Trump and Tariffs: the start of a trade war, or a hard-bargaining negotiation tactic?

Trump and Tariffs: the start of a trade war, or a hard-bargaining negotiation tactic?

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In March and April of 2018 the United States and China announced proposed tariffs specifically targeted to the importation of the other countries’ products. Although these reciprocal tariffs could signal an impending trade war, some analysts counter that they are in fact the result of a hard-bargaining tactic by President Trump primarily motivated by long-brewing concerns of Chinese intellectual property theft of U.S. technology.

State Consent, Power to Regulate, and Renewable Investments: A Perspective on the Limits of Expropriation under the Energy Charter Treaty

State Consent, Power to Regulate, and Renewable Investments: A Perspective on the Limits of Expropriation under the Energy Charter Treaty

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The Energy Charter Treaty has recently limited the power of sovereign States to regulate investments in their economy in the energy sector. The protections offered by the ECT were initially meant to attract investment in new sources of energy, while guaranteeing the rights of investors against illegal expropriations. The recent Spanish tariff deficit arbitrations, based on the expropriation provision of article 13 of the ECT, have shown that States can be confronted with mass claims on the basis of this regional agreement. This article looks at the current situation in wake of the Spanish “solar war” arbitrations.

International Data Privacy in a Post-Cambridge Analytica World

International Data Privacy in a Post-Cambridge Analytica World

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The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed weaknesses in data privacy protections that have affected elections around the world. This blog post explores how data privacy laws might change and champions the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation as a model for how States may better protect their citizen’s data privacy rights.

An attempted assassination in Salisbury and international law – making sense of it all?

An attempted assassination in Salisbury and international law – making sense of it all?

Following the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK City of Salisbury, the UK has accused Russia of being responsible for this attack. This post seeks to clarify much of the discussion surrounding the relationship between this political dispute and international law, specifically on the use of force, treaty violations and the measures taken by both the UK and Russia.

A Right to Mifepristone and Misoprostol? A Consideration of Recent Interpretations of the ICCPR

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On June 20, 2017, the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, and the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women jointly issued a letter recommending that the New York State Senate pass a proposed bill that would liberalize the existing status of abortion law in New York State. The letter primarily focuses on the importance of moving abortion regulation from the penal code in terms of human rights treaties like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but its analysis regarding why a criminal ban on self-induced abortions contravenes human rights law is particularly novel. The letter offers a nuanced, and rather radical, description of what is required comply with international human rights standards because it suggests that a State’s laws must not promote unequal access to abortions based on socioeconomic inequities.   Abortion Law in New York State While New York has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, it continues to regulate abortion in the criminal code, rather than the public health code. In New York, abortions are available upon a woman’s request until 24 weeks, after which they may only be performed in cases to preserve the pregnant woman’s life (N.Y. Penal Law § 125.05 (McKinney 1965)). New York also requires an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician in a hospital, and treats abortions performed by non-physicians as a felony. Additionally, “self-abortions” are misdemeanors under the present...
The Inexorable Anti-Mask Movement

The Inexorable Anti-Mask Movement

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Protesters in London wearing Guy Fawkes masks at an anti-Scientology demonstration. Courtesy of Wikimedia. There are a seemingly endless number of reasons why individuals wear facial coverings in various contexts. Children wear goblin masks for Halloween. Detroit Lions fans wear paper bags on their heads in shame when the team goes 0–16. Muslim women wear the niqab or burqa as an extension of their religious and cultural practices. Bank robbers wear balaclavas to conceal their identities from cameras and thereby avoid capture. Individuals in cold environments wear scarves or ski masks to protect their faces from the weather. Black bloc participants don black bandanas and balaclavas before throwing bricks through the windows of banks to protest exploitative and oppressive financial practices. Baseball catchers wear masks to protect their faces from getting hit by thrown pitches. Masquerade ball-goers wear masks to facilitate entertainment and revelry. And on and on.   The law has not looked upon all of these instances as equally benign. In the United States, anti-mask laws were first passed in the 19th century to combat various threats of violence—among them, the killing of Hudson Valley landlords by tenant farmers who dressed up as American Indians, and also the growing violence of the Ku Klux Klan. Many KKK-tailored laws are still on the books—for example, an Ohio statute makes it illegal for three or more people to wear “white caps, masks, or other disguises” while committing a misdemeanor. Many statutes, however, were written in a more general way, lending themselves to application in other contexts. The NYPD, for example, cited New York’s 1845 anti-mask law in arresting Occupy Wall...