On the occasion of Nelson Mandel’s 100th birtday, I am re-posting this, first published on the blog in 2013, following Mandela’s death:
Abdullah Ibrahim’s song ‘Mannenberg is Where It’s Happening‘, released in 1974, is often called South Africa’s “unofficial national anthem” and “the theme tune of the anti-apartheid movement”.
‘Mannenberg’ was an instant hit. However, “the idea that ‘Mannenberg’ the best-seller would someday metamorphose into ‘Mannenberg’ the struggle anthem would have surprised anyone who heard it in 1974. Its struggle credentials are by no means obvious. It is a song with few words, a lilting melody, and a gentle, hypnotic groove. There is, seemingly, nothing angry about it, nothing that would inspire people to stand up to the teargas, whips, and bullets of the apartheid state. And, yet, it did just that.”*
The video shows Abdullah Ibrahim, inter alia, in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island.
* Mason, John Edwin: Mannenberg: Notes on the Making of an Icon and Anthem, African Studies Quarterly, Volume 9 (2007) 25.
A little under a year ago, we reported that the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) had issued an injunction that stopped the Munich Public Prosecution Office (Staatsanwaltschaft München) to look into and use the documents it seized at the Munich offices of law firm Jones Day. A quick recap of the facts:
Jones Day has acted as counsel to Volkswagen in the diesel emissions matter since September 2015. It carried out an internal investigation, interviewing more than 700 Volkswagen staff, primarily in the context of criminal proceedings against Volkswagen in the United States. In March 2017, the Public Prosecution Office obtained a seizure order for the Jones Day offices in Munich and secured extensive documentation that stemmed from the internal investigation.
In July 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court ordered the Public Prosecution Office (Staatsanwaltschaft) München not to make use of the documents it seized and to have the documents put in custody with the Local Court (Amtsgericht) München, while the Federal Constitutional Court was considering the constitutional complaints (Verfassungsbeschwerden) filed by Volkswagen, Jones Day, and individual Jones Day lawyers. Today, shortly before the expiry of the second extension period, the court has dismissed all constitutional complaints.
In November 2013, the Gurlitt saga propelled the complex historical and legal issues around looted art into the spotlight. It created, perhaps for the first time, an awareness for the importance of provenance research within the wider public. However, with Cornelius Gurlitt entering into an agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Bavaria in April 2014 and his death shortly thereafter, on 6 May 2014, the matter has disappeared from the headlines. The opening of the exhibitions in Bonn and Berne in autumn last year brought the topic back at least to the art pages. Behind the scenes, the provenance research into the artwork in the good estate continues, but rarely gets publicity. Yesterday was an exception: Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that the Berne Museum of Fine Arts and the estate of Paul Cézanne had reached an agreement on Cézanne’s 1897 painting “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire”, arguably the commercially most valuable painting in the Gurlit collection. Continue reading
JAMS are organising an afternoon seminar on ADR in the context of emerging technologies, to be held in London on 12 July 2018 (click here for more details). I will be speaking on a panel that discusses emergency relief in arbitration with a focus on intellectual property. This will provide an opportunity to look at the ICC Emergency Arbitrator Provisions introduced in 2012, and at the new DIS Rules, that came into force in March 2018, and under which the arbitral tribunal now has the power to grant ex parte preliminary relief. Continue reading