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Let Them Eat Rights: Re-Framing The Food Insecurity Problem Using A Rights-Based Approach, Benedict Sheehy, Ying Chen Aug 2022

Let Them Eat Rights: Re-Framing The Food Insecurity Problem Using A Rights-Based Approach, Benedict Sheehy, Ying Chen

Michigan Journal of International Law

Food insecurity is a global issue. Large parts of the global population are unable to feed themselves adequately with hundreds of millions of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. This problem is recognized widely by governments, industry and civil society and is usually understood using one of three approaches or frames: a basic production problem solved by technology and increased industrialization of agricultural, and an economic problem solved by economic growth and a commercial problem resolved by expanding markets. Much of the discussion and policy advice is based on the premise that hunger is primarily a wealth issue and, that …


Sexual Slavery As A War Crime: A Reform Proposal, Alessandro Storchi Apr 2021

Sexual Slavery As A War Crime: A Reform Proposal, Alessandro Storchi

Michigan Journal of International Law

For the first time in the history of international criminal law, the ICC Elements of Crimes included a statutory definition of sexual slavery as a war crime and as a crime against humanity. Such definition is derived from, and in fact almost identical to, the definition of enslavement in the same text. In July 2019, that language for the first time was adopted and applied in the conviction of general Bosco Ntaganda, the first ever conviction for sexual slavery as a war crime and as a crime against humanity at the ICC, as part of the situation in the Democratic …


The Fallacy Of Contract In Sexual Slavery: A Response To Ramseyer's "Contracting For Sex In The Pacific War", Yong-Shik Lee, Natsu Taylor Saito, Jonathan Todres Apr 2021

The Fallacy Of Contract In Sexual Slavery: A Response To Ramseyer's "Contracting For Sex In The Pacific War", Yong-Shik Lee, Natsu Taylor Saito, Jonathan Todres

Michigan Journal of International Law

Over seven decades have passed since the end of the Second World War, but the trauma from the cruelest war in human history continues today, perpetuated by denial of responsibility for the war crimes committed and unjust attempts to rewrite history at the expense of dignity, life, and justice for the victims of the most serious human rights violations. The latest such attempt is a troubling recharacterization of the sexual slavery enforced by Japan during the Second World War as a legitimate contractual arrangement. A recent paper authored by J. Mark Ramseyer, entitled “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War,” …


Emergencies End Eventually: How To Better Analyze Human Rights Restrictions Sparked By The Covid-19 Pandemic Under The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights, Eric Richardson, Colleen Devine Feb 2021

Emergencies End Eventually: How To Better Analyze Human Rights Restrictions Sparked By The Covid-19 Pandemic Under The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights, Eric Richardson, Colleen Devine

Michigan Journal of International Law

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, states have been quick to adopt emergency measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. However, poorly constructed restrictions threaten to undermine hard won human rights protections and may in fact erode important elements of international human rights law as a result of overreaching implementation or lack of rigorous analysis in how the restrictions are put, and kept, in place. This article analyzes the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) standards which apply to emergency regulation in times of public health crisis and the tangled morass of legal tests which …


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 principle …


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 Statute or …


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 …


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.


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 …


The Michigan Guidelines On Refugee Freedom Of Movement Jan 2018

The Michigan Guidelines On Refugee Freedom Of Movement

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.


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.


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 Eastern Europe to other regions—a growth …


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. …


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 …


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, …


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 …


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 prescribe …


To Touch And Concern The United States With Sufficient Force: How American Due Process And Choice Of Law Cases Inform The Reach Of The Alien Tort Statute After Kiobel, Karima Tawfik Apr 2016

To Touch And Concern The United States With Sufficient Force: How American Due Process And Choice Of Law Cases Inform The Reach Of The Alien Tort Statute After Kiobel, Karima Tawfik

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note explores the post-Kiobel ATS cases and argues that the Fourth Circuit’s approach to considering claims that manifest a close connection to the United States as potentially entitling the plaintiff to relief under the ATS is preferable to approaches that categorically bar claims when the alleged conduct has occurred abroad. Part I describes the Kiobel decision in more depth and the subsequent ATS case law to outline the contours of recent circuit cases. Part II demonstrates how domestic personal jurisdiction and choice of law principles weigh in favor of a more expansive reading of the ATS, as adopted …


Special Feature Seventh Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law, James C. Hathaway Jan 2016

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

Michigan Journal of International Law

Refugee status at international law requires more than demonstration of a risk of being persecuted. Unless the risk faced by an applicant is causally connected to one of five specified attributes – his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion – the claim to be a refugee must fail. Because the drafters of the Refugee Convention believed that the world’s asylum capacity was insufficient to accommodate all those at risk of being persecuted, they opted to confine the class of refugees to persons whose predicament stems from who they are, or what they …


The Michigan Guidelines On Risk For Reasons Of Political Opinion Jan 2016

The Michigan Guidelines On Risk For Reasons Of Political Opinion

Michigan Journal of International Law

The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (“Convention”) recognizes as refugees those who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on the basis of inter alia “political opinion,” are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their home country


