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Columbia Law School

2015

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Articles 1 - 30 of 173

Full-Text Articles in Law

Uncloaking The Secrecy Behind Large-Scale Land Deals, Jesse Coleman Dec 2015

Uncloaking The Secrecy Behind Large-Scale Land Deals, Jesse Coleman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry have far-reaching implications for the lives of affected individuals and communities. They are also an integral part of efforts by national governments to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve the governance of land resources. Despite their significance, these “land deals” and the contracts that govern them are often cloaked in secrecy, removed from relevant spheres of public scrutiny and debate.


Global Value Chains And Resource Corridors: The Nexus Is Regional Integration, Perrine Toledano Dec 2015

Global Value Chains And Resource Corridors: The Nexus Is Regional Integration, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

To be more involved in the global value chains, sub-Saharan African countries should intensify their regional integration efforts. A first step in this direction can be implementing cross-border resource-based development corridors.


Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2015

Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Our growing global population is demanding a more resource-intensive and so-called “Western” diet. And that change in demand has drastic impact on how we must change our supply.


Tpp Would Let Foreign Investors Bypass The Canadian Public Interest, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Nov 2015

Tpp Would Let Foreign Investors Bypass The Canadian Public Interest, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In early October, prime ministerial candidate Justin Trudeau promised Canadians “a full and open public debate” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With 30 chapters that would bind Canada to sweeping agreements on everything from services to intellectual property to the environment to procurement, there is much to debate.


The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Nov 2015

The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

During the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, many stakeholders raised strong concerns about the Investment Chapter of the TPP, and in particular, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS). The US Trade Representative (USTR) and other representatives of the negotiating partners assured the stakeholders that the TPP’s investment chapter would respond to the legitimate concerns about expansive investor protections and ISDS. The actual text, however, when made public, showed the opposite: a further evisceration of the role of domestic policy, institutions, and constituents. In their current form, the TPP’s substantive investment protections and ISDS pose significant potential costs to …


Next Generation Treaty – India’S New Model Bit Makes It Clear That Its Goal Is To Accomplish More Than Investor Protection, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Sudhanshu Roy Nov 2015

Next Generation Treaty – India’S New Model Bit Makes It Clear That Its Goal Is To Accomplish More Than Investor Protection, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Sudhanshu Roy

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The April release of India’s draft model bilateral investment treaty 1(BIT), which is expected to be approved by the cabinet soon, has generated a rich public debate on its international investment regime. There are important questions about the purpose and content of investment treaties, both in India and other countries. However, some reactions – like Augusts Law Commission report suggesting that the model BIT was not sufficiently investor-friendly – frame the discussion too narrowly, ignoring key questions and objectives behind India’s transitioning investment policy regime.


Shared-Use Mining Infrastructure In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophie Thomashausen, Glen Ireland Oct 2015

Shared-Use Mining Infrastructure In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophie Thomashausen, Glen Ireland

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The IBA’s recent Conference, Investing in Africa: Opportunities for Businesses and

the Lawyers Who Counsel Them, held in New York on 24-26 June 2015, highlighted the growing challenges and opportunities related to infrastructure needed for major mining projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The mining sector, which remains critical to many economies in the region, is being hampered by the lack of adequate transport, power and other infrastructure, as was underscored by participants in the ‘Trends in the Mining Sector’ panel. In the current depressed commodity price environment, large investments in infrastructure required to develop major, ‘world-class’ deposits is difficult to justify, …


Measuring Land Rights For A Sustainable Future, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jeffrey D. Sachs Sep 2015

Measuring Land Rights For A Sustainable Future, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jeffrey D. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Land rights, both for individuals and for communities, are critical for achieving sustainable development. Security of land tenure and other rights to the land (sometimes held communally rather than individually) can accelerate poverty reduction, strengthen food security, and empower women. Land rights can reduce resource conflicts, as well as encourage the responsible use of natural resources. As the UN member countries begin to implement the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they should keep land rights in their focus, and measure and protect land rights in order to achieve the SDGs.


