International Law

International Law

A New “Gold Standard”: The European Union Proposes Significant Regulations on Artificial Intelligence

April 24, 2021 Jacob Rosenzweig 0

Artificial intelligence (AI) conjures a range of images from the astonishing to the abominable. AI refers to a variety of technologies that are capable of analyzing large sets of data and using what they learn to inform decisions. Although machine learning technology has proved useful in the field of medicine to discover and develop new treatments—thereby saving lives—it is also apparent that AI is rife with dangers. AI has the potential to threaten citizens’ fundamental rights, with applications such as facial recognition in public spaces.  Aiming to channel the massive potential of AI to do good for society and limit its application where dangerous, on April 21 the European Union (EU) unveiled an array of proposed regulations to make Europe the “gold standard” for AI innovation and consumer protection. While the EU is eager to foster technological innovation and compete with global tech leaders China and the U.S., its sweeping […]

International Law

Italy and the Continental Double Standard: Breach of EU Asylum Policy

April 23, 2021 Shreya Joshi 0

At first glance, Italy seems to view its governments the way that teenage girls view outfits on their Instagram feed: they must be changed every post, and are never to be repeated. No other explanation is immediately apparent, considering that Italy has had over 75 governments in the past 75 years. Essentially, Italy cycles through Prime Ministers and cabinets basically every year. In February, they were able to settle on a new Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, who is dragging Italy out from the EU South. Draghi’s administration is a supposed light for Italy. Ending years of political turmoil, he has framed himself as something of an Italian Macron or Merkel, bridging the left-right divide and offering expertise as the former president of the European Central Bank. Draghi has won support from the populist Five Star Movement (party of Giuseppe Conte, former Prime Minister), as well as the right-wing League (party […]

International Law

Honesty is the Best Policy: Greenwashing in Europe

April 21, 2021 Erin Yu 0

“100% organic,” “environmentally conscious,” and “eco-friendly” are some common labels stuck onto a wide range of products today, but just how accurate are these claims? A 2021 study by the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network examined 500 company websites and reported that 40% presented misleading claims about product sustainability. In recent years, many companies have made false claims about the supposed environmental benefits of their products as a means of attracting consumer interest and increasing sales, a tactic also known as “greenwashing.” While greenwashing has been a marketing staple for years, consumers have begun calling out large companies for their deceptive marketing strategies. Volkswagen found itself at the center of a recent greenwashing scandal when it promoted its use of “clean diesel” but was later exposed for using a special device in its cars to cheat emission tests.  This month, the European Union passed new legislation called the Sustainable Finance […]

International Law

The Fire Waiting for a Match: Ethiopia’s Civil War

April 7, 2021 Shreya Joshi 0

Most nations in Africa are multi-ethnic today because the state boundaries were arbitrarily drawn up in the Berlin Conference of 1884. Ethnicities refer to tribal identity, language, cultural history and other factors that unite a peoples. Ethiopia is different for a couple reasons. For one, it has drawn its own borders, yet is still a multi-ethnic nation. Apart from five years of occupation by Mussolini, the country boasts never having been colonized, which makes their multiethnic nature even more interesting. Today, the country is made of eighty different ethnic groups, home to the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church since the 4th century and a tumultuous democracy. Tensions have always been high between these groups. Ethiopia  was originally composed of the Amhara, Tigray, and Oromo groups. The original monarchy of Ethiopia acted almost as an empire, subjugating multiple ethnic groups under the narrative of being Christian and speaking Amhara. This began the […]

International Law

New Zealand Approves Miscarriage Paid Leave

April 5, 2021 Hyonjun Yun 0

On March 25th, New Zealand’s Parliament unanimously approved a bill that provides three days of paid leave for women and their partners who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. A miscarriage is defined as the death of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy, and a stillbirth is the death after the 20th week of pregnancy. The legislation does not apply to pregnancies ended by abortion. The Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Bill was introduced by member of Parliament Ginny Andersen in 2019.  Andersen, Labour MP, said, “The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave.” The three days of paid leave will be separate from sick leave as Andersen explains, “Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.”  This law is bound to have a large, positive impact. Facing […]

International Law

UK’s New Crime and Policing Bill: Reforming Protest Amid Fear, Frustration and Mourning

