International Law

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 […]

International Law

A Unified Patent for Europe: Decades in the Making

February 21, 2019 Eliza Farley 0

Since 2016 there have been negotiations within the European Union (EU) concerning a radical change of the patent system in Europe. At the moment, companies and citizens can apply for either national patents within a single country, or for a bundled patent that spans multiple countries. The establishment of this Unified Patent Court (UPC) would eliminate both of those options in favor of a unitary patent across all member nations. This idea is popular among European nations, as the European Patent Convention, which has overseen the passing of international patents since 1973, began passing unitary European patents for the past seven years. This originally started as a way for the EU to reduce translation and litigation costs, but member states favored the unified enforcement process for its simplicity and effectiveness. Despite this favor, the European Council and European Parliament have faced a number of challenges in actually implementing the Unitary […]

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 […]