International Law

International Law

“Like A War” : The Venezuelan Protests

October 23, 2017 Nora Hafez 0

Summary: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been accused of silencing all political dissent by jailing journalists and tampering with elections. Venezuelans have responded through widespread protests. Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party were elected in 2013, and ever since, his government has faced great criticism for oppressive practices.  The opposing party, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de la Unidad Democratica), was founded in 2008 as a coalition of several former parties, in the hopes of preventing the control of the Socialists. The MUD initially led the National Assembly and attempted to enter discussions with Maduro, but in March 2017, he ended the assembly, sparking national protests. While Venezuela technically allows citizens to protest, Maduro specifically banned protests the weekend of the elections. He prohibited all public meetings and demonstrations, gatherings and other similar acts that might “disturb the electoral process.”  Those who violated the ban could have been sentenced […]

International Law

Apple’s Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich

June 1, 2017 Hunter Snowden 1

What do companies like Google and Apple have in common? They both love a “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich.” As appetizing as that may sound, it is actually a form of legally-permitted tax avoidance. Through a combination of legal loopholes and financial border-hopping, Google and Apple have lowered their collective tax contribution by just under $20 billion in 2015 alone. Here’s how it works: Large companies like Google and Apple minimize their tax burdens by strategically funneling money into offshore tax havens through “shell companies” – corporate sub-entities used strictly as vehicles for transnational capital shifts. Take Apple, for example. “Apple Ireland,” a shell company owned by the U.S. tech giant, sells iPhones to another shell company, “Apple Netherlands,” which, in turn, sells the product to the customer. The Dutch franchise then collects revenue from the sale but pays as much as possible back to the Irish shell company […]

International Law

Is Egypt Violating Its Own Freedom of the Press Laws?

May 10, 2017 Nora Hafez 0

Egypt has imprisoned more than 60 journalists, several of whom have not yet been brought to trial. Do these imprisonments violate Egyptian or international law? Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has been in office since 2014 when a military coup overthrew then-President Mohamed Morsi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood party. During his time as president, Morsi oversaw the ratification of a new Egyptian constitution, which sparked widespread controversy and often-violent protests. When El-Sisi assumed office, he sought to amend the constitution to placate demonstrators. El-Sisi was not intimately involved in the amendment process; instead he delegated the constitutional reforms to interim President Adly Mansour and a committee of ten legal experts. Although the constitutional referendum passed with an astonishing 98% voting yes, turnout was notably low. Reports of voter suppression and intimidation tactics employed by the Egyptian government began to circulate shortly before the referendum, drawing attention from international organizations […]

International Law

Gender Equity in India: The “Religion Gap” in Divorce Law

April 21, 2017 Rachel Sereix 0

Indian family law is characterized by the granting of different rights to different religious groups. Although changes have been made to lessen the disparity in gender representation within the law for women, these changes have been primarily directed at Muslim rather than Hindu women. Group-specific family law disproportionately affords Hindu women with fewer rights and limits the policy progress that can be made. Laws concerning Muslim alimonies and divorces have been amended to allow women more rights and cultural accommodations. In 1986, the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Divorce Act secured the ability of divorced Muslim women to collect money from former husbands. The Act invalidated the Supreme Court ruling in Ahmed Khan v Shah Bano Begum, which held that only Muslim women who have not remarried can claim financial compensation. Under the Act, former husbands are required to pay divorced women enough to financially maintain her current lifestyle […]

International Law

A Pen Without a Sword: The International Criminal Court

April 6, 2017 William Tong 0

International criminal law is defined by lofty goals. The branch of law seeks to establish direct criminal responsibility for individuals across state lines by creating transnational mechanisms for adjudication and enforcement of international human rights treaties. The main body for this adjudicative process is the International Criminal Court, (ICC) established by the 1998 Rome Statute. Although the ICC is supposedly the court of last resort for individual criminal activities, it is plagued by problems. The first problem concerns a lack of stakeholders. Several major countries currently do not participate in the ICC. The United States and Russia, while signatories to the Rome Statute, have yet to ratify it. China and India are not signatories at all. Additionally, multiple African nations such as Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia have recently exited from the ICC. Several others, including Uganda and Kenya, seem likely to follow suit. This mass exodus from the stems largely from accusations that the ICC is biased against African nations. In an official statement, the Gambian government noted that “there are […]