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Columbia Law School

2012

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Full-Text Articles in Law

International Human Rights Are Taking Hold In U.S. States, Cities, And Towns, Human Rights Institute Dec 2012

International Human Rights Are Taking Hold In U.S. States, Cities, And Towns, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

New York, NY (December 10, 2012) – Incorporating human rights into local policies and decision-making leads to effective, sustainable, and responsive policies, according to a new report released today by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.


Bringing Human Rights Home: How State And Local Governments Can Use Human Rights To Advance Local Policy, Human Rights Institute Dec 2012

Bringing Human Rights Home: How State And Local Governments Can Use Human Rights To Advance Local Policy, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

State and local governments play an essential role in promoting and protecting human rights. Within the United States, agencies and officials at the municipal, city, county and state levels can help fulfill human rights by ensuring dignity, equality and opportunity for everyone in their jurisdiction.

Recognizing the value of human rights, state and local agencies and officials across the United States are incorporating international human rights standards in their daily work. As illustrated by examples throughout this report, integrating human rights into local law, policy and practice can enhance government decision-making and respond directly to local needs. It also allows …


United States’ Compliance With The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights, Human Rights Institute, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu) Dec 2012

United States’ Compliance With The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights, Human Rights Institute, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu)

Human Rights Institute

The U.S. government is engaged in targeted killings through drone strikes (and other aircraft) in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere, which have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. U.S. practice is characterized by secrecy and an unwillingness even to engage directly with concerns about civilian harm, let alone to provide accountability for civilian deaths and injury. Despite calls for disclosure from UN experts and non- governmental organizations, the U.S. government uses vague and shifting legal standards, and fails to disclose the basis for strikes or the steps it takes to minimize harm to civilians and investigate reported violations …


The 2012 Us Model Bit And What The Changes (Or Lack Thereof) Suggest About Future Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson Nov 2012

The 2012 Us Model Bit And What The Changes (Or Lack Thereof) Suggest About Future Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In April of this year the US State Department released a new version of its model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). This text, like the various models the US has used over roughly the past 3 decades, represents the US’s basic policy position when it starts negotiations on investment treaties with other countries, and is therefore an important benchmark for the outcome US investors might hope for as a result of ongoing and potential future talks with countries such as China, Russia, and India. Overall, this new model text follows the approach taken by the US in its investment treaties over …


Intra-African Investment – A Pressing Issue, Lise Johnson, Shawn Pelsinger Nov 2012

Intra-African Investment – A Pressing Issue, Lise Johnson, Shawn Pelsinger

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Intra-African investment is a critical source of growth for the continent, but is often overlooked. Africa Investor, together with the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, reveals intra-African foreign direct investment is a rapidly growing phenomenon.


Can Timor-Leste Rely On Its Endowments To Achieve The Strategic Development Plan Targets?, Nicolas Maennling Nov 2012

Can Timor-Leste Rely On Its Endowments To Achieve The Strategic Development Plan Targets?, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Government of Timor-Leste invited the Earth Institute and CCSI to advise on the sustainable management and use of oil resources, in order to achieve higher living standards and sustainable development. One component of the project included the preparation of a sector study that assesses whether the Government can rely on agriculture, tourism and the petrochemical sectors to achieve its long term GDP growth and employment targets.


Inching Towards Consensus: An Update On The Uncitral Transparency Negotiations, Lise Johnson Oct 2012

Inching Towards Consensus: An Update On The Uncitral Transparency Negotiations, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

From October 1-5, 2012, a working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) met in Vienna to continue work on how to ensure transparency in treaty-based investor-state arbitration. It was the working group’s fifth week-long meeting on the topic, but will not be the last. Although some issues were settled, many very significant ones remain contentious, and will be picked up again by the working group when it meets in February 2013.


Counting Drone Strike Deaths, Human Rights Clinic Oct 2012

Counting Drone Strike Deaths, Human Rights Clinic

Human Rights Institute

Popular debate on U.S. drone strikes often centers on how many individuals are killed, and which of two categories the individuals killed fall into – militant or civilian. U.S. officials emphasize the precision of drone technology and contend that extremely few civilians have been killed. Yet others have questioned these claims and stated that there is evidence to suggest that deaths, and civilian deaths in particular, are much higher than U.S. officials admit.

