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An Inconvenient Lie: Big Tobacco Was Put On Trial For Denying The Effects Of Smoking; Is Climate Change Denial Off-Limits?, Elizabeth Dubats Apr 2012

An Inconvenient Lie: Big Tobacco Was Put On Trial For Denying The Effects Of Smoking; Is Climate Change Denial Off-Limits?, Elizabeth Dubats

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Plaintiffs have made several notable attempts to bring nuisance, trespass, and negligence suits against major sources of greenhouse gas emissions for climate change related injuries. While climate change is a widely recognized environmental issue, courts have refused to recognize it as a basis for a valid cause of action in tort, finding either petitioners lack standing to bring the claim, or that the claim raises political questions that should not be addressed by the judiciary. Some more recent climate change tort claims have also included allegations of fraud on the part of the hydrocarbon industry for actively perpetuating misinformation about ...


Why Mortgage "Formalities" Matter, David A. Dana Jan 2012

Why Mortgage "Formalities" Matter, David A. Dana

Faculty Working Papers

This Article argues that adherence to mortgage formalities regarding foreclosure is valuable for expressive reasons and also as a potential deterrent to future undesirable underwriting and securitization practices. The Article reviews how some courts have in effect written procedural requirements for foreclosure out of the law, and asks why these courts have done so and whether lenders' behavior might have been improved during this housing crisis had the state courts uniformly afforded equal respect to the legal rights of homeowners and those of lenders.


The Multiple Roles Of International Courts And Tribunals: Enforcement, Dispute Settlement, Constitutional And Administrative Review, Karen J. Alter Jan 2012

The Multiple Roles Of International Courts And Tribunals: Enforcement, Dispute Settlement, Constitutional And Administrative Review, Karen J. Alter

Faculty Working Papers

This chapter is part of an upcoming interdisciplinary volume on international law and politics. The chapter defines four judicial roles states have delegated to international courts (ICs) and documents the delegation of dispute settlement, administrative review, enforcement and constitutional review jurisdiction to ICs based on a coding of legal instruments defining the jurisdiction of 25 ICs. I show how the design of ICs varies by judicial role and argue that the delegation of multiple roles to ICs helps explain the shift in IC design to include compulsory jurisdiction and access for nonstate actors to initiate litigation. I am interested in ...


A Tort Statute, With Aliens And Pirates, Eugene Kontorovich Jan 2012

A Tort Statute, With Aliens And Pirates, Eugene Kontorovich

Faculty Working Papers

The pirates of the Caribbean are back. Not in another fantastical film but in the litigation over the reach of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). For the first time since they dealt with the legal issues raised by a wave of maritime predation in the Caribbean in the early nineteenth century, Supreme Court justices are seriously discussing piracy. This crime has emerged as the test case for evaluating the major controversies about the reach of the statute -- namely, extraterritorial application and the existence of corporate liability. At oral argument in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell, justices of all persuasions invoked ...


Discretion, Delegation, And Defining In The Constitution's Law Of Nations Clause, Eugene Kontorovich Jan 2012

Discretion, Delegation, And Defining In The Constitution's Law Of Nations Clause, Eugene Kontorovich

Faculty Working Papers

Never in the nation's history has the scope and meaning of Congress's power to "Define and Punish. . . Offenses Against the Law of Nations" mattered as much. The once obscure power has in recent years been exercised in broad and controversial ways, ranging from civil human rights litigation under the Alien Tort Statue (ATS) to military commissions trials in Guantanamo Bay. Yet it has not yet been recognized that these issues both involve the Offenses Clauses, and indeed raise common constitutional questions.First, can Congress only "Define" offenses that clearly already exist in international law, or does it have ...


The Chief Or The Court: Article Ii And The Appointment Of Inferior Judicial Officers, James E. Pfander Jan 2012

The Chief Or The Court: Article Ii And The Appointment Of Inferior Judicial Officers, James E. Pfander

Faculty Working Papers

Each year, the Chief Justice of the United States makes a number of appointments to offices within the Article III judicial establishment. On its face, such a Chief-based appointment practice seems hard to square with the text of Article II, which provides for the appointment of inferior officers by the "courts of law." Scholars have noted the switch from a court-based to a Chief-based appointment system, but generally regard the Chief's authority as constitutionally benign. This Essay explores the origins of the Constitution's choice of the "courts" as the repository of appointment power. The decision was made against ...


