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Unmuddying The Waters: Evaluating The Legal Basis Of The Human Right To Water Under Treaty Law, Customary International Law, And The General Principles Of Law, Ndjodi Ndeunyema Aug 2020

Unmuddying The Waters: Evaluating The Legal Basis Of The Human Right To Water Under Treaty Law, Customary International Law, And The General Principles Of Law, Ndjodi Ndeunyema

Michigan Journal of International Law

This article evaluates the existence of a freestanding, general human right to water under each of the three principal sources of international law: treaty, customary international law, and the general principles of law. To date, the right to water has been derived from treaty law, most prominently as part of the right to an adequate standard of living in article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (as implied by General Comment 15 to the ICESCR). The potential importance of a non-treaty based right to water––as a matter of customary international law or a general ...


Increasing Case Traffic: Expanding The International Criminal Court's Focus On Human Trafficking Cases, Nadia Alhadi Aug 2020

Increasing Case Traffic: Expanding The International Criminal Court's Focus On Human Trafficking Cases, Nadia Alhadi

Michigan Journal of International Law

Human trafficking falls within the jurisdictional competence of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) as one of the article 7 crimes against humanity, whether committed in an atmosphere of conflict or in times of relative peace. Despite the ICC’s jurisdiction, as well as the globally pervasive nature of peacetime trafficking in particular, the ICC has not yet heard a human trafficking case.

Accountability at the international level, however, is crucial, and the ICC’s oversight has the potential to fill gaps in the current anti-trafficking regime. This note explores this potential, and then examines whether the text of the Rome ...


Protection Of Vulnerable Communities: A Case Of Coal-Ash Disaster In Puerto Rico, Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak Aug 2020

Protection Of Vulnerable Communities: A Case Of Coal-Ash Disaster In Puerto Rico, Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The connection between the environment and human rights is not a surprising one. The enjoyment of human rights depends on a person’s ability to live free from interference and to have his or her rights protected. The interdependence of human rights and the protection of the environment is manifested in the full and effective enjoyment of the right to a healthy environment. This article argues that in order to protect vulnerable persons and communities facing environmental harm, a human rights framework—specifically the right to a healthy environment—must be applied. A human rights approach complements environmental justice work ...


Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff May 2020

Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as any person who has a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” An emerging issue in U.S. asylum law is how to define the category “membership of a particular social group.” This question has become ever-more pressing in light of the fact that the majority of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border are claiming persecution on account of their “membership in a particular social group.” The INA does not define the meaning of “particular ...


Reinvigorating The Human Right To Technology, Haochen Sun Jan 2020

Reinvigorating The Human Right To Technology, Haochen Sun

Michigan Journal of International Law

The right to technology is a forgotten human right. Dating back to 1948, the right was established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) in response to the massive destruction wrought by technologically advanced weapons in the Second World War. This human right embodies one of the most profound lessons the framers of the UDHR learned from this war: Technology must benefit humanity rather than harm it.

It has been more than seventy years since the adoption of the UDHR, and technology has advanced at a rapid pace and become more important than ever in our daily lives. Yet ...


Assigning Protection: Can Refugee Rights And State Preferences Be Reconciled?, James C. Hathaway Mar 2019

Assigning Protection: Can Refugee Rights And State Preferences Be Reconciled?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

The theoretically global responsibility to protect refugees is today heavily skewed, with just ten countries – predominantly very poor – hosting more than half of the world’s refugee population. Refugee protection has moreover become tantamount to warehousing for most refugees, with roughly half of the world’s refugees stuck in “protracted refugee situations” for decades with their lives on hold. Both concerns – the unprincipled allocation of responsibility based on accidents of geography and the desperate need for greater attention to resettlement as a core protection response – cry out for a global, managed system to protect refugees.