The uncertainty about civilian deaths is largely due to the U.S. government’s resistance to openly providing information about strikes. In the absence of official data, the most …


Devil In The Bidding Detail, Lisa E. Sachs, Jacky Mandelbaum, Perrine Toledano Sep 2012

Devil In The Bidding Detail, Lisa E. Sachs, Jacky Mandelbaum, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In light of the recent boom in natural resource prices, India is one of them many countries facing heightened scrutiny of the allocation and terms of their resource deals. In India, that scrutiny has uncovered a multi-billion dollar controversy over coal block allocations that has gridlocked Parliament. More generally, citizens in resource-producing countries around the world are asking whether the public is getting a fair value for their countries resources, or whether investors and politicians are walking away with the prize. Finally, the important questions are being asked: how should resources be managed to ensure that they benefit the citizenry, …


Leveraging The Mining Industry’S Energy Demand To Improve Host Countries’ Power Infrastructure, Perrine Toledano Sep 2012

Leveraging The Mining Industry’S Energy Demand To Improve Host Countries’ Power Infrastructure, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The initial phase of the Leveraging Mining-Related Infrastructure Investments for Development project consisted of a worldwide survey of regulatory, commercial and operating case studies of shared use of mining-related infrastructure. This Policy Paper delivers the findings for power infrastructure.


Civilian Impact Of Covert Drone Operations Overlooked, Human Rights Clinic Sep 2012

Civilian Impact Of Covert Drone Operations Overlooked, Human Rights Clinic

Human Rights Institute

WASHINGTON, DC Sept. 30, 2012 — As US covert drone strikes become more entrenched as an accepted counterterrorism strategy, the US government needs to conduct a thorough accounting of the impact on civilians, said a new report released today by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic and Center for Civilians in Conflict.


Background Paper For Second Workshop On Contract Negotiation Support For Developing Host Countries, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment, Humboldt-Viadrina School Of Governance Jul 2012

Background Paper For Second Workshop On Contract Negotiation Support For Developing Host Countries, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment, Humboldt-Viadrina School Of Governance

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance (HSVG) have initiated a process to discuss the desirability and feasibility of mechanisms to provide negotiation support for developing host countries in their negotiations with major investors.

At a first workshop held in October 2011, participants agreed on the need for an expansion of support for developing countries in their contract negotiations.

A second workshop was held at Columbia University in July 2012 that undertook a gap analysis between the existing sources of support for developing countries in relation to complex contracts and the countries’ needs for …


Engaging With Tradition: Mechanisms, Strategies, And Tactics, Michael Edwards Jul 2012

Engaging With Tradition: Mechanisms, Strategies, And Tactics, Michael Edwards

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

The relationships between tradition and social justice are complex and contingent, conditioned by many factors including social context, individual attachments and mechanisms of transmission and re-enactment. These relationships may be positive, negative or neutral from the perspective of LGBT concerns, and they may be approached in a variety of different ways according to the goals and circumstances at hand. The Engaging Tradition Project aims to explore these patterns in order to establish when and why tradition forms a barrier to the achievement of gender and sexual justice, and to identify how tradition can be deployed in positive ways by activists …


United States Response To Questionnaire Concerning Copyright And Related Rights In The “Cloud” Environment, June M. Besek, Philippa Loengard, Idara Udofia Jul 2012

United States Response To Questionnaire Concerning Copyright And Related Rights In The “Cloud” Environment, June M. Besek, Philippa Loengard, Idara Udofia

Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts

ALAI-USA is the U.S. branch of ALAI (Association Littèraire et Artistique Internationale). ALAI-USA was started in the 1980's by the late Professor Melville B. Nimmer, and was later expanded by Professor John M. Kernochan.


Openness In Extraction, Lisa E. Sachs, Shefa Siegel Jun 2012

Openness In Extraction, Lisa E. Sachs, Shefa Siegel

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

More than a decade before becoming President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer, observed that, among the branches of property law, the distribution of mining rights most elegantly reflects the vicissitudes of social and political relations. According to Hoover, mining rights were a "never-ending contention," as old as economic and civil conflict, among four principle classes – overlord, state, landowner, and miner. "Somebody," he concluded, "has to keep peace and settle disputes."

Today, with the prices of major natural-resource commodities – including oil, coal, copper, gold, and iron ore – doubling, tripling, or rising even faster, the …


Paper On The Business Case For Transparency, Perrine Toledano Jun 2012

Paper On The Business Case For Transparency, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI strongly supports the transparency of contracts and tax flows. CCSI shares the belief of many stakeholders that transparency is essential to leverage extractive industries for sustainable development and is in the mutual interest of all stakeholders. However, some industry players continue to voice the concern that increased transparency would be harmful for their business. Therefore, CCSI is working to also establish the business case for transparency.

