International Law

International Law

Be Careful With What You Say About The President: The Philippines’ New Terror Bill

October 19, 2020 Vanessa Real Williams 0

What is the Anti-Terrorism Act?  In early 2020, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was introduced in the Philippines as a replacement to the 2007 Human Security Act. The Act includes a broad definition of terrorism, including acts “to provoke or influence by intimidation the government or any of its international organization… or seriously undermine public safety…” It also includes dissent under the conditions that “it creates a serious risk to public safety.” Aside from the broadened definition of terrorism, human rights groups foresee issues due to the Act creating an Anti-Terrorism Council made up of members selected by the president who can call in specific people for questioning at their discretion.   Furthermore, the 2007 Act required authorities to take suspected terrorists to a judicial official within 3 days of their apprehension but, this new law gives authorities the ability to hold suspected terrorists for up to 24 days before obtaining […]

International Law

New Greek Asylum Laws Attempt To Push Asylum Seekers Away

December 2, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

The Current State of Greek Asylum Seekers There are currently more than 96,600 refugees and migrants in Greece. More than 35,000 of these migrants are asylum seekers living on five islands in squalid conditions. As of October 31, 2019 alone, more asylum seekers have arrived in Greece than the total number of asylum seekers that arrived in 2018. Despite the influx of asylum seekers in 2019, Greece is still receiving less compared to 2015 and 2016. On two Aegean Islands holding asylum seekers, families have created shelters on steep hillsides in a struggle to survive. Furthermore, the government cut public healthcare funding for new asylum seekers in July, forcing people to seek help from NGOs or privately fund their own healthcare, which is a big issue for people with chronic illnesses and children needing immunizations to enroll in school. Tensions are rising between migrants and Greek citizens. Asylum seekers on […]

International Law

Climate Change And Its Labyrinth Of Laws

November 27, 2019 Claire Oh 0

The 23rd of September marked an important day for climate protectors worldwide. Sixteen child petitioners — including Greta Thunberg and Alexandria Villasenor — from all around the world presented a legal complaint to the United Nations, arguing that their human rights were being violated by nations that were failing to give legislative attention to the pressing threat of climate change. Their petition shed light on an important aspect of climate change that lawmakers and politicians have been reluctant to address; climate change may not destroy their homes, but it most definitely will destroy their childrens’. The petition  argued that 5 countries, namely Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey, have been “recklessly causing and perpetuating life-threatening climate change [and] have failed to take necessary preventive and precautionary measures to respect, protect, and fulfill the petitioners’ rights.” The complaint, filed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, is […]

International Law

Facebook’s Use Of International Law To Moderate Content

November 22, 2019 Jonathan Schachter 0

While speaking at Georgetown University on Oct. 17., CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook will not be implementing any further restrictions on bad speech on their servers. This comes to the dismay of many who hope that the flux of falsified information on Facebook will come to a curb following repeated calls for better policing of fake news on the platform.  An Attempt To “Preserve Free Speech” Zuckerberg defended his stance on the issue by saying that “You can’t impose tolerance top-down.” Zuckerberg referenced the growth of less liberal Chinese technology platforms as a warning that it is up to Facebook to preserve online free speech as different social media companies compete for global users. He used America as a standard for free speech and free speech policy enactment in comparison to the global scene where the platform reaches.  Legal Compliance Because it is a publicly traded company, Facebook has […]

International Law

A New Online Iron Curtain: Russian Internet Surveillance Law

November 19, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

Russia’s “Sovereign Internet” Law On Nov. 1, 2019, the Russian government finally enacted its new internet internet surveillance law that it adopted in April of this year. The Russian government refers to the law as the “Sovereign Internet Law,” a move to take control over Russia’s free internet. The Kremlin, Russia’s executive branch, framed the need for the law in light of potential external cyberattacks, the need for protection against foreign enemies such as the United States, and potential “emergencies” where the state deems censorship a necessary act.   The new system of governance over the internet allows the Russian government to track all free-flowing information and selectively block information that it deems to be a “threat”. Furthermore, the new law enables the government to reroute Russian users, without the knowledge of the users as to what they are being rerouted from or why. The enactment of the law required the […]