Critiquing Matter Of A-B-: An Uncertain Future In Asylum Proceedings For Women Fleeing Intimate Partner Violence, Theresa A. Vogel Jan 2019

Critiquing Matter Of A-B-: An Uncertain Future In Asylum Proceedings For Women Fleeing Intimate Partner Violence, Theresa A. Vogel

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The #MeToo movement has brought renewed attention to the impact of gender inequality on our society’s ability to provide protection to women from physical and sexual violence, including intimate partner violence. Despite advances in legal protections and increased resources to prevent, prosecute, and bring an end to intimate partner violence, in the absence of true efforts to combat gender inequality as a whole, intimate partner violence will continue to pervade our society. The discussion of gender inequality’s impact on the treatment of intimate partner violence must expand beyond the violence that occurs in the United States to gender ...


International Civil Individual Responsibility And The Security Council: Building The Foundations Of A General Regime, Vincent-Joël Proulx Jan 2019

International Civil Individual Responsibility And The Security Council: Building The Foundations Of A General Regime, Vincent-Joël Proulx

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article focuses on a few tools at the disposal of the United Nations Security Council (“UNSC”) to enhance individual (read: civil) responsibility concerning nonstate terrorist actors with a view to opening other avenues of inquiry regarding other subversive nonstate actors (“NSAs”), for instance in the areas of transnational torts, human rights (“HR”) violations, and environmental damage caused by business entities. As discussed in Part V, recent developments surrounding the application of the Alien Tort Claims Act (“ATCA”) in the United States and the prospect of establishing a basis for universal civil jurisdiction further signal that no such solid basis ...


Access To Justice In The United Nations Human Rights Committee, Vera Shikhelman Oct 2018

Access To Justice In The United Nations Human Rights Committee, Vera Shikhelman

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article has two main purposes. The first is to describe and evaluate empirically the right of individuals to access the HRC under the OP in light of the special goals of this procedure as perceived by the different stakeholders. The second is to recommend ways to improve individuals’ access to the HRC and thereby to international justice in general. In order to address the first question, the Article uses a mixed-methods approach—a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.


From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel Oct 2018

From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Hunger-strikes present a challenge to state authority and abuse from powerless individuals with limited access to various forms of protest and speech—those in detention. For as long as hunger-strikes have occurred throughout history, governments have force-fed strikers out of a stated obligation to preserve life. Some of the earliest known hunger-strikers, British suffragettes, were force-fed and even died as a result of these invasive procedures during the second half of the 19th century.

This Article examines the rationale and necessity behind hunger strikes for imprisoned individuals, the prevailing issues behind force-feeding, the international public response to force-feeding, and the ...


Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel Jun 2018

Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I compares the nineteenth century cases of the Antelope and the Amistad to identify why they resulted in different outcomes despite having similar fact patterns. The Antelope concerned the fate of approximately 280 African captives discovered on a slave trade ship upon its interception by a U.S. revenue cutter. Since the slave trade in the United States was illegal at the time, the captives were transported to Savannah for trial through which their status—free or slave—would be determined. After a lengthy trial and appeals process in which Spain and Portugal laid claim to the captives, the ...


Justice In Syria: Individual Criminal Liability For Highest Officials In The Assad Regime, Seema Kassab May 2018

Justice In Syria: Individual Criminal Liability For Highest Officials In The Assad Regime, Seema Kassab

Michigan Journal of International Law

Seven years have passed since revolution broke out in Syria in March of 2011. During those six years, hundreds of thousands of Syrians lost their lives, millions of Syrians were internally displaced or left the country seeking refuge, and a beautiful and diverse country was hijacked and terrorized by civil war. Every day in Syria, people are detained, tortured, raped, and killed. Attacks on homes, hospitals, markets, and schools are common occurrences. At this stage of the conflict, there is little doubt that it is the most horrific and dire humanitarian crisis since World War II. The conflict began as ...