In one such case, some industry players have been lobbying against the regulations developed by the Security and Exchange Commission to implement the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform …


Codes Of Corporate Governance: A Review, Nolan Haskovec Jun 2012

Codes Of Corporate Governance: A Review, Nolan Haskovec

Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

The U.S. was one of the first nations in the world to concern itself with the governance of its publicly-listed corporations. But it stopped well short of developing authoritative general standards of corporate governance. By contrast, many of the world’s other markets have by now agreed to some sort of ‘official’ principles for the governance of their quoted companies.

A key reason often cited for why the U.S. lacks a single, authoritative national code of corporate governance2 is the general resistance to centralized regulation of corporate law, which is subject to state rather than federal statutes. But several other major …


Leveraging Extractive Industry Infrastructure Investments For Broad Economic Development: Regulatory, Commercial And Operational Models For Railways And Ports, Perrine Toledano May 2012

Leveraging Extractive Industry Infrastructure Investments For Broad Economic Development: Regulatory, Commercial And Operational Models For Railways And Ports, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The initial phase of the Leveraging Mining-Related Infrastructure Investments for Development project consisted of a worldwide survey of regulatory, commercial and operating case studies of shared use of mining-related infrastructure. This Policy Paper delivers the findings for mineral railways and ports.


Addressing Climate Change Mitigation And Adaptation Through Insurance For Overseas Investments: The Example Of The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Lise Johnson May 2012

Addressing Climate Change Mitigation And Adaptation Through Insurance For Overseas Investments: The Example Of The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In 2008, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) estimated that investments of between US$540–570 billion in physical assets and other financial flows will be needed to adequately reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to combat climate change; additionally, tens and possibly hundreds of billions of dollars may be necessary to enable countries to adapt to the phenomenon’s challenges. Through climate negotiations under the UNFCCC in Copenhagen and Cancun, developed country governments committed to provide developing countries roughly US$30 billion between 2010 and 2012 and to mobilize approximately US$100 billion per year by 2020 for climate change activities. …


Japan’S Experience With A New Jury (Saiban-In) System, Hironobu Takesaki Jan 2012

Japan’S Experience With A New Jury (Saiban-In) System, Hironobu Takesaki

Center for Japanese Legal Studies

For months, the Columbia Law School community looked forward to the visit of Chief Justice Hironobu Takesaki (LL.M. ’71), who was scheduled to deliver a lecture at the Law School on October 31, 2012. Two days before his visit, New York City was hit by Hurricane Sandy. As a result of disruptions to the Chief Justice’s travel schedule, we were unable to hold the event. Although we unfortunately did not have the honor of hosting the Chief Justice, we are able to share the remarks he planned to give that evening. We look forward to hosting Chief Justice Takesaki on …


Drone Strike Casualty Estimates Likely Understated, Human Rights Clinic Jan 2012

Drone Strike Casualty Estimates Likely Understated, Human Rights Clinic

Human Rights Institute

NEW YORK — The U.S. government should provide an official accounting on who is being killed by drone strikes, said a new report released today by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic.


Annual Report 2011-2012, Human Rights Institute Jan 2012

Annual Report 2011-2012, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

Greetings from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute We are proud to share our first annual report and our remarkable accomplishments from the past year.

The Human Rights Institute sits at the heart of human rights teaching, practice and scholarship at the Law School Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Institute draws on the Law School’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world In the past several years, the Institute and the Human Rights Clinic have become increasingly integrated, enabling us to multiply our …


Microinsurance: A Case Study Of The Indian Rainfall Index Insurance Market, Xavier Giné, Lev Menand, Robert W. Townsend, James Vickery Jan 2012

Microinsurance: A Case Study Of The Indian Rainfall Index Insurance Market, Xavier Giné, Lev Menand, Robert W. Townsend, James Vickery

Faculty Scholarship

Efforts have been made in India and other countries in recent years to develop formal insurance markets to improve diversification of weather-related income shocks. This article aims to survey the features of one of these markets, the Indian rainfall index insurance market. “Index insurance” refers to a contract whose payouts are linked to a publicly observable index; in this case, the index is cumulative rainfall recorded on a local rain gauge during different phases of the monsoon season. This form of insurance is now available at a retail level in many parts of India, although these markets are still in …


