China’s Military Drills Over Okinawa

Virginia Koeppl
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Article Editor

On December 26, 2015, China sent three armed vessels, one of them designed to carry four cannons, into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands in the southern part of the East China Sea.[1] This is the first time that the People’s Republic of China has sent armed vessels into waters claimed by Japan.[2] Continue reading

Legal Framework for Retaliation against North Korea’s Rocket Launch

Ashley Harshaw, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

Following North Korea’s long-range rocket launch on February 7, 2016, South Korea and the United States are urging for strong sanctions against the Kim Jong-un regime. But, it is unclear what kinds of sanctions will be effective in influencing North Korea’s behavior. The successful functioning of the rule of international law depends on the consent of states. Since North Korea seeks to remove itself from the limitations of international legal norms, what is the legal framework in which other countries may retaliate against North Korea? Continue reading

The E.U. – U.S. Privacy Shield

Corina McIntyre, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In October 2015, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) struck down the U.S.-E.U. transatlantic “Safe Harbor” pact used by thousands of companies to transfer European citizens’ data to the U.S. For 15 years the Safe Harbor pact had “allowed more than 4,000 companies to avoid cumbersome E.U. data transfer rules by stating that they complied with E.U. data protection law.”[1] The E.U. argued that the pact “exposed Europeans to mass surveillance by the U.S. government” and failed to provide necessary privacy guarantees.[2] The ECJ held that the pact violated Europeans’ privacy rights and that E.U. member states can consequently override the pact. Continue reading

Governors and the Global Market: A Michigan Example

Cole Lussier, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In American foreign affairs law, it is long established that the “external powers of the United States are to be exercised without regard to state laws or policies.”[i] Yet this does not mean that governors are required to ignore the effects of an increasingly connected global community and the opportunities it presents. Indeed, to varying degrees of success, savvy governors have attempted to tap into the international marketplace to establishing trade relationships and attract foreign investment to their states. Continue reading

Exercises in Futility: Can Military Exercises Constitute Provocation for an Attack in Anticipatory Self-Defense?

Cody Marden, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In November 1983 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted a ten day military exercise known as Able Archer 83. This exercise was arguably the closest the world has ever come to WWIII. The realistic nature of the exercises, combined with the deteriorating relations with the U.S., led many in the USSR to suspect that Able Archer could be a ruse that was actually obscuring preparations for a U.S. first strike.[1] In response to the exercises the USSR placed their nuclear arsenal on standby and placed air units in East Germany and Poland on alert.[2] Luckily, the situation defused itself with the end of the NATO exercise.[3] Continue reading

Common Reporting Standard (CRS): Development and Limitations

Sihang Zhang, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In recent years, the ease of establishing accounts at foreign financial institutions, combined with financial advisors who routinely establish foreign structures to hide income, create a unique risk of tax evasion for governmental authority, especially in a self-assessed tax system, where taxpayers may choose not to comply with their domestic tax reporting obligations. Indeed, the increasingly globalized and borderless world of finance makes it a lot more “tempting” for wealthy people to hide their money abroad. Against the backdrop of rising public anger about tax avoidance and evasion, the G20 finance ministers endorsed automatic exchange as the new tax transparency standard on April 19, 2013.[i] Two years later, on October 29, 2014, 51 jurisdictions (39 were represented at ministerial level), signed a multilateral competent authority agreement to automatically exchange information based on Article 6 of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.[ii] More than 65 jurisdictions publicly committed to implementation. Continue reading

Shifts in Policies of War on Drugs in the Americas

Ashley Harshaw, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

The Supreme Court of Mexico, in a 4 to 1 vote, has declared that four plaintiffs – members of a cannabis club – are allowed to grow, transport and use marijuana for recreational purposes. This marks the latest in a series of shifts in the Americas away from past stringent policies of the War on Drugs. Although the decision does not legalize marijuana across Mexico, basing the decision on human rights grounds provides a powerful precedent for a range of challenges to restrictive drug use laws. This precedent could set into motion significant changes in drug policy not only in Mexico, but also across the region more broadly.[1] Continue reading

To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? Issues of Jurisdiction and Comity in the U.S. Volkswagen Litigation

Emily Golding, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In September, news that over 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles worldwide had been equipped with software used to defeat emissions tests rocked the international community. In the days following the publication of the scandal, Volkswagen stock dropped nearly 30%.[1] The deception by the world’s top-selling car maker continues to affect not only its shareholders and its customers, but its reach extends to governments, international regulating bodies, and the international motor industry as a whole. Continue reading

The Safe Harbor Principles: What They Were and What Their Invalidation Means

Silvia Raithel, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In 1995, the European Parliament and Council passed the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) (the “Directive”).[1] The Directive requires that the transfer of personal data out of the European Economic Area to another country only take place if the other country ensures an adequate level of protection for the data.[2]  Adequate protection can be established by virtue of a country’s domestic law or international commitments.[3] Continue reading

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement Provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Not the Death Knell Critics Are Looking For

Michael Pucci, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

A little over a year before handing over the keys to the White House to his successor, President Obama finds himself in a peculiar position: he may have to rely primarily on Republican support for one of his last major legislative initiatives. After years of negotiations, the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), a trade agreement that is a “capstone [to Obama’s] economic agenda to expand exports and of his foreign policy ‘rebalance’ toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia.”[1] Now Congress will have its say on that matter. Earlier this summer, the Senate approved fast-track authority for the TPP, ensuring that Congress will have an up-or-down vote free from a Senate filibuster or any amendments.[2]  Continue reading