Nationality and Defining “The Right to Have Rights”

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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.

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.

Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act of 2016: A Federal Reform to State Statutes of Limitations for Art Restitution Claims

This Note provides a scholarly engagement with the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery
(HEAR) Act of 2016—new U.S. legislation that has important implications for the art market—including a detailed examination of the legislative history and its text. The
Note describes how international public law commitments, political developments, and
recent judicial decisions motivated the passage of the HEAR Act in a mere matter of
months with overwhelming bipartisan support. The HEAR Act will bring dramatic and claimant-friendly changes to the existing legal landscape. But despite the widespread support for the new legislation, the Note highlights some unvoiced concerns.