The Evolving International Judiciary, Karen J. Alter Jan 2011

The Evolving International Judiciary, Karen J. Alter

Faculty Working Papers

This article explains the rapid proliferation in international courts first in the post WWII and then the post Cold War era. It examines the larger international judicial complex, showing how developments in one region and domain affect developments in similar and distant regimes. Situating individual developments into their larger context, and showing how change occurs incrementally and slowly over time, allows one to see developments in economic, human rights and war crimes systems as part of a longer term evolutionary process of the creation of international judicial authority. Evolution is not the same as teleology; we see that some international ...


The Global Spread Of European Style International Courts, Karen J. Alter Jan 2011

The Global Spread Of European Style International Courts, Karen J. Alter

Faculty Working Papers

Europe created the model of embedded international courts (IC), where domestic judges work with international judges to interpret and apply international legal rules that are also part of national legal orders. This model has now diffused around the world. This article documents the spread of European-style ICs: there are now eleven operational copies of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), three copies of the European Court of Human Rights, and a handful of additional ICs that use Europe's embedded approach to international law. After documenting the spread of European-style ICs, the article then explains how two regions chose European ...


The Oberlin Fugitive Slave Rescue: A Victory For The Higher Law, Steven Lubet Jan 2011

The Oberlin Fugitive Slave Rescue: A Victory For The Higher Law, Steven Lubet

Faculty Working Papers

This article tells the story of the Oberlin fugitive slave rescue and the ensuing prosecutions in federal court. The trial of rescuer Charles Langston marked one of the first times that adherence to "higher law" was explicitly raised as a legal defense in an American courtroom. The article is adapted from my book -- Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial -- which tells this story (and several others) in much more detail.

In the fall of 1859, John Price was a fugitive slave living in the abolitionist community of Oberlin, Ohio. He was lured out of town and captured by ...


An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo Jan 2011

An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo

Faculty Working Papers

This essay summarizes high points in torts scholarship and case law over a period of two generations, highlighting the "states of argument" that have characterized tort law over that period. It intertwines doctrine and policy. Its doctrinal features include the tradtional spectrum of tort liability, the duty question, problems of proof, and the relative incoherency of damages rules. Noting the cross-doctrinal role of tort as a solver of functional problems, it focuses on major issues in products liability and medical malpractice. The essay discusses such elements of policy as the role of power in tort law, the tension between communitarianism ...


Hearings, Mark Spottswood Jan 2010

Hearings, Mark Spottswood

Faculty Working Papers

This article explores a constantly recurring procedural question: When is fact-finding improved by a live hearing, and when would it be better to rely on a written record? Unfortunately, when judges, lawyers, and rulemakers consider this issue, they are led astray by the widely shared—but false—assumption that a judge can best determine issues of credibility by viewing the demeanor of witnesses while they are testifying. In fact, a large body of scientific evidence indicates that judges are more likely to be deceived by lying or mistaken witnesses when observing their testimony in person than if the judges were ...


Federal Circuit Patent Precedent: An Empirical Study Of Institutional Authority And Ip Ideology, David Pekarek-Krohn, Emerson H. Tiller Jan 2010

Federal Circuit Patent Precedent: An Empirical Study Of Institutional Authority And Ip Ideology, David Pekarek-Krohn, Emerson H. Tiller

Faculty Working Papers

In this paper, we aim to better understand the institutional authority of the Federal Circuit as a source of law as well as the influence of pro-patent and anti-patent ideological forces at play between the Supreme Court, Federal Circuit, and the district courts. Our specific focus is on the district courts and how they cite Federal Circuit precedent relative to Supreme Court precedent to support their decisions, whether they be pro-patent or anti-patent. Using a variety of citation approaches and statistical tests, we find that federal district courts treat the Federal Circuit as more authoritative (compared to the Supreme Court ...


The Macroeconomic Court: Rhetoric And Implications Of New Deal Decision-Making, Nancy Staudt, Yilei He Jan 2010

The Macroeconomic Court: Rhetoric And Implications Of New Deal Decision-Making, Nancy Staudt, Yilei He

Faculty Working Papers

Supreme Court scholars have long discussed and debated the dramatic shift in constitutional decision-making that took place in the late 1930s—a shift that led the Justices to presume the constitutionality of any and all commercial statutes no matter how "preposterous" they might seem. The conventional wisdom holds that the Supreme Court altered its decision-making calculus to avoid the consequences of President Roosevelt's "court-packing plan," but various other explanations have also emerged in the literature over time. In this Article, Professor Staudt and Ms. He investigate an explanation that scholars and commentators have largely ignored: the role of the ...


Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele Jan 2010

Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele

Faculty Working Papers

In this Response, we use Professors Cox and Miles' recent study of judicial decision-making to explore what is at stake when legal scholars present empirical findings without fully investigating the structural relationships of their data or without explicitly stating the assumptions being made to draw causal inferences. We then introduce a new methodology that is intuitive, easy to use, and, most importantly, allows scholars systematically to assess problems of bias and confounding. This methodology—known as causal directed acyclic graphs—will help empirical researchers to identify true cause and effect relationships when they exist and, at the same time, posit ...


Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt Jan 2010

Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt

Faculty Working Papers

In this symposium essay, we investigate the effect of economic conditions on the voting behavior of U.S. Supreme Court Justices. We theorize that Justices are akin to voters in political elections; specifically, we posit that the Justices will view short-term and relatively minor economic downturns—recessions—as attributable to the failures of elected officials, but will consider long-term and extreme economic contractions—depressions—as the result of exogenous shocks largely beyond the control of the government. Accordingly, we predict two patterns of behavior in economic-related cases that come before the Court: (1) in typical times, when the economy cycles ...


"Controlling" Securities Fraud: Proposed Liability Standards For Controlling Persons Under The 1933 And 1934 Securities Acts, Nancy Staudt Jan 2010

"Controlling" Securities Fraud: Proposed Liability Standards For Controlling Persons Under The 1933 And 1934 Securities Acts, Nancy Staudt

Faculty Working Papers

This Student Note investigates the history and intent underlying the controlling person liability provisions of the 1933 and 1934 Securities Act. It notes that courts have adopted a ranges of standards for holding controlling persons liability, but whichever standard is chosen--that standard is applied to both Acts. This note argues that courts should impose unique liability standards for each statute in order to fully realize Congress' purpose in adopting the laws.


It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Jus Cogens!, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Jus Cogens!, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

What we require—like the third bowl of soup in the story of the three bears—is a theory of jus cogens that is Just Right. I do not know if such a theory is possible. I don't even know if one is conceivable. But if someone conceives it, that person deserves the very next International Oscar. To qualify for the award, the theory must answer the following questions:


Whales: Their Emerging Right To Life, Anthony D'Amato, Sudhir K. Chopra Jan 2010

Whales: Their Emerging Right To Life, Anthony D'Amato, Sudhir K. Chopra

Faculty Working Papers

We have contended in this article that the evolution of the opinio juris of nations has encompassed five, and perhaps six, inexorable qualitative stages: free resource, regulation, conservation, protection, preservation and entitlement. We have argued that assigning whales an entitlement to life is the consequence of an emerging humanist right in international law — an example of the merging of the "is" and the "ought" of the law in the process of legitimization


International Human Rights At The Close Of The Twentieth Century, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

International Human Rights At The Close Of The Twentieth Century, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Speculates as to why the human-rights revolution is increasingly likely to dominate our foreign-policy attentions in the decades to come. Ventures some predictions, of particular interest perhaps to international lawyers, about where the cause of international human rights is heading.


Defending A Person Charged With Genocide, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

Defending A Person Charged With Genocide, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

I was asked to represent Dr. Milan Kovacevic who had been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia ("ICTY") for complicity in genocide. Had he lived through it, his trial would have been the first by the ICTY for the crime of genocide. I would like to describe some of the tribulations of defending clients accused of grave humanitarian offenses in the ICTY.


The Coerciveness Of International Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

The Coerciveness Of International Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

This article shows that an important part of the deep structure of international law is its self-referential strategy of employing its own rules to protect its rules. International law tolerates a principled violation of its own rules when necessary to keep other rules from being broken. It extends a legal privilege to states to use coercion against any state that has selfishly attempted to transgress its international obligations. International law thus protects itself through the opportunistic deployment of its own rules.


