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Full-Text Articles in Law

Friendship Treaties ≠ Judgment Treaties, John F. Coyle Dec 2013

Friendship Treaties ≠ Judgment Treaties, John F. Coyle

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

It is hornbook law that the United States is not currently a party to any treaty governing the enforcement of foreign judgments. At least, it was hornbook law until 1993. In that year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit adopted a novel interpretation of a provision in a bilateral treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation ("FCN treaty") between the United States and Greece that transformed the treaty into a de facto judgments treaty. Two years later, in 1995, the Third Circuit adopted the same interpretation of an identical clause in the United States-Korea FCN treaty. Each ...


An Insurmountable Obstacle: Denying Deference To The Bia’S Social Visibility Requirement, Kathleen Kersh Dec 2013

An Insurmountable Obstacle: Denying Deference To The Bia’S Social Visibility Requirement, Kathleen Kersh

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the last fifteen years, the Board of Immigration Appeals has imposed a requirement that persons seeking asylum based on membership in a particular social group must establish that the social group is “socially visible” throughout society. This Comment argues that the social visibility requirement should be denied administrative deference on several grounds. The requirement should be denied Chevron deference because Congress’s intent behind the Refugee Act of 1980 is clear and unambiguous and, alternatively, the requirement is an impermissible interpretation of the statute. The requirement is also arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act. This Comment argues ...


Human Rights Obligations To The Poor, Monica Hakimi Jan 2013

Human Rights Obligations To The Poor, Monica Hakimi

Book Chapters

Poverty unquestionably detracts from the human rights mission. Modern human rights law recognizes a broad range of rights - for example, "to life, liberty, and security of person" and to adequate "food, clothing, and medical care."1 Any number of those rights might go unrealized in conditions of extreme poverty. However, human rights law has always been partly aspirational. For those seeking to improve the lives of the poor, the key question is not what rights exist but how to make those rights operational. What does human rights law actually require of states? And how might its obligations benefit the poor?


All Other Breaches: State Practice And The Geneva Conventions’ Nebulous Class Of Less Discussed Prohibitions, Jesse Medlong Jan 2013

All Other Breaches: State Practice And The Geneva Conventions’ Nebulous Class Of Less Discussed Prohibitions, Jesse Medlong

Michigan Journal of International Law

With respect to the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions, a great deal of ink has been spilled in recent years over the two-tiered system of tribunals employed by the United States in its prosecution of enemy combatants in the “war on terror.” Less discussed, though, is the wholly separate two-tiered system for sorting violators of the Geneva Conventions that emerges from the very text of those agreements. This stratification is a function of the Conventions’ distinction between those who commit “grave breaches” and those who merely commit “acts contrary to the provisions of the present convention” or “all other ...


International Law's Erie Moment, Harlan Grant Cohen Jan 2013

International Law's Erie Moment, Harlan Grant Cohen

Michigan Journal of International Law

The episode put the question starkly: Who fills the gaps in international law and how? A series of tribunals operating under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had adopted broader interpretations of vague treaty language than those recommended by the state parties. In response, government ministers from the three state parties, Mexico, Canada, and the United States, operating through the Free Trade Commission (FTC) established by the treaty, adopted "Notes of Interpretation" clarifying their view of the treaty's meaning. International tribunals are generally tasked with examining state practice, either to recognize rules of customary international ...


International Law In The Anthropocene: Responding To The Geoengineering Challenge, Karen N. Scott Jan 2013

International Law In The Anthropocene: Responding To The Geoengineering Challenge, Karen N. Scott

Michigan Journal of International Law

From The Odyssey to The Tempest and beyond, the control and deliberate manipulation of the weather constitutes an enduring and universal theme in myth and literature. In the twenty-first century, it is scientists and engineers rather than authors and artists who dream of weather and climate control, and their story, as described by James Rodger Fleming, "is not, in essence, a heroic saga about new scientific discoveries that can save the planet, as many of the participants claim, but a tragicomedy of overreaching, hubris, and self-delusion." This notwithstanding, the argument that we should deliberately manipulate earth systems and natural processes ...


