International Law

International Law

Scotland’s Three Verdict System: a Look into “Not Proven”

December 6, 2018 Chloe Meyers 0

If you ever find yourself in a Scottish court, you may be surprised to find that each trial can end one of three ways, instead of the traditional two-verdict system found in most courts around the world. In Scottish courts, there are three verdicts that can be called at the end of a trial: guilty, not guilty, and not proven. While there is no official definition of “not proven,” it is used instead of not guilty in cases where the jury cannot find enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict or acquit. The verdict of “not proven” comes from a historical Scottish criminal law practice in which the jury decided if each factual issue was adequately “proven” or “not proven.” Based on the jury’s findings, the judge would then determine if the proven facts were sufficient evidence to convict the defendant guilty of the criminal charge. In the 1700s, […]

International Law

Pakistani Christian Woman Acquitted In Controversial Blasphemy Case

November 30, 2018 Richard Silverman 0

In November of 2010, Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by the Lahore High Court of Pakistan for violating Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). According to Merriam Webster, blasphemy is defined as the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.   Pakistani Law in Brief   Although Pakistani jurisprudence has been greatly influenced by Western colonialism and federal structure, the Islamic country’s judicial system holds true to many aspects of traditional Islamic law. Religious Islamic law, traditionally referred to as the Sharia, originated from a combination of sacred sources and serves today as a key component of many Islamic governments. The Quran, the sacred text of Islam, is worshipped by Muslims as a revelation from Allah to the final prophet, Muhammad, who in turn compiled these divine messages into the religious texts that are still worshipped today. Many […]

Uighur Man in Demonstration
International Law

Forced Internment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, China

November 27, 2018 Chloe Meyers 0

In Xinjiang, the north-west region of China, up to one million Uighurs are being detained in internment camps that have been legally recognized as legitimate re-education camps by the Chinese government. Uighurs are a predominantly Turkish speaking and Muslim minority in Xinjiang. Since the implementation of an anti-terrorist campaign in Xinjiang in 2014, the number of Uighurs arrested and detained has increased substantially and continues to grow. Although the existence of these internment camps was initially denied by the Chinese government, the government now recognizes and legitimize the camps as “vocational skills and educational training centers” through updated legislation. This new form of legal recognition and substantiation for the region of Xinjiang’s actions marks a shift in the Chinese government’s attitude towards the camps, suggesting a sense of ownership rather than shame. Yet, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls these camps “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population […]

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
International Law

UAE Anti-Terrorism Policy: A Step In The Right Direction

November 15, 2018 Eliza Farley 0

In efforts to comply with UN anti-terrorism policy and show a commitment to anti-terrorism, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) passed a law to curtail money laundering and terrorism financing on October 23. This piece of legislation comes after many decades of the UAE being scrutinized in the international sphere for aiding terrorists and having a lax militant financing policy, and serves as a fundamental pillar for countering terrorism in an area which has never seen such a law passed. The UAE expects this law to decrease militancy and paralyze international terrorism funding. UAE Terrorism History The United Arab Emirates has an unfortunate history of involvement with terrorism. Though there have been no official links to state sponsored terrorism, the nation has long been  used by investors to raise money in support of militants in the Middle East. Despite efforts by the UAE government to enforce a zero tolerance policy on […]

Renewable Energy
International Law

Germany’s Environmental Policy: A Deeper Look

November 1, 2018 Chloe Meyers 0

On May 11, 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would be phasing out all nuclear energy and shutting down all seventeen of Germany’s nuclear power stations by 2022. This monumental and groundbreaking decision put Germany in the spotlight and called attention to Germany’s overarching emphasis on environmental policies. Throughout history, Germany has proven to be one of the most environmentally friendly, if not the most environmentally friendly, countries in the world both through their policies and their citizens’ commitment to sustainability. Germany has several environmental laws that set them apart from the rest of the world and elevates their commitment to the environment. A few notable policies include the Renewable Energy Act, the Eco-tax, the Cogeneration Act, the Energy Conservation Act, the Energy Conservation Ordinance, and the Ecodesign Directive (ErP). The Renewable Energy Sources Act The Renewable Energy Sources Act is probably the most essential aspect of Germany’s […]