The Civilian Impact Of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions, Human Rights Clinic, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic) Jan 2012

The Civilian Impact Of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions, Human Rights Clinic, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic)

Human Rights Institute

Since 2008, the US has dramatically increased its lethal targeting of alleged militants through the use of weaponized drones—formally called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). Novel technologies always raise new ethical, legal, and practical chal- lenges, but concerns about drone strikes have been heightened by their role in what might colloquially be termed “covert drone strikes” outside the established combat theater of Af- ghanistan. Airstrike campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia are conducted with a degree of government secrecy enabled by the fact that there are few supporting US ground troops and/or CIA agents in these …


"By Some Other Means": Considering The Executive Role In Fostering Subnational Human Rights Compliance, Risa E. Kaufman Jan 2012

"By Some Other Means": Considering The Executive Role In Fostering Subnational Human Rights Compliance, Risa E. Kaufman

Human Rights Institute

The broad realization of human rights domestically requires strong partnership among all levels of government. Indeed, international and domestic law support an important role for state and local governments in implementing the United States’ human rights treaty commitments, with the federal government retaining ultimate responsibility. While the federal government’s responsibility is clear, its options for fostering and facilitating subnational compliance have not been fully explicated. United States’ human rights treaty ratification practices and recent Supreme Court jurisprudence primarily constrain the Executive’s ability to compel state and local compliance without congressional authorization. In the absence of such congressional action, the Executive …


Stock Unloading And Banker Incentives, Robert J. Jackson Jr. Jan 2012

Stock Unloading And Banker Incentives, Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Congress has directed federal regulators to oversee banker pay. For the first time, these regulators are now scrutinizing the incentives of risk-takers beyond the bank's top executives. Like most public company managers, these bankers are increasingly paid in stock rather than cash. The ostensible reason is that stock-based pay aligns manager and shareholder interests. But portfolio theory predicts that managers will diversify away, or "unload," stock-based pay unless they are restricted from doing so. One way to deter unloading may be to require managers to disclose it, as investors and colleagues will assume that managers are unloading because they are …


Arbitrability Trouble, George A. Bermann Jan 2012

Arbitrability Trouble, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

The general notion of arbitrability is practically as old as arbitration itself, and yet it remains profoundly misunderstood, at least in U.S. arbitration law. For many – particularly outside the United States – arbitrability has a single and very precise meaning, signifying the legal capacity of a claim or dispute to be the subject of arbitration rather than litigation or, to borrow the language of the UNCITRAL Model Law and the New York Convention, signifying that a claim or dispute is “legally capable of being arbitrated.” By this understanding, a claim or dispute is “non-arbitrable” within a given legal system …


Virtue Ethics And Efficient Breach, Avery W. Katz Jan 2012

Virtue Ethics And Efficient Breach, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

The concept of "efficient breach" – the idea that a contracting party should be encouraged to breach a contract and pay damages if doing so would be more efficient than performance – is probably the most influential concept in the economic analysis of contract law. It is certainly the most controversial. Efficient breach theory has been criticized from both within and without the economic approach, but its most prominent criticism is that it violates deontological ethics – that the beneficiary of a promise has a right to performance, so that breaching the promise wrongs the promisee.

This essay argues that …


Inter Arma Enim Non Silent Leges, Philip C. Bobbitt Jan 2012

Inter Arma Enim Non Silent Leges, Philip C. Bobbitt

Faculty Scholarship

There is good reason to think that law and war have nothing to do with one another, and this has certainly been so for most of the lifetime of mankind. Cicero's famous observation-silent enim leges inter arma – from which I take my title, was not a novel insight when uttered in 52 B.C. and in any case was not said in the context of war, but of a prosecution for murder in the aftermath of the Roman riots of that era between the partisans of the populares and optimates. Clausewitz, however, said much the same thing when he decried …


Representing Children At The Intersection Of Domestic Violence And Child Protection, Annette Appell, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2012

Representing Children At The Intersection Of Domestic Violence And Child Protection, Annette Appell, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

Reflecting evolving norms surrounding the legitimacy of intimate violence, the law has made steady progress toward acknowledging that domestic violence is not a private family matter, but instead demands public assistance to help survivors of that violence protect themselves and their children. Most recently, child advocates, juvenile court judges, and domestic violence advocates have joined in a concerted effort to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect, coordinate responses and remedies among the various court systems, and develop methods to avoid re-victimizing mothers and children through legal process. This article traces civil remedies and barriers domestic …