International Law

The Far Reaching Implications of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court Reversal

November 11, 2019 Amanda Turner 0

Rise to the Presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is the former president of Brazil, whose term ran from 2003 until 2011. President Lula was born in Pernambuco, Brazil on October 27, 1945. He rose to acclaim in 1975, when the Metalworkers’ Union elected him to be president after he had led the legal section of the union. When elected, he spearheaded the movement in Brazil to increase wages for workers. During this movement, President Lula was arrested by the police for breaching Brazil’s National Security Law. This law, created in 1969 during the Brazilian government’s aversion to political opposition, allowed the government the ability to give their own definition to crimes against national security and allowed them to hold people in detention for up to twenty days without a charge.  After the Military Supreme Court released him from jail, President Lula established the […]

International Law

International Law Convention Evaluates Legal Definition Of Gender

November 6, 2019 Claire Oh 0

The legal definition of gender as ‘the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society,’ might change once and for all. The International Law Commission has recently asked the General Assembly to discard the current definition in international law as part of a new treaty on the prosecution of crimes against humanity; as the primary international body that develops and codifies international law, such a request from the ILC carries both significance and symbolic meaning. Indeed, such a change faces much controversy. The Commission had previously announced that it would not change any of the definitions from the Roman Statute in the new treaty (one of which being the current definition of gender). Moreover, the majority of countries do not seem to share the view. As of 2019, only seven countries have allowed the legal change of gender on the basis of self-identification alone; many others require psychiatric […]

International Law

Syrian Officials Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

November 4, 2019 Jonathan Schachter 0

German prosecutors are launching the first worldwide criminal trial over the crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime governed by President Bashar al-Assad.  Earlier this month, charges were filed by the German Federal Public Prosecutor against two former officials of Assad’s Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID). The case, which is set to take place in early 2020, is a monumental point in the process of taking action against the terror-invoking administration of Syria.  Since 2011, Syrian conflict groups have been at war with one another, targeting different people, most of whom happen to be civilians. In an attempt to take control of the nation, acts of terror, executions, and civilian disappearances have become common occurrences in the corrupt and war-torn land, all of which worry activists and international bodies. Who Are These Mystery Defendants? The two defendants, Anwar R. and Eyad A., have had their last names withheld by […]

International Law

How The United Nations Is Working To Reduce Hate Speech With Law

October 31, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

Hate Speech Hate speech is a pervasive social phenomenon that threatens the human rights of its recipients. It occurs at all levels of society, not discriminating between democratic and authoritarian regimes. Many who spout hate speech may discount the power of their words, however, the violent history of the consequences of hate speech tell a different story. The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, cited the connection between hate speech and acts of mass violence such as the Rwandan, Bosnian, and Combodian genocides, as well as more recent acts of mass violence in the United States, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The increasing occurrences of violent acts provide more than enough evidence for the need for legal action to inhibit the use of hate speech in the public sphere.  Why are we talking about it now? Currently, international law prohibits the “incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence,” requiring that hate speech […]

International Law

Islamic Influence on Moroccan Abortion Law

October 29, 2019 Amanda Turner 0

Moroccan Law & Its Islamic Influence Moroccan law is greatly influenced by Islamic jurisprudence. There are four main schools of Islamic law: Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi, and Hanbali. Traditionally, the Maliki school of law has more heavily impacted Moroccan law. This school of law is credited to Malik ibn Anas, a Sunni Islamic jurist in the 8th century. The Hadith greatly influenced this school of law. The Hadith is the second most respected source of Sharia law in Islam.   Maliki School of Law’s View on Abortion  The Maliki School of Law differs from the other main three in many notable ways. One of these is its view on abortion. The Maliki beliefs in regards to abortion are the most severe of the four main schools of law because they forbid abortion, regardless of any circumstances such as rape or incest. Because of the Maliki School of Law’s prevalence in Morocco’s […]