Defeating White Jurisprudence: Towards a New Era of International Law

Lakshmi Gopal
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

Can white extremists be challenged, without a challenging to the role of white ideology in international law?[1] As white nationalism achieves international visibility, once more, this is a crucial question for all those interested in using international law to a craft a better world, one that transcends, at the very least, race, gender, and class. In the past few weeks, white extremists across the world felicitated the results of the American presidential election as a sign of global resurgence of white nationalism.[2] While white supremacist ties to the American president-elect have sent shockwaves throughout the world,[3] the result and the widespread global presence of these forces should not come as a shock, but rather, must be properly understood as the product of the dominance of white supremacist jurisprudence in international law.[4] This discussion presents an overview of the origins and development of white jurisprudence, a description of its relationship to international law, an overview of the intellectual forces that resist it, as well as some thoughts on the role of international law in breaking cycles of supremacy. Continue reading

Death Tourism: How to Regulate This Thriving Industry?

Jessica (Tae Yean) Kim
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

On June 17, 2016, the Senate of Canada passed Bill C-14, enacting a new federal law which legalized physician-assisted suicide (PSA) in Canada.[1] This new legislation makes Canada one of the few nations where doctors are lawfully permitted to help terminally ill people die.[2] An interesting aspect of the new law is that it excludes non-Canadians, preventing the prospect of suicide tourism from the U.S and elsewhere.[3] Suicide tourism which is often referred to as “death tourism” can be defined as the phenomenon of individuals traveling abroad in search of assisted dying.[4] The issue of “death tourism” has been so controversial that Swiss journalists coined the term “strebetourismus,” a German word for “death tourism” as Word of the Year for 2007.[5] Continue reading

Does the Dakota Access Pipeline Violate Treaty Law?

Lauren Kimmel
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

It’s hard to miss recent headlines about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which has stirred fresh controversy in a wide array of political, environmental and ethical circles. At the head of the opposition are a number of prominent Native American tribes in Iowa and the Dakotas – most notably, the Standing Rock Sioux.[1] The Standing Rock Sioux and their allies argue that construction of the pipeline will substantially compromise its own access to safe water, as well as the tribe’s historical rights to the territory.[2] The pipeline also raises a number of grave concerns about the environment, including “everything from farming and drinking water to entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources.”[3] Additionally, there remain questions of wrongful use of eminent domain[4] and risks of oil leakage.[5]

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What Lies Ahead: Global Financial Services in a Post-Brexit Market

Adam Church
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

As financial service firms consider what kind of future may lie ahead in a post-Brexit market, one word has taken on a prominent role in the ongoing discussion: passporting.[1] Under passporting, financial services firms authorized in one E.U. member state can offer cross-border services and open branches across other member states, without needing to obtain additional regulatory approvals from local authorities.[2] Moreover, this benefit is not limited to U.K. firms; rather, many foreign firms maintain operations in London so that they too may gain passport rights to access the E.U. market.[3] To say that the city of London has prospered under this regime would be a gross understatement, as access to the E.U.’s single market has led London to become not only the financial center of Europe,[4] but one of the largest financial centers world-wide.[5] Continue reading

Legal Incubation: Establishing the Rule of Law in Rebel-Held Syria

Nessma Bashi
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

As calls for democracy-building, freedom of expression, and the right to individual sovereignty were chanted by protesters throughout the Arab World in March of 2011, many Syrians were encouraged by the promise of popular power and headed to the streets to make their voices heard. What started as peaceful protests quickly culminated into a bloody civil war with no end in sight.

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Kenya to Close Dadaab Refugee Camp in Violation of International Law

Xun Yuan
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

In May 2016, the Kenyan government announced that it would start closing the world’s largest refugee camp – Dadaab camp. At the same time, the government determined, with the assistance of UNHCR, to speed up the expatriation process for Somali refugees who currently reside in the camp.[1]This puts Kenyan government in clear violation of international law. Continue reading

Refugee Status as an Alternative for Stateless Adoptees

Sam Han
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

Under international law, “statelessness” is the status given to an individual without citizenship under the operation of any country’s laws.[1] In the United States, an estimated 35,000 intercountry adoptees currently do not possess U.S. citizenship,[2] and by definition, are considered stateless persons. By no fault of their own, many of these adoptees are not given citizenship because of clerical errors or the oversight of their adoptive parents.[3] This has significant legal ramifications, especially in contexts where these adoptees face deportation.[4] Continue reading

We Must Do Better: The Migration Crisis and the Law of the Sea

Rachel Barr
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

On October 5, The New York Times published a heart-wrenching article entitled “Stepping Over the Dead on a Migrant Boat.”[1] The piece contained one photographer’s story and photos from his time spent on a recue boat in the Mediterranean. It told of the desperation and fear of the migrants, and the shock he felt witnessing the rescue of survivors from packed, unseaworthy boats.[2] Continue reading

JASTA: Impact on the Principle of Sovereign Immunity

Alejandra Salmeron Alfaro
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”) was passed by the Senate in May and the House in September of this year.[1] President Obama vetoed the Act on September 23rd.[2] In historic fashion, five days later Congress overrode Obama’s veto for the first time in his eight years as President.[3] The bill in question amends the federal judicial code to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity.[4] Sovereign immunity, as defined by Congress, is a foreign state’s immunity from the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.[5] In more specific terms, the bill waives sovereign immunity protections for Saudi Arabia and allows victims of the September 11 attacks and their relatives to sue the Saudi government for allegedly aiding the hijackers.[6]

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Addressing the Refugee Crisis: Will the “Fairness Mechanism” Make a Difference?

Rebecca Hughes
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

On May 4, 2016, the European Union (EU) announced a new plan to address the massive influx of migrants.[1] The plan, called the Common European Asylum System,[2] was proposed to address flaws in the Dublin Regulation, Europe’s current asylum mechanism,[3] and create a fairer, more efficient, and more sustainable system.[4] The current system requires refugees to claim asylum in the first EU member state in which they arrive.[5] Refugees who do not do this, and later try to claim asylum in a different member state are deported back to their country of first arrival.[6] This system places a heavy burden on entry states, most specifically Greece in the current crisis.[7]

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