Noose
International Law

Malaysia to Abolish Death Penalty

October 30, 2018 Eliza Farley 0

Malaysia’s Chief Minister announced on October 3rd, that the nation will abolish the death penalty for all crimes, and will nullify all pending executions. This comes after a push from human rights activists and organizations, including but not limited to Amnesty International. Malaysia has been known for keeping their death row prisoners in the dark about their execution dates as well as the results of their appeals. The country is also notoriously strict about enforcing the death penalty, as it is a mandatory punishment for a wide range of crimes, including charges such as drug possession. In fact, there have been tourists in the country executed for such crimes, despite backlash from western nations. Such an instance occurred in 1986 when two Australian citizens, Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, were found with heroin on their person. The harsh Malaysian government had just newly prescribed death for anyone possessing over 15 grams, […]

The Aquarius in 2017
International Law

The African Refugee Crisis: Claiming Asylum in the European Union

October 26, 2018 Nora Benmamoun 0

This past summer, the Aquarius Migrant search and rescue ship run by Doctors Without Borders landed on Italy’s coast carrying 629 migrants. The migrants came from 26 countries in Africa, and includes 123 minors, 11 small children, and seven pregnant women. All of the migrants were rescued by the Aquarius from six boats that were overcrowded in the Mediterranean. Aquarius currently monitors the area between the coast of Libya and Italy, as many refugees coming from sub-Saharan Africa pass through Libya on their way to Italy. Italy’s far-right Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, refused the ship, saying “Rescuing lives is a duty, transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not. Italy has stopped bowing its head and obeying.” Italy directed Aquarius towards Malta, claiming that the ship was closer to their coast. Malta also refused the ship, deferring responsibility back to Italy. After being stranded at sea for a week, […]

International Law

Repercussions for Destruction of Cultural Property: Intensified for the Individual or the Aggregate?

October 25, 2018 Rachel Sereix 0

     Nearly twenty-five years after the founding of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, there remains a lack of analysis regarding the impact of severe war crimes on cultural property. The Yugoslav Wars precipitated the growth of numerous paramilitary groups that sought havoc and unrest amongst villages and towns that did not share their ethnic makeup or cultural affiliation. Do International Criminal Tribunal cases in which cultural property was destroyed result in relatively consistent outcomes; if not, is there greater penalization for individual violators or coalition violators in the former Yugoslavia? If an explanation can be provided for possible inconsistencies amongst sentence length between coalition and individual violators, the results can be applied to the United Nations enforcement of Article III of The Hague Convention deter future violators from committing crimes directed at cultural property, and provide insight as to whether inconsistencies in sentence length exist beyond the […]

International Law

The Khashoggi Case and Diplomatic Immunity

October 23, 2018 Jessica Edelson 0

Khashoggi Disappearance On October 2, Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and United States resident, arrived to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. With his fiancé Hatice Cengiz waiting outside, Khashoggi entered the consulate in order to obtain legal documentation authenticating his previous divorce, a requirement mandated by Turkish law in order to marry Cengiz. Three hours later, Cengiz asked consulate staff about the whereabouts of her fiancé, at which point she was told that he already departed through the back door. Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), has not been seen since. The mystery of what exactly happened in the Saudi consulate soon thereafter sparked international interest and outrage. General speculation was that Khashoggi had been murdered by the Saudis, likely from direct orders of MBS, in order to silence his criticism. Given that Khashoggi’s disappearance occurred within Turkish jurisdiction, […]

International Law

Puerto Rico’s Debt: The Crisis of a Modern Colony

October 21, 2018 Juan Jimenez 0

Summary: Puerto Rico currently faces the most alarming financial crisis in its modern history: a bankrupt state unable to pay the more than $75 billion it owes as national debt, accompanied by a downward economic spiral of migration, high unemployment, and a shrinking labor market. Puerto Rico’s unique relationship to the United States, its status as an ‘unincorporated territory’, has undermined the island’s sovereignty, especially in relation to its plans for economic restructuring. Under the tight control of US Congress, and particularly after the devastation caused by Hurricane María’s passing on Sept. 20, 2017, Puerto Rico’s chances of a quick and stable recovery certainly seem bleak.   Background On Sept. 20, 2017, media sources all around the world presented images and videos of Puerto Rico after Hurricane María, a category 5 storm which killed over 4,600 people, plowed through the island, and caused insurmountable devastation. As disastrous as it was, […]