Trying Terrorism: Joint Criminal Enterprise, Material Support, And The Paradox Of International Criminal Law, Alexandra Link Jan 2013

Trying Terrorism: Joint Criminal Enterprise, Material Support, And The Paradox Of International Criminal Law, Alexandra Link

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note will examine theoretical problems in ICL and public international law by evaluating the practical implications of applying ICL sources to find criminal liability outside the narrow confines of the international tribunals. It will examine the problems posed by the conflicting standards of the Rome Statute and ICTY jurisprudence as a matter of customary international law, the failure of U.S. courts to effectively confront the contextual and doctrinal analysis necessary to determine the limitations of these sources, and the proper application of these sources to the issues raised in Hamdan II and Al Bahlul. Viewing ICL through the ...


Reconceptualizing States Of Emergency Under International Human Rights Law: Theory, Legal Doctrine, And Politics, Scott P. Sheeran Jan 2013

Reconceptualizing States Of Emergency Under International Human Rights Law: Theory, Legal Doctrine, And Politics, Scott P. Sheeran

Michigan Journal of International Law

States of emergency are today one of the most serious challenges to the implementation of international human rights law (IHRL). They have become common practice and are associated with severe human rights violations as evidenced by the Arab Spring. The international jurisprudence on states of emergency is inconsistent and divergent, and what now constitutes a public emergency is ubiquitous. This trend is underpinned by excessive judicial deference and abdication of the legal review of states' often dubious claims of a state of emergency. The legal regime, as positively expressed in international human rights treaties, does not adequately reflect the underlying ...


The Michigan Guidelines On The Exclusion Of International Criminals, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2013

The Michigan Guidelines On The Exclusion Of International Criminals, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Michigan Journal of International Law

With a view to promoting a shared understanding of the proper approach to Article 1(F)(a) exclusion from refugee status, we have engaged in sustained collaborative study and reflection on relevant norms and state practice. Our research was debated and refined at the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, convened in March 2013 by the University of Michigan’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law. These Guidelines are the product of that endeavor, and reflect the consensus of Colloquium participants on how decision makers can best ensure the application of Article 1(F)(a) in a manner ...


Principled Exclusion: A Revised Approach To Article1(F)(A) Of The Refugee Convention, Jennifer Bond Jan 2013

Principled Exclusion: A Revised Approach To Article1(F)(A) Of The Refugee Convention, Jennifer Bond

Michigan Journal of International Law

The focus of this contribution is Article 1(F)(a), a section of the exclusion clause that has increased in both use and profile in recent years. Article 1(F)(a) applies to individuals who may be implicated in crimes against peace (more commonly known today as crimes of aggression), war crimes, or crimes against humanity as such crimes are defined in relevant international instruments. Where a decision maker finds that “there are serious reasons for considering that” an asylum seeker has committed one of these acts, the remainder of the Refugee Convention does not apply, and any protections to ...


Targeting And The Concept Of Intent, Jens David Ohlin Jan 2013

Targeting And The Concept Of Intent, Jens David Ohlin

Michigan Journal of International Law

International law generally prohibits military forces from intentionally targeting civilians; this is the principle of distinction. In contrast, unintended collateral damage is permissible unless the anticipated civilian deaths outweigh the expected military advantage of the strike; this is the principle of proportionality. These cardinal targeting rules of international humanitarian law are generally assumed by military lawyers to be relatively well-settled. However, recent international tribunals applying this law in a string of little-noticed decisions have completely upended this understanding. Armed with criminal law principles from their own domestic systems — often civil law jurisdictions — prosecutors, judges and even scholars have progressively redefined ...


Sixth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law: Introduction, James C. Hathaway Jan 2013

Sixth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law: Introduction, James C. Hathaway

Michigan Journal of International Law

The goal of the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law was to develop a principled and workable framework to guide the process of considering the exclusion from refugee status of persons believed to have committed international crimes.


Africa-China Bilateral Investment Treaties: A Critique, Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile Jan 2013

Africa-China Bilateral Investment Treaties: A Critique, Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile

Michigan Journal of International Law

The purpose of this Article is to draw attention to, raise questions about, and generate discussions regarding the emerging norms, legal context, and long-term development-implications of South-South foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and South-South bilateral investment treaties (“BIT”). This Article seeks to refocus the discourse about FDI and BITs on developing countries in their role as exporters of capital and in the context of the much-touted new geography of investment. Can South-South BITs play a positive role in promoting development in sub-Saharan Africa any more than the Africa-North BITs? Is China concluding development-focused BITs with countries in Africa? The Article identifies ...