Why Guidance From The Supreme Court Is Required In Redefining The Particular Social Group Definition In Refugee Law, Liliya Paraketsova Jan 2018

Why Guidance From The Supreme Court Is Required In Redefining The Particular Social Group Definition In Refugee Law, Liliya Paraketsova

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

One of the most debated topics in refugee law has been the meaning of particular social group (PSG)—one of the five categories used to claim refugee status. In 2006, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) adopted a narrower PSG definition. Since that adoption, a circuit split has persisted over the meaning of PSG. Two circuits in particular have continually refused to adopt this definition—even when the BIA attempted to revise the definition in response to their criticism. This Note proposes a reform that would include a compromise between the two current definitions of PSG by rejecting the BIA ...


Special Feature: Eighth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law, James C. Hathaway Jan 2018

Special Feature: Eighth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law, James C. Hathaway

Michigan Journal of International Law

It is our hope that, as in the case of earlier Michigan Guidelines on the International Protection of Refugees, these unanimously agreed standards will inspire a thoughtful and principled debate among scholars, officials, and judicial and other refugee law decision-makers committed to the legally accurate and contextually sound application of international refugee law norms.


The Michigan Guidelines On Refugee Freedom Of Movement, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2018

The Michigan Guidelines On Refugee Freedom Of Movement, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Michigan Journal of International Law

Despite the clear legal foundation of refugee freedom of movement at international law, states are also committed to the deterrence of human smuggling and trafficking, to the maintenance of effective general border controls, to safeguarding the critical interests of receiving communities, and to effectuating safe and dignified repatriation when refugee status comes to an end. Legal obligations to respect refugee freedom of movement therefore co-exist with, and must be reconciled to, other important commitments.


Refugees And The Right To Freedom Of Movement: From Flight To Return, Marjoleine Zieck Jan 2018

Refugees And The Right To Freedom Of Movement: From Flight To Return, Marjoleine Zieck

Michigan Journal of International Law

This background study focuses on the right to freedom of movement of refugees. It reviews the law pertaining to this freedom from the perspective of the spatial journey of refugees. This focus on the law means that extralegal considerations will not be taken into consideration. The analysis will not proceed from any perceived need for limits that should be accepted as “a product of realism about the strains that migration, especially high-volume migration or sudden influxes, can bring to a society.”


The Aba Rule Of Law Initiative Celebrating 25 Years Of Global Initiatives, M. Margaret Mckeown Jan 2018

The Aba Rule Of Law Initiative Celebrating 25 Years Of Global Initiatives, M. Margaret Mckeown

Michigan Journal of International Law

Relying on extensive reports, program documentation, and interviews with important actors in the rule of law movement, this article will explore how one key player in the international-development field—the ABA—has furthered rule of law values through its global programs. The first half of the article surveys the ABA’s involvement in rule of law initiatives. Part I explores the origins of the ABA’s work in this field, which date back to the organization’s founding and took shape after the demise of the former Soviet Union. Part II surveys the expansion of the ABA’s programs beyond ...


The International Right To Health Care: A Legal And Moral Defense, Michael Da Silva Jan 2018

The International Right To Health Care: A Legal And Moral Defense, Michael Da Silva

Michigan Journal of International Law

In the following, I outline the case against the international right to health care and explain why recognition of such a right is still necessary. The argument is explicitly limited to international human rights law and is primarily descriptive in nature, but I go on to explain the moral reasons to accept this account. Both the positive law and moral reasoning could be used in other health rights debates, but I do not attempt to make such claims here.

The structure of my work is as follows. I first outline three problems with recognizing an international right to health care ...


How Does The Law Put A Historical Analogy To Work?: Defining The Imposition Of "A Condition Analogous To That Of A Slave" In Modern Brazil, Rebecca J. Scott, Leonardo Augusto De Andrade Barbosa, Carlos Henrique Borlido Haddad Dec 2017

How Does The Law Put A Historical Analogy To Work?: Defining The Imposition Of "A Condition Analogous To That Of A Slave" In Modern Brazil, Rebecca J. Scott, Leonardo Augusto De Andrade Barbosa, Carlos Henrique Borlido Haddad

Articles

Over the last decades, the Brazilian state has engaged in concerted legal efforts to identify and prosecute cases of what officials refer to as “slave labor” (trabalho escravo). At a conceptual level, the campaign has paired the constitutional protection of human dignity and the “social value of labor” with an expansive interpretation of the offense described in Article 149 of the Criminal Code as “the reduction of a person to a condition analogous to that of a slave.” At the operational level, mobile teams of inspectors and prosecutors have intervened in thousands of work sites, and labor prosecutors have obtained ...