March 27, 2021 Cameron Page 0

Introduction: Just days after Sarah Everard’s body was discovered in the South East county of Kent, and as peaceful demonstrators in mourning endured disturbing heavy-handedness by the London Metropolitan Police, a new crime and policing bill – which threatens to “seriously curb the ability of citizens to protest” – overcame a key hurdle in the UK House of Commons. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 is an accumulation of proposed legislation which aims to reform the criminal justice system, crush the UK’s record of public dissidence, and support offender rehabilitation, among other things. Critically, though, proposed amendments to both the Public Order Act 1986 and the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 would limit citizens’ rights to protest and grant police officers greater power to intervene by force. As Everard’s death at the hands of a London Metropolitan Police officer has heated discourse about the dangers, abuse […]

International Law

The Never-Happening Change: Why Israel is having its Fourth Election

March 24, 2021 Shreya Joshi 0

Elections are often a tumultuous time in any country. An election that seems to never end, however, drums up a lot of unrest. Throw in a pandemic in the middle, and suddenly, Israel’s political crisis is more dire than ever. Israel’s political system is Parliamentary, which encourages a multi-party system. Any party that receives at least 3.25% of the vote is allotted seats in the Knesset, or the Parliament proportionately, totalling 120 seats. As in other countries with Parliamentary systems, it is difficult for one party to gain a majority; instead, government participants shoot for pluralities and form coalitions. Unfortunately, creating stable coalitions is not the easiest thing to do. One lawmaker, generally the head of the party with a plurality, is given four weeks to form a coalition by Israel’s president, who is currently Reuven Rivlin. If the first lawmaker fails, the President nominates a second. Parliament itself can […]

International Law

The European Commission Initiates Legal Proceedings Against the U.K. Over Its Trade Policy in Ireland

March 22, 2021 Jacob Rosenzweig 0

The European Union and the United Kingdom have engaged in seemingly interminable legal negotiations since 2016, when U.K. voters approved a motion to depart from the confederation in a “Brexit” referendum. Almost five years and three Prime Ministers later, the U.K. has yet to work out some of the details. Recently, the island of Ireland has become a cauldron of resentment between the two parties. Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., shares a long and unfortified border with the Republic of Ireland, an arrangement that both countries desire to maintain. Ensuring that a physical barrier would not separate the two countries required a provision of the Brexit agreement called the Northern Ireland Protocol. This Brexit fixture has been controversial among Unionist parties within Northern Ireland and its implementation would have dire consequences for trade between N.I. and the rest of the U.K. When Prime Minister Boris Johnson unilaterally […]

International Law

Japanese Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

March 21, 2021 Hyonjun Yun 0

On March 17, Sapporo District Court in Hokkaido, Japan ruled that the country’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The ruling was in favor of a lawsuit filed by six people (two male couples and one female couple) in 2019. The plaintiffs sued for 1 million yen ($9,168.42) for the pain of not being able to legally marry. While the court ruled that the marriage ban is unconstitutional, it rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for compensation.  Judge Tomoko Takebe cited that the ban violated Article 14 of the Constitution that states “there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.” Judge Takebe pointed the government’s failure to provide the benefits of married, heterosexual couples as discriminatory by stating, “Sexual orientation cannot be changed or selected by a person’s will. It is discriminatory treatment… that they cannot receive even some of […]

International Law

Hate Thy Neighbor: How Ethiopia’s Federal Government Is Committing Potential War Crimes Against Its People

March 7, 2021 Jacob Rosenzweig 0

Little was initially known on November 4, when Ethiopian federal forces invaded their own region, as the events were transpiring. The country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shut off internet access to the people of Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia along the border of Eritrea, and cut off their communication with the outside world as his troops engaged in conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (T.P.L.F), the region’s ruling faction. The intelligence that has come to light three months after the conflict began provides damning details about the suffering endured both by the residents of Tigray and by the swathes of Eritrean refugees present in the region. Horrifying as may be Ethiopia’s incursion against the people of Tigray, especially shocking is that the nation’s leaders invited Eritrean military forces to join them in the oppression of its own citizens. The seeds for Ethiopia’s invasion of the Tigray region were […]