Institutional Inosculation: The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), International Rule of Law Mechanisms, and Creating Institutional Legitimacy in Post-Conflict Societies

This Note explores ‘grafting mechanisms,’ which attach international elements to existing national institutions to promote cooperation and innovation, according to local needs.  This Note how grafting mechanisms restore public trust and strength to national justice institutions in the context of post-conflict societies.

Use or Abuse of § 1782 Discovery in Less-Developed Legal Systems


This Note discusses 28 U.S.C. §1782, which authorizes district courts to issue orders compelling discovery of evidence located within their district for use in a proceeding in a foreign tribunal. This Note addresses whether, to satisfy the § 1782 “for use” requirement, applicants must show that they possess some procedural right entitling them to participate in the foreign proceeding or otherwise describe the procedures through which the applicant intends to inject the requested discovery into the foreign proceeding.

Interpreting “Space Resources Obtained”: Historical and Postcolonial Interventions in the Law of Commercial Space Mining


This Note addresses a fundamental ambiguity in the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 (“CSLCA”). It is unclear whether the statute authorizes U.S. citizens to extract natural resources from asteroids and other celestial bodies, as is commonly assumed. Alternatively, the statute can be read to merely entitle citizens to resources that have already been obtained, where the regime for actually obtaining such resources remains undetermined.

Nationality and Defining “The Right to Have Rights”


Since the late 1990s, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and scholars have suggested that legal nationality, as is relevant to the right to a nationality, comprises not only traditional rights regarding movement and access to diplomatic protection but also civil and political rights. They have equated nationality with enfranchised citizenship, identifying certain groups of non-citizen nationals as stateless. This Note reviews the history of nationality in international law and concludes that nationality and citizenship were and continue to be separate concepts.

The State Power to Boycott a Boycott: The Thorny Constitutionality of State Anti-BDS Laws


The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (“BDS”) Movement, a global effort to oppose the State of Israel in its actions toward Palestine, is one of the most divisive topics in global politics. Since it began in 2005, BDS has also been legally divisive in the United States. U.S. states began passing anti-BDS laws in 2015, and twenty-seven states have since passed legislation or executive orders restricting the state governments’ commercial dealings with entities that participate in BDS activities against Israel.

Conceiving Criminality: An Evaluation of Abortion Decriminalization Reform in New York and Great Britain


This Note examines how laws make abortion feel like a crime and looks to the history of abortion laws, the current laws, and the reform movements in both juris- dictions to posit that the consequences of partial abor- tion criminalization vary depending on the existence of other laws and legal norms that question its partial criminalization. Finally, this Note challenges assump- tions about the effects of abortion regulation by ana- lyzing it through the lens of stigma.

Europe’s Moral Margin: Parental Aspirations and the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) balances along two axes: individual right vs. government interest and national vs. supranational judgment. The Court calibrates the level of deference it affords States through the margin of appreciation, a doctrine designed to vary how strictly the supranational court will scrutinize national decisions. This Article challenges the way in which the Court deploys margin of appreciation in order to defer to “sensitive moral and ethical” decisions taken by domestic institutions. I call this deference the “moral mar-gin.” Although the European Convention on Human Rights explicitly authorizes the Court to take “protection of morals” into account when weighing rights claims, I argue that the Court has used this authorization in a manner that fails to honor its role within Europe.

Customary Law Principles as a Tool for Human Rights Advocacy: Innovating Nigerian Customary Practices Using Lessons from Ugandan and South African Courts

The concept of human rights has been criticized by some African scholars and leaders as a Western imposition of values, with such criticisms delegitimizing human rights efforts in Africa. In addition, international human rights institutions are often too far-removed from the everyday realities of most Africans, and thus are abstract means of vindicating basic rights and freedoms. This Note argues, in light of this context, and in response to anti-imperialist human rights criticisms, that a more immediate and seemingly legitimate means of human rights reform lies in courts using customary law norms, and the principles inherent at their origin, to push customary law to be more human rights compatible.

Hiding in the Light: the Misuse of Disclosure to Advance the Business and Human Rights Agenda

Under the MSA, corporations are required to file annual reports disclosing what action they had taken to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains. The Modern Slavery Act, in turn, was a much-lauded law that is part of the growing trend of States to move the international business and human rights agenda forward. A key component of that agenda involves disseminating the UN’s Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework and implementing the UN Guiding Principles, which have been praised by States around the world as a framing mechanism for issues of corporate accountability for negative human rights impacts in a corporation’s operations and relationships with its suppliers. The aim of this Article is to analyze whether the business and human rights agenda (as embodied by the Three Pillar Framework and UN Guiding Principles) is well served with national laws that focus on disclosure.

Obscenity and Nationalism: Constitutional Freedom of Sexual Expression in Comparative Perspective

This Article surveys the development of constitutional obscenity jurisprudence in the United States, Canada, India, and Japan. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, each of these jurisdictions imposed restrictive Victorian standards of sexual morality on literature and the arts. In the second half of the twentieth century, their constitutional courts began seriously considering free expression claims brought by artists and writers prosecuted for obscenity. These courts have all struggled with a central paradox. Obscenity law criminalizes speech because it is offensive, but freedom of speech is an empty concept if it does not include the freedom to offend. This Article concludes that while obscenity law evidently does little to protect public morality or prevent harm, it can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of groups seeking to enforce political, social, and cultural conformity.