A Slowly Evolving Response to the European Migration Crisis

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As the European migration crisis continues, the international community is pursuing new and innovative ways in which to soften its impacts. The addition of French Asylum Hotspots and UN programs to return migrants to their origin points have had positive, though limited, influences on the situation.

The Convention on Cybercrime: A Tool for Human Rights Advocates to Combat Illegal Government Surveillance Tactics

The Convention on Cybercrime: A Tool for Human Rights Advocates to Combat Illegal Government Surveillance Tactics

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Abusive surveillance tactics are becoming the hallmark of modern authoritarian and corrupt regimes, wherein political opponents, journalists, and activists are often spied upon via telecommunications, email communications, and multiple other means. This type of conduct has in large part been facilitated by the growth of the multi-billion dollar surveillance technology industry, as private companies manufacture and sell spyware software to governments and law enforcement agencies. These products are often sold with the explicit condition that they only be used to combat terrorists and drug cartels; however, governments have been exposed by independent groups and news organizations as having used these tools to spy on human rights lawyers, political opponents, journalists, government critics, and international investigators. Countries in which this type of illegal surveillance has been alleged to occur include Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

Fruit of the Poison Trees, Vines, and Bushes: The USMCA’s Failure to Address Cross-Border Food Safety Concerns

Fruit of the Poison Trees, Vines, and Bushes: The USMCA’s Failure to Address Cross-Border Food Safety Concerns

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In October, 2018, the Trump administration announced that the United States-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (“USMCA”) had been signed, and farmers throughout the US breathed a sigh of relief. When the Trump administration pulled out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), US farmers were impacted by new trade barriers that arose between the former bloc countries, with an estimated annual average of $63 billion dollars of agricultural exports to Canada, Mexico and China caught in limbo while a new deal was negotiated. USMCA is a return to the NAFTA status quo in most areas of agriculture, though it does promise improvements for producers of certain agricultural commodities – specifically, USMCA creates new access for US wheat and dairy producers to sell products into the Canadian market. Despite these gains, however, the USMCA negotiations represent a squandered opportunity to tackle the increasingly important issue of food safety in the fresh produce supply chain.

The ICJ’s Jurisdiction in Chagos and the Role of the Advisory Opinion

The ICJ’s Jurisdiction in Chagos and the Role of the Advisory Opinion

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On February 25, 2019, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) issued an Advisory Opinion (Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965) that concluded that the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) decolonization of Mauritius in the mid-1960s and its continued administration of the Chagos Archipelago to this day contravene international law. The ICJ’s Advisory Opinion has potent legal implications for states that were, and continue to be, colonizing powers. However, perhaps more interesting from an international law perspective, are the jurisdictional question that the case presents and the ICJ’s willingness to weigh in, through a non-binding advisory opinion, on an issue that has the flavor of a bilateral dispute.