The Civil Redress And Historical Memory Act Of 2029: A Legislative Proposal, William J. Aceves Nov 2017

The Civil Redress And Historical Memory Act Of 2029: A Legislative Proposal, William J. Aceves

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

During the extant “War on Terror,” U.S. and foreign nationals who did not engage in hostilities were detained and mistreated abroad by the United States or by other countries with the acquiescence of the United States. These individuals were accused of being terrorists or were suspected of associating with terror groups, but they were, in fact, innocent. They were eventually released and were never charged by the United States with any crime. Despite their innocence, the United States has failed to provide them with any form of redress for their mistreatment. The Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations refused to ...


International Law And Contemporary Slavery: The Long View, Rebecca J. Scott Nov 2017

International Law And Contemporary Slavery: The Long View, Rebecca J. Scott

Michigan Journal of International Law

The three essays in this special issue come together to confirm the value of exploring varying domestic expressions of and adaptations to international legal ideals. In each polity, lawmakers have viewed the terms “slavery” and “slave labor” in part through a domestic historical lens, and have drafted (or failed to draft) legislation accordingly. The United States inherited core concepts dating back to the moment of abolition of chattel slavery, and thus initially built its prohibitions of modern slavery on nineteenth-century rights guarantees and anti-peonage statutes, later reinforced by modern concepts of human trafficking. Having just emerged from a long dictatorship ...


United Nations Against Slavery: Unravelling Concepts, Institutions And Obligations, Vladislava Stoyanova Nov 2017

United Nations Against Slavery: Unravelling Concepts, Institutions And Obligations, Vladislava Stoyanova

Michigan Journal of International Law

The article starts with a section containing a historical description (Part I). The turn to broader historical accounts is apposite since the engagement of international law with slavery, servitude, and forced labor predates the emergence of international human rights law. It is also important to clarify whether there is any continuity between these earlier engagements of international law and Article 8 of the ICCPR. When it comes to slavery, it is important to consider the practices to which this label was attached and how this still influences the contemporary understanding of the term. Notably, the terminological fragmentation between slavery and ...


The Definition Of Slave Labor For Criminal Enforcement And The Experience Of Adjudication: The Case Of Brazil, Carlos H. B. Haddad Nov 2017

The Definition Of Slave Labor For Criminal Enforcement And The Experience Of Adjudication: The Case Of Brazil, Carlos H. B. Haddad

Michigan Journal of International Law

The paper examines the intersections and differences between “slave labor” as used in the Brazilian domestic sphere and “slave labor” as applied to international law. The former shows an approach centered on criminal law, as opposed to human rights law. This paper explains why degrading working conditions and debilitating workdays should continue to be prohibited and punished. It also compares the sanctions of the Brazilian Criminal Code with those of similar crimes in other jurisdictions. It concludes with a discussion of the current bill proposed by Senator José Sarney, which would replace the current definition with one that more closely ...


Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law, Kristina Daugirdas, Julian Davis Mortenson Jul 2017

Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law, Kristina Daugirdas, Julian Davis Mortenson

Articles

In this section: • Trump Administration Takes Steps to Implement Bilateral Agreement with Australia Regarding Refugees • Trump Administration Criticizes NATO Members for Failing to Meet Defense Spending Guideline; United States Joins Other NATO Members in Supporting Montenegro’s Membership in the Organization • President Trump Issues Executive Orders Suspending Refugee Program and Barring Entry by Individuals from Specified Countries • Trump Administration Maintains Nuclear Deal with Iran, Despite Persistent Skepticism • United States Strikes Syrian Government Airbase in Response to Chemical Weapons Attacks by Syrian Forces; Two Additional Strikes on Syrian Government Forces Justified by Defense of Troops Rationale • United States Alleges Russia Continues ...