Memo To Prime Minister Cameron On The Revision Of The U.K. National Action Plan On Business And Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2015

Memo To Prime Minister Cameron On The Revision Of The U.K. National Action Plan On Business And Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2015, CCSI sent a memo to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to provide input on the 2015 revision of the U.K. National Action Plan on business and human rights, originally published in 2013. The memo applauded the U.K. Government’s early adoption of a National Action Plan consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, noting that responsible and rights-respecting outward investment can support sustainable development in host countries, and that the U.K. Government has an important role to play in promoting responsible business operations. The memo urged the government to highlight the importance of land …


Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke Jun 2015

Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this report commissioned by the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), CCSI examined the different types of legal regimes governing mining projects in 18 countries to gain a better understanding of mining deals granted and negotiated under different minerals regimes. CCSI compared the provisions of 30 mining contracts from 13 countries, analyzed a selection of mining-related legislative texts from 18 countries, and surveyed the experiences of mining contract negotiations through dozens of interviews with experts, government officials, company representatives, and members of civil society organizations.

The report …


Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Jun 2015

Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In pushing for Trade Promotion Authority, the Obama administration argues that the agreements it is negotiating (including TPP and TTIP) are true 21st century agreements that correct the failings of past agreements and will promote trade and investment that can both re-launch America as the key economic player and promote broad-based sustainable development at home and abroad.


Resource Resilience: How To Break The Commodities Cycle, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling May 2015

Resource Resilience: How To Break The Commodities Cycle, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The past year has seen dramatic declines in the prices of global commodities. Between June 2014 and the beginning of this year, crude oil prices fell by 50 percent to around $50 a barrel. Similarly, mineral prices have seen a drastic fall since the peak of the “commodity supercycle” in early 2011. Between then and April of this year, iron ore prices fell by 70 percent, coal prices by 54 percent and copper prices by 40 percent.


Not So Fast, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson May 2015

Not So Fast, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress are trying to pass "fast track" legislation in order to push through major economic agreements with eleven countries of the Pacific region (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) and Europe (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) without the possibility for Congressional amendments. Both are being sold generally as "trade agreements," yet they involve key areas of business law and regulation far beyond trade. Before Congress approves fast track, these agreements need to be made public and exposed to thorough public scrutiny.


Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest And U.S. Domestic Law, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs May 2015

Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest And U.S. Domestic Law, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

As negotiations are ongoing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), CCSI staff and Jeffrey Sachs discuss the implications of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) for domestic law and policy, focusing on effects within the US. The paper concludes that the risks ISDS poses for domestic law are significant and unjustified, and that there are preferable policy alternatives to pursue as a means of protecting the rights of investors operating overseas.


Why Fast Track Is A Dangerous Gift To Corporate Lobbies, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson May 2015

Why Fast Track Is A Dangerous Gift To Corporate Lobbies, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Obama Administration is now on track to get "fast track" legislation through the Senate, heading towards a close vote in the House. The end goal is to conclude two major business treaties: the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The House Democrats are right to withhold their support until key treaty positions favored by the White House are dropped.


Eyes Wide Shut On Isds, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Apr 2015

Eyes Wide Shut On Isds, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Recent agreement among congressional leaders on a “fast-track” bill may have been a victory for the Obama administration’s trade agenda. However, members of congress should take a look at the recent Bilcon case, decided by a NAFTA tribunal, to understand what they are signing up for.


Ripe For Refinement: The State’S Role In Interpretation Of Fet, Mfn, And Shareholder Rights, Lise Johnson Apr 2015

Ripe For Refinement: The State’S Role In Interpretation Of Fet, Mfn, And Shareholder Rights, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Over recent years, many states have taken steps to refine and modernize their investment treaties. These reforms, however, are typically only included in newer treaties or model agreements. States continue to be exposed to claims, litigation, and potential damages under older “old-style” agreements. These risks are particularly acute given that tribunals have often permitted investors to “treaty shop” to obtain more favorable protections, and have also permitted investors to use the most-favored nation (MFN) provision to “import” more investor-friendly (or at least less clear) provisions from other treaties.

