.net/2017/11/21/par…
The EP gets a consent vote for some agreements (Art. 218(6) TFEU). The German Parliament gets a vote on some of them under Art. 59 GG, the French under Art. 53 of the Constitution. The UK route is a bit different...
Some quotes from the dissent (courtesy of Sotomayor): "Even if the juvenile’s crime reflects “ ‘unfortunate yet transient immaturity,’ he can be sentenced to die in prison." (reference deleted)
And then, there's this: "Instead, the Court attempts to circumvent stare decisis principles by claiming that “[t]he Court’s decision today carefully follows both Miller and Montgomery.” The Court is fooling no one. Because I cannot countenance the Court’s abandonment of Miller
Very quick overview over the Karlsruhe ruling on the EU Recovery Fund: The court refused to grant a preliminary injunction - and this was solely on the preliminary injunction, the main proceeding is still to come (thread)
1) The Court considered that the request for a preliminary injunction is neither obviously inadmissible nor obviously without merits
There is, so the Court, at least a possibility that the decision infringes the budget rights of the Bundestag, the constitutional identity of the GG and the democratic self-determination of the ptitioners.
The story courtesy of points out that one specific technology related to mRNA vaccines has been patented by the US government (NIH). The government policy is to then engage in non-exclusive licensing.
This illustrates two rather common issues that people must bear in mind when discussing pharma patents: 1) the public perception “1 drug 1 patent” is more often than not untrue. Several patents can attach to one drug. A manufacturer must own/license all of them.
Yesterday’s news: German agency connects AZ to risk of blood-clotting. Unscientific! They put everyone at risk! Today’s news: How brilliant UK doctor linked blood-clotting to AZ, rightly wanting to raise awareness of a risk. /1 theguardian.com/society/2021/a…
Now the thing is this: the doctor is brilliant. The work is worthwhile. And the German work is mentioned as “The German group had quite a lot of experience with this particular condition.” It’s not the scientists that messed up here. It’s the journalists. Sorry folks. /2
But besides the sheer frustration of a storyline changing so quickly, I think there’s a lesson to draw here: a lesson of how quickly Brexit established a boundary in the mind. /3
What if - hear me out - what if each regulator is deciding against the backdrop of its own country. Almost as if the German regulator decides for Germany and the UK one for the UK? Let's look at this - surprising - hypothesis /1
The UK program relies on AZ to a large extent. It does have other vaccines, though. So - following our hypothesis - it will be cautious replacing AZ, it will do so to a more limited extent.
Germany does not get that much AZ, because AZ delivers 1/3 of the originally scheduled deliveries. For a doze of AZ it has 3 of Pfizer. Accordingly it can "limit" the AZ recommendation more - because that still means that 100% of the AZ delivered will be used.
Complex research in the western world is - more often than not - a collaborative effort also when it comes to financing. To pretend this is not the case puts research at risk. Here are the funders of the Jenner Institute, the Oxford vaccine innovaters.
Not every funder is involved in every project. CEPI, though, was a major funder of Oxford/AZ Covid work.
Of course, the chart would be read in the context of the AZ wars. Its importance in this regard is somewhat limited, though. /2
You can still have a debate on how to read the various contracts etc. The one line that is problematic is that any one country deserve a first shot at the vaccine because it invested more. The truth is: collaboration.
Always astonished by human capacity for mental exaggeration. Just take a look at the journey of public opinion on the UK. Starting point "a very competent country". (thread)
During the Brexit campaign, politics became disconnected from the civil service and some... let's say extraordinary things were said and done. At first people thought there must be a secret plan - precisely because of the amount of respect for competency.
But there was no secret plan. Suddenly people started to think "are we fundamentally incompetent? What is wrong with us?".
In those old days, it was a decision of each country whether to grant patents or not. Each country had to think "will this be a good choice for us? an incentive for research? Or actually counterproductive exclusivity?"
But in some developing countries this was perceived as unfair. In the US some thought "we pay higher prices for innovation. You just get it for free". Pharma patents were central to the debate.
There’s a lot of muddled thinking on what the problem with export bans is. So... in the form of a Q&A, a quick overview (thread)
1) Is it the rule of law?
Two components to this, arguably. Is there a problem because it interferes with private contracts? Not really. Most regulatory power does. Take Brexit: it interferes with thousands of contracts. Or the UK ban on parallel exports of some medicines. What about international law?
A note on timing of contracts: The first sentence here is wrong. So those who tweeted at me that the EU signed first so it wins or that the UK signed first so it wins (yup, got both of those): both wrong. Interested why?
Suppose A signs a contract with B. Two days later it signed a contract with C. Both contracts are for delivering 100 widges. Result? A has to deliver 100 widges to B AND to C. It is obliged to deliver both according to the terms of the agreement.
Problems only arise if A cannot deliver on both contracts. What then? Well, A still owes the 100 widges to both parties. If there’s no term in the contract giving preference to one or the other or modifying the obligation - A will have to break at least one contract.
Curious fact of contract law: I can sell the same Picasso painting to 15 people. I am contractually obligated to deliver the Picasso to all of them. Each one has the same claim, unless that specific contract stipulates otherwise.
Also true if I don't have a Picasso painting.
And just for @SpinningHugo : if I conclude 15 identical contracts for producing 100 widgets, but actually only can produce 100 on times, the same problem arises: all 15 have a claim against me. Priority is only valid if in the contract.
Now I don’t know what was in these contracts. Let y’all battle it out. But it’s not won on the grand principles of contract law. It’s won on the specifics of the contract.