Human Rights And Cybersecurity Due Diligence: A Comparative Study, Scott J. Shackelford Jun 2017

Human Rights And Cybersecurity Due Diligence: A Comparative Study, Scott J. Shackelford

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

No company, just like no nation, is an island in cyberspace; the actions of actors from hacktivists to nation-states have the potential to impact the bottom line, along with the human rights of consumers and the public writ large. To help meet the multifaceted challenges replete in a rapidly globalizing world—and owing to the relative lack of binding international law to regulate both cybersecurity and the impact of business on human rights—companies are reconceptualizing what constitutes “due diligence.” This Article takes lessons from both the cybersecurity and human rights due diligence contexts to determine areas for cross-pollination in ...


Thick Law, Thin Justice, Patrick Macklem Apr 2017

Thick Law, Thin Justice, Patrick Macklem

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Thin Justice of International Law: A Moral Reckoning of the Law of Nations by Steven R. Ratner.


Statutory Progress And Obstacles To Achieving An Effective Criminal Legislation Against The Modern Day Forms Of Slavery: The Case Of France, Bénédicte Bourgeois Jan 2017

Statutory Progress And Obstacles To Achieving An Effective Criminal Legislation Against The Modern Day Forms Of Slavery: The Case Of France, Bénédicte Bourgeois

Michigan Journal of International Law

In August 2013, the French Parliament passed a statute meant to bring domestic law into conformity with several European legal instruments recently adopted. The statute explicitly addressed for the first time contemporary forms of slavery, servitude, and forced labor by establishing a set of four offenses that criminalize these three types of severe labor exploitation. For lawmakers as well as for many stakeholders in the fight against modern-day slavery, that achievement marked the culmination of a series of piecemeal amendments to criminal law and narrow advances in case law, which gradually enhanced the penal repression of modern-day slavery over the ...


Reconciling Expectations With Reality: The Real Id Act's Corroboration Exception For Otherwise Credible Asylum Applicants, Alexandra Lane Reed Jan 2017

Reconciling Expectations With Reality: The Real Id Act's Corroboration Exception For Otherwise Credible Asylum Applicants, Alexandra Lane Reed

Michigan Law Review

The international community finds itself today in the throes of the largest refugee crisis since World War II. As millions of refugees continue to flee violence and persecution at home, the immediate concern is humanitarian, but in the long-term, the important question becomes: What are our obligations to those who cannot return home? U.S. asylum law is designed not only to offer shelter to legitimate refugees, but also to protect the country from those who seek asylum under false pretenses. Lawmakers and policymakers have struggled to calibrate corroboration requirements for asylum claims with the reality that many legitimate asylum ...


Gender Discrimination And Statelessness In The Gulf Cooperation Council States, Betsy L. Fisher Dec 2016

Gender Discrimination And Statelessness In The Gulf Cooperation Council States, Betsy L. Fisher

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Using the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as a case study, this Article outlines the ways in which gender and birth status discrimination create new cases of statelessness. These occur when women are legally unable to convey their nationality to their children. This Article studies gender and birth status discrimination in nationality laws and in civil registration, family, and criminal law in each GCC state: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Ending statelessness will require these states to end discrimination against women and non-marital children in all of its forms in law and practice.


The European Union's Human Rights Obligations Towards Distant Strangers, Aravind Ganesh Apr 2016

The European Union's Human Rights Obligations Towards Distant Strangers, Aravind Ganesh

Michigan Journal of International Law

Section I begins by setting out certain provisions added by the Lisbon Treaty requiring the European Union to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in all its “relations with the wider world.” Section II then recounts a recent interpretation of these provisions, which understands them primarily as mandating compliance with international law, and thus largely denies extraterritorial human rights obligations to protect. While the fundamentals of this “compliance” reading are correct, Section III demonstrates that the notion of international law involved here entertains an expansive view of prescriptive jurisdiction, that is, a political institution’s authority to ...