This working paper discusses one strategy states can use to try to …


Comments On The World Bank’S Revised Draft Environmental And Social Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Feb 2015

Comments On The World Bank’S Revised Draft Environmental And Social Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In February 2015, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its draft Environmental and Social Framework. This took place in the context of the Bank’s consultations on the review and update of its safeguards policies. CCSI’s comments focused on ensuring consistent and comprehensive application of the framework, and on the need to more expansively incorporate human rights standards. The memo also underlined the need to protect all legitimate tenure rights, including those not currently recognized by national law, and to limit the permissibility of forced evictions. In addition, the comments include proposed amendments that would ensure that government borrowers …


Chris Christie And Jerry Jones, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Chris Christie And Jerry Jones, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Christie is the Republican Governor of New Jersey. He previously served as the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2002 to 2008. He is a likely contender in the 2016 presidential race.

Christie's penchant for accepting luxury perks, paid for by groups who arguably have significant interests in his decisions as Governor, was highlighted in a New York Times article on February 2, 2015. Questionable gifts include: travel on Sheldon Adelson's private plane, a 2012 trade mission partly funded by a group of businesses (Choose N.J.) barred from donating to the Governor directly by pay-to-play laws, and …


Profile In Public Integrity: John Hyland, Jr., Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: John Hyland, Jr., Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

John Hyland has been a Senior Legal Advisor with the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) of the U.S. Department of Justice since 1992. His duties include reviewing money laundering prosecution memoranda and indictments, consulting with attorneys and special agents about asset forfeiture and money laundering cases investigations and indictments, representing the Criminal Division at agency undercover case reviews, helping analyze evidence of financial crimes, and lecturing on asset forfeiture and money laundering topics. Previously, Mr. Hyland worked in private practice in the Washington area for 12 years. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District …


Profile In Public Integrity: Lynda Taschereau, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Lynda Taschereau, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Lynda Taschereau serves as Executive Director of the Strategic and Corporate Policy Division of the City of Toronto, Canada. In that role, she is responsible for key functions including inter-governmental relations, strategic planning and policy development, governance and decision-making structures for Toronto’s City Council and City’s agencies and corporations, and the policy framework for the City’s Accountability Officers. Taschereau’s team leads government-wide initiatives and provides objective, professional advice to the Mayor and City Council. She is committed to public service and has a special interest in the policy development process and the role of leaders throughout organizations. Taschereau was a …


Warrantless Access To Cell Site Location Information Takes A Hit In The Fourth Circuit: The Implications Of United States V. Graham For Law Enforcement, Wesley Cheng Jan 2015

Warrantless Access To Cell Site Location Information Takes A Hit In The Fourth Circuit: The Implications Of United States V. Graham For Law Enforcement, Wesley Cheng

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

On August 5, 2015 the Fourth Circuit created a major ripple in Fourth Amendment law by ruling that warrantless access to cell site location information (CSLI) over a lengthy period amounted to an unconstitutional search in United States v. Graham. While the Fourth Court ultimately upheld the defendants’ convictions by applying the Fourth Amendment’s “Good Faith” exception, the ruling created a clear split from the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, making consideration of the issue by the Supreme Court much more likely.