Toward A New Framework For Understanding Political Opinion, Catherine Dauvergne Jan 2016

Toward A New Framework For Understanding Political Opinion, Catherine Dauvergne

Michigan Journal of International Law

This paper was written to frame the work of the Seventh Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, held at the University of Michigan Faculty of Law, on March 27–29, 2015. To some extent, therefore, it has already served its purpose. It is somewhat tempting in the wake of the Colloquium to completely reconstruct the paper in light of the conversations and conclusions of that event. Such reconstruction, however, would be misleading. Instead, I have chosen to publish the paper in a form that is very similar to its earlier iteration, with a few corrections, clarifications, and explanatory notes about …


Human Trafficking In Southeast Asia: Uncovering The Dynamics Of State Commitment And Compliance, Catherine Renshaw Jan 2016

Human Trafficking In Southeast Asia: Uncovering The Dynamics Of State Commitment And Compliance, Catherine Renshaw

Michigan Journal of International Law

In Part I of this Article, Renshaw explains some of the current theories about how and why states come to adopt human rights norms and then translates these norms into laws and policies. In Part II, she sets out the contours of the TVPA and the global regime with which it coexists, the United Nations Palermo Protocol. Part III considers how ASEAN States have responded to the global anti-trafficking regime. Part IV explores how ASEAN states perceive the issue of human trafficking. Part V describes how ASEAN states have responded to the threat of sanctions under the TVPA. Part VI …


Ambivalent Enforcement: International Humanitarian Law At Human Rights Tribunals, Shana Tabak Jan 2016

Ambivalent Enforcement: International Humanitarian Law At Human Rights Tribunals, Shana Tabak

Michigan Journal of International Law

In addition to exploring the limitations of the Inter-American System’s jurisdictional capacity to adjudicate issues of IHL, this Article examines Inter-American jurisprudence in light of recent scholarly conversations regarding the relevance of the principle of lex specialis, which seeks to guide tribunals when two bodies of law may apply simultaneously, by providing for the prioritization of a specialized body of law over a general one. This concept, first articulated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Nuclear Weapons case, has proven to be the source of much scholarly consternation. As a means of addressing problems arising from …


Refugees Without Borders: Legal Implications Of The Refugee Crisis In The Schengen Zone, Bridget Carr Jan 2016

Refugees Without Borders: Legal Implications Of The Refugee Crisis In The Schengen Zone, Bridget Carr

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note will first examine current practices utilized by Member States and their strategic partners outside the Zone to manage flows of third-country nationals from the Middle East and North Africa. It will then explore how these practices are not compatible with principles of protection from degrading and inhuman treatment, non-refoulement, and non-discrimination as codified in the Schengen Borders Code, European Convention on Human Rights, and the Refugee Convention, among others. Finally, this Note will propose targeted reforms for the Schengen Zone’s internal and external border management aimed at protecting the human rights of displaced persons and modifying incentive structures …


After Atrocity: Optimizing Un Action Toward Accountability For Human Rights Abuses, Steven R. Ratner Oct 2015

After Atrocity: Optimizing Un Action Toward Accountability For Human Rights Abuses, Steven R. Ratner

Michigan Journal of International Law

It is a great honor for me to be here to deliver the John Humphrey Lecture. Humphrey led one of those lives within the UN that shaped what the organization has become today—as one of the first generation of UN civil servants, he was to human rights what Ralph Bunche was to peacekeeping, or Brian Urquhart to UN mediation. To read his diaries, so beautifully edited by John Hobbins, is to see a world that has in many ways vanished, a nearly entirely male club, mostly of Westerners, that hammered out new treaties and mechanisms over fine wine and cigars …


Testing Constitutional Pluralism In Strasbourg: Responding To Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Law, Jesse W. Stricklan Sep 2015

Testing Constitutional Pluralism In Strasbourg: Responding To Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Law, Jesse W. Stricklan

Michigan Journal of International Law

In 2013, the Russian Federation amended Federal Law No. 436-FZ, “On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development” (2013 law), introducing language making illegal the public discussion—or, in the law’s words, “propagandization”—of what it called “non-traditional sexual relationships.” Undertaken during a period of increasing domestic and international hostility, the law was intended by the government to be a bold, two-fold rejection of supposedly “European” values: first, as resistance to the gay rights movement, which is presented as unsuitable for Russia; and second, as a means of further weakening the freedom of expression in Russia. On both …


Inciting Genocide With Words, Richard A. Wilson Apr 2015

Inciting Genocide With Words, Richard A. Wilson

Michigan Journal of International Law

During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, observers emphasized the role of media propaganda in inciting Rwandan Hutus to attack the Tutsi minority group, with one claiming that the primary tools of genocide were “the radio and the machete.” As a steady stream of commentators referred to “radio genocide” and “death by radio” and “the soundtrack to genocide,” a widespread consensus emerged that key responsibility for the genocide lay with the Rwandan media. Mathias Ruzindana, prosecution expert witness at the ICTR, supports this notion, writing, “In the case of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the effect of language was lethal . …