…, inter alia, …

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Recently, I had the pleasure to rework an old case (ca. 2003) of the European Court of Justice and turn it into a case brief. You don’t need to know all that much about the case (which can be found here, if someone deliberately would like to subject themselves to the torture of European bureaucracy), but the bottom line of the story is that a Moroccan man tried to immigrate into the UK several times and was deported repeatedly, despite being married to a British citizen.

There’s much more to the case, but I’ll reduce it to the essential question here. The Moroccan gentleman is not allowed to stay, because he broke laws, therefore the usual “Marry a different citizen and get residence permit” doesn’t work. However, this conflicts European Convention of Human Rights, as Article 8 guarantees the right to family life. Basically, what it comes down to is the question wether Human Rights are more important than national (and in this case also transnational) law. Should he be allowed to stay despite having broken law and the European Court of Justice holding that the usual laws don’t apply to him?

As a Human Rights activist, my stance on this is rather clear. Personally, I believe Human Rights are worthy of protection and need to be applicable and not only theoretical. The modern occidental world is still full of crimes against humanity, which is sad given how “civilized” we see ourselves. Wether it would be the death penalty or black sites like Guantanamo in the US, the so called “Sicherheitsverwahrung” (imprisoning detainees longer than their actual sentence for the sake of “public safety”) in Germany or the discrimination and deportation of Sinti & Roma in France, those are just few examples. Just recently, the access to clean water was denied the status of a Human Right.

So yes, I firmly believe Human Rights matter more than national law does (with certain exceptions). Article 8 specifically has limitations to rule out criminals from abusing their options, so just imagine yourself being a whole continent away from everything you love and not allowed to change that.

On a completely related note, the European Court of Justice was with me on that decision. (Mental) high five!

– C

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May 11: I want to know what love is.

We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”? 

 

When I read this question I immediately and ultimately started to regret the decision of blogging. Bull’s eye, baby! Love and I, we don’t get along too well. Without drawing any parallels to my current situation; love never wanted me, I never wanted love. I have always been a wanderer and wunderkind, I focus on everything but social interactions. Quite frankly, I have always sucked at literally every sort of inter-human relationship. “Why are you never calling?” goes hand in hand with “You just don’t care about me.”. Bingo! I don’t care about 99% of the world, so I guess statistically, that’d be a hit. For those I actually do care about, I care deeply, I just suck at it. For some reason, over the past few years this little core of hardcore friends has evolved who put up with me – cheers to you guys. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever remember to call.

Which essentially brings me to the answer of today’s question. Love is trust. Trusting in the fact that I will still get in the car so you can cry over your break up even though we haven’t spoken for three months. Trusting in the fact that whatever you are holding in your arms does not suddenly submerge its teeth beneath your skin until the blood flows (which is completely unrelated to my friends and rather the animals [and possibly children]) mentioned in the question above, I promise). Trusting someone with your emotions, making yourself vulnerable and hoping to god you trusted the right person. Trusting in a place to be your shelter, your heart, your home; the minute the door falls shut and you are safe; the door that opens and makes you feel invincible. The feeling of driving through the night with your windows down and the (much too cold) wind in your face, arm out the window, M83 in your ear. “This city is my church“. Trust is the smile on your face when you remember drunken mistakes and mishaps, the secrets that are safe and the silent consent between to people to never, ever stop trusting each other. You can’t love without trusting. And I firmly believe you can’t trust without loving, one way or another. One can love in a million different ways, but can only trust in one.

Stage direction: Less Drama, C!

Alright, alright. All in all, I can say about myself that I have always loved the right people, things & places. I may have loved too little, but therefore I was always safe & sound. I do have many regrets (because that no regrets thing is bullshit) and I would definitely change the way I interacted with certain individuals compared to what I did back then. No matter how much I may regret, it is an elementary part of what I am today; however, that does not mean I can’t wish to turn back time.

I hate to admit that this is deadly relevant.

“Cause I hope
We will never have to take back
What we said in the night
I hope that I will always have
All eyes on you”

– C