This article focuses on the facts and the Fourth Amendment arguments of the majority, concurring and dissenting opinions …


Profile In Public Integrity: Marjorie Landa, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Marjorie Landa, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Marjorie Landa is the Deputy Comptroller for Audit at the Office of the New York City Comptroller. Previously, Landa served as Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs to the New York City Department of Investigation. There, she counseled the agency on legal issues including criminal and civil procedure, conflicts of interest, forfeiture and restitution, and the agency’s unique legal authority. Prior to that, Ms. Landa was Deputy Chief in the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel, Affirmative Litigation Division. In that capacity she served as lead counsel in high-profile cases including fraud, civil RICO, False Claims Act, intergovernmental funding, …


Profile In Public Integrity: Jack Blum, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Jack Blum, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Jack Blum is a Washington lawyer who is an expert on white-collar financial crime and international tax evasion. He spent fourteen years as a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Blum played a central role in the Lockheed Aircraft bribery investigation of the 1970's – which led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – and in the investigation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Blum has been a consultant to the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, …


For Now, New York State Investigators Can Ping Cellphones Without A Warrant In New York State, Wesley Cheng Jan 2015

For Now, New York State Investigators Can Ping Cellphones Without A Warrant In New York State, Wesley Cheng

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

This article examines the major factors shaping the Moorer and Wells decisions. It also analyzes the implications of decisions in other cases involving the use of Geolocation tracking devices, and looks ahead to other areas of litigation that may arise in the future with respect to GPS devices. Finally, it concludes that, assuming Moorer and Wells (or other trial court cases with similar findings) are not overturned on this issue in the higher courts, law enforcement agencies can be comfortable that pinging cellphones is a technique that can be utilized without a warrant in New York.


Profile In Public Integrity: Sam Koim, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Sam Koim, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Sam Koim currently serves in Papua New Guinea as Chairman of the Investigation Task-Force Sweep (ITFS) and as Principal Legal Officer at the Department of Justice and Attorney General. ITFS is an inter-agency team that brings together the Police Force, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Internal Revenue Commission, and Auditor General’s Office amongst others, to root out corruption nationwide.


Profile In Public Integrity: Daniel E. Karson, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Daniel E. Karson, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Daniel E. Karson is Chairman of Kroll, based in the New York office. Dan has more than 40 years’ experience directing investigations of business crimes. His practice areas include major fraud investigations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, litigation support, contests for corporate control, Internet crimes, financial crimes, asset searches, product counterfeiting and due diligence.

Dan launched Kroll’s European operations, opening its London office and serving as its first Managing Director in 1986. Dan also opened Kroll offices in Boston and Philadelphia, and served as Kroll’s General Counsel for eleven years.

Prior to joining Kroll, Dan was General Counsel and Assistant …


Profile In Public Integrity: Jeff Gottlieb, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: Jeff Gottlieb, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Jeff Gottlieb is a senior writer at the Los Angeles Times. He shared the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2011 for uncovering corruption in Bell. He also received the George Polk and the Selden Ring awards, among others. He previously won a Polk award while working at the San Jose Mercury News for uncovering Stanford’s questionable spending of federal funds. He received a bachelor’s in sociology from Pitzer College in Claremont and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.


Profile In Public Integrity: The Honorable Georgios Kaminis, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

Profile In Public Integrity: The Honorable Georgios Kaminis, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Born in New York City, Georgios Kaminis holds a degree in law from the University of Athens School of Law, as well as a Diplome d’etudes approfondies and Doctorat d’Etat en Droit. He served as Assistant Greek Ombudsman, responsible for Human Rights, from 1998 to 2003. In May of 2003,

Kaminis became the Greek Ombudsman after being unanimously elected at a Presidents of Parliament roundtable meeting. Kaminis was elected Mayor of Athens on November 14, 2010. Under the Mayor’s guidance, Athens was awarded a Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge Innovation Prize for its online citizen engagement platform, SynAthina.

He is a …


The Conviction Of Former New York State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity Jan 2015

The Conviction Of Former New York State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver, Center For The Advancement Of Public Integrity

Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (Inactive)

Sheldon Silver is the former Democratic Speaker of the New York State Assembly, a post he held from 1994 until January 2015. He represented Manhattan’s Lower East Side from 1976 until November 30, 2015, when he was convicted on four counts of honest-services fraud, two counts of extortion and one count of money laundering.