The Concept Of Special Custom In International Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

The Concept Of Special Custom In International Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

General customary international law contains rules, norms, and principles that seem applicable to any state and not to a particular state or an exclusive grouping of states. For example, norms relating to the high seas, to airspace and outer space, to diplomatic immunities, to the rules of warfare, and so forth, apply equally to all states having occasion to be concerned with these areas. Similarly, the facts of a given case may suggest exclusively the application of general custom—such as cases concerning collision on the high seas between ships of different countries, cases involving general principles of international law ...


International Law And Rawls' Theory Of Justice, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

International Law And Rawls' Theory Of Justice, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

The complexity of present-day international law stands in an uneasy relation to the scheme of justice propounded by Rawls. The problems facing international lawyers may pose a conceptual threat to some of the fundamental bases upon which Rawls builds his entire theoretical edifice.


The European Court’S Political Power Across Time And Space, Karen Alter Jan 2009

The European Court’S Political Power Across Time And Space, Karen Alter

Faculty Working Papers

This article extracts from Alter's larger body of work insights on how the political and social context shapes the ECJ's political power and influence. Part I considers how the political context facilitated the constitutionalization of the European legal system. Part II considers how the political context helps determine where and when the current ECJ influences European politics. Part III draws lessons from the ECJ's experience, speculating on how the European context in specific allowed the ECJ to become such an exceptional international court. Part IV lays out a research agenda to investigate the larger question of how ...


Originalism And The Difficulties Of History In Foreign Affairs, Eugene Kontorovich Jan 2009

Originalism And The Difficulties Of History In Foreign Affairs, Eugene Kontorovich

Faculty Working Papers

This Article spotlights some of the idiosyncratic features of admiralty law at the time of the founding. These features pose challenges for applying the original understanding of the Constitution to contemporary questions of foreign relations. Federal admiralty courts were unusual creatures by Article III standards. They sat as international tribunals applying international and foreign law, freely hearing cases that implicated sensitive questions of foreign policy, and liberally exercising universal jurisdiction over disputes solely between foreigners. However, these powers did not arise out of the basic features of Article III, but rather from a felt need to opt into the preexisting ...


A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2008

A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Holmes's famous 1897 theory that law is a prediction of what courts will do in fact slowly changed the way law schools taught law until, by the mid-1920s legal realism took over the curriculum. The legal realists argued that judges decide cases on all kinds of objective and subjective reasons including precedents. If law schools wanted to train future lawyers to be effective, they should be exposed to collateral subjects that might influence judges: law and society, law and literature, and so forth. But the standard interpretation has been a huge mistake. It treats law as analogous to weather ...


Train Our Jurors, Jonathan Koehler Jan 2006

Train Our Jurors, Jonathan Koehler

Faculty Working Papers

Lay jurors are often legally and logically unprepared for trial. In response, it is recommended that jurors receive training in how to make better legal decisions. This chapter suggests that jurors should receive comprehensive training in critical legal doctrines and in how to reason with legal evidence. Jurors who cannot be trained to achieve minimal levels of competence (in the law or in basic reasoning) should be excused from jury service. Suggestions are given as to how policy makers and researchers who are interested in jury reform may wish to proceed.


Peace Vs. Accountability In Bosnia, Anthony D'Amato Jan 1994

Peace Vs. Accountability In Bosnia, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Hovering over the peace negotiations in progress in former Yugoslavia is the international community's determination to bring to trial as war criminals those political and military leaders responsible for atrocities in Bosnia. The question clearly presented is that, however desirable the idea of war crimes accountability might appear in the abstract, pursuing the goal of a war crimes tribunal may simply result in prolonging a war of civilian atrocities. Is it not conceivable that, in return for securing a peace treaty, the UN officials may have extended some assurance to the leaders in former Yugoslavia that, one way or ...


Can/Should Computers Replace Judges?, Anthony D'Amato Jan 1977

Can/Should Computers Replace Judges?, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Speculates concerning judicial decision-making to test, at least theoretically, what some of the implications of jurisprudential advances might be. Proposes as the means of making this test a consideration of whether a computer may be so programmed as to replace the judicial function of judges.


Manifest Intent And The Generation By Treaty Of Customary Rules Of International Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 1970

Manifest Intent And The Generation By Treaty Of Customary Rules Of International Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

I shall argue in this essay that the World Court used a method which might be called the rule of manifest intent in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, that this method differs from a more traditional approach found in the writings of publicists, and that this new method accords well with the growing need to objectify and place upon a scientific basis the methodology by which one may determine what in fact are the rules of customary law.