Showing posts with label international law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label international law. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Lawyers spotlight persecution of profession in Iran

Taymaz Valley via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Yesterday the International Law Section (ILS) of the American Bar Association (ABA) recognized the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer with a spotlight on Iran in a webinar, "Iranian Lawyers: Risking Their Licenses, Their Liberty, and Even Their Very Lives."

U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Delissa Anne Ridgway moderated a discussion with Margaret L. Satterthwaite, NYU law professor and U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, and Stuart Russell, a Canadian lawyer and co-director of the International Association of People's Lawyers Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers, based in Bordeaux, France.

To suppress opposition to the ruling regime, especially since the 2009 "Green Movement," the speakers explained, the government of Iran has persecuted lawyers who dare to represent dissenters. Lawyers themselves have been imprisoned, and bar organizations have been disempowered in their regulatory oversight of the profession, Russell reported.

Judge Ridgway lauded a documentary, Nasrin (2020) (IMDb), which is available for $3 on multiple platforms. I'm adding it to my watch list (trailer below). Exemplary of Iranian lawyers' travails, Nasrin Sotoudeh, an activist and advocate for the rights of women and children in Iran and subject of the documentary, has been imprisoned multiple times, sentenced to lashes, and severely beaten. Voice of America reported Sotoudeh's most recent release from prison, on bail, in November 2023.

I note, DW also published a documentary piece on Sotoudeh, Protecting Human Rights in Iran (2023), available on YouTube.

The ABA ILS program was co-sponsored by the Middle East Committee, the International Human Rights Committee, and the Women's Interest Network. I am a member of the ABA ILS Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Comparative law class explores death, migration, more

Publicdomainvectors.org

Law students in my comparative law class examined a range of compelling issues this spring, including medical aid in dying, immigration reform, sexual assault and violence against women, and restorative justice in Islamic law; and we benefited from Zoom guests, who joined from Afghanistan, Belgium, Poland, and America.

Teaching comparative law is a distinctive joy, as I have opined previously, because always there is more to learn. The subject gives students with wide-ranging passions an opportunity to explore previously untapped veins of research. Everyone in the class, including me, shares in the riches that are surfaced.

I owe gratitude to special guests who joined our class via Zoom to enrich our understanding and skills.

  • Sylvia Lissens, a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in comparative law, joined from KU Leuven in Belgium to talk about EU law-making and share a European legal perspective.
  • Ugo S. Stornaiolo Silva, an Ecuadorean lawyer and LL.M. candidate, joined from Jagiellonian University in Poland, to talk about Ecuadorean constitutional law and share a Latin American legal perspective.
  • A Dutch friend (whose name I withhold for his security), a humanitarian aid worker, joined from Kabul, Afghanistan, to talk about aid delivery within domestic legal constraints in the Middle East.
  • Misty Peltz-Steele, a law librarian (and my generous wife), joined from Roger Williams University Law School in Rhode Island to orient students on foreign, comparative, and international legal research.

Next year, I'll be on a break from teaching comparative law, as I tackle two sections of 1L torts. Fortunately, to tide me over, I have a raft of ambitious and thoughtfully developed student research projects on which to ruminate, including the following. I thank our guests and especially thank my students for a rewarding semester.

Sarah Barnes, Dignified Death: A Comparative Analysis of Medical Aid in Dying Between the United States and the Netherlands.  Medical aid in dying (MAID), also known as physician assisted suicide, has been a growing concept globally for several decades. The ethical, moral, and legal issues surrounding the practice have caused some jurisdictions to proceed with caution and others to abandon it completely. While creating processes and procedures around MAID can be complicated and daunting, a few countries have managed to successfully implement a system in which their citizens can participate. The following compares and analyzes two jurisdictions, the United States and the Netherlands, that have managed to provide this practice and allow those who are eligible a way to die with dignity.

Morgan Dunham, Implementing Change: A Call for a Point-Based Immigration System in the United States. As the United States attempts to compete on a global scale with other economic powers, the ability of countries to attract foreign workers to their shores permanently is placed under a microscope. While immigration is a controversial issue across the globe, it is also a growing reality. This paper examines the U.S. employment-based immigration system in comparison with the employment-based hybrid system of the Commonwealth of Australia, focusing on its use of a point-based merit system in screening applicants. In addition, this paper examines attempts by legislators in each country to incorporate elements of the other system to improve efficiency. Through an overview of each country’s paths to legal permanent residency, zones of convergence are analyzed to better highlight the benefits and limitations of each system. 

Jordan Lambdin, "Call Them by Their True Names": Comparing the United States Violence Against Women Act to Chile's Femicide Laws. Violence against women is linked to legal and social institutions, as well as cultural value systems. This project compares the legal systems and codes relating to violence against women in the United States (U.S.) and Chile. The objective of this project is to compare the similarities and differences between the U.S. approach to criminalize domestic violence and Chile’s femicide criminalizing code, namely the lack of a femicide/intimate partner homicide definition or criminalizing statute. This project aims to explain the different U.S. and Chilean cultural and legal responses to criminalizing violence against women. Both systems are part of a global culture of violence against women that aims to physically and culturally destroy women as a group. The result is the repeated destruction and death of many thousands of women.

Sara Zaman, What is a Sexual Offense?: A Legal Comparison Between Pakistan and the United States. Sexual offenses are fairly defined in the same manner across countries. The passage of Pakistan’s Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006 played a key role in defining sexual assault against women after the Hudood Ordinance of 1979 received severe criticism from the Pakistani population and human rights groups. Likewise, in the United States, the Model Penal Code draft of 1962 also provided a definition of sexual assault. The two documents have striking similarities despite the fact that they were written thousands of miles apart by very distinct cultures. However, the differences are still noted. The laws of both Pakistan and the United States can be improved by comparing and contrasting these two documents and incorporating the necessary and important provisions that they may lack.

[Name withheld for political sensitivity,] Restorative Justice Theory: Iran and USA.  This paper explores the forms of punishment and mitigation related to criminal acts in Iranian and American criminal law, with a predominant focus on the restorative justice theory. The purpose of this paper is to form a comparative analysis between the Restorative Justice theory in Iran and the United States. This paper will touch on subjects such as, why Iran and the United States moved towards to restorative justice theory, how their criminal courts framework function, a comparative analysis of the act of excusing the guilty party in criminal cases between the lawful frameworks and the comparison of Qisas in Iran and restorative justice theory in the U.S. Finally, I will highlight the similarities and differences between the restorative justice theory in Iran and the United States. This paper hopes to clarify the United States construct of justice lacks the critical components of mercy and compassion which are essential towards the attainment of a fair and equitable justice system.  As a guidance for progressing, the U.S. should look at the Iranian criminal justice system as an example of how to provide a fair and just system.

Flags from Flagpedia.net.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

With FIFA World Cup under way in Qatar, law students study sport and soft power, law and development

I'll be talking law, development, and the World Cup today in Kraków, Poland.

Thanks to the American Law Scientific Circle (KNPA) and American Law Program at Jagiellonian University (Koło Naukowe Prawa Amerykańskiego TBSP UJ and Szkoła Prawa Amerykańskiego UJ), in collaboration with the Columbus Law School at the Catholic University of America, for hosting me. This talk kicks off a KNPA lecture series on "Law and Sustainability" and begins at 3 p.m. CET at Pałac Larischa 203, Bracka 12.

I'll share some of the subject matter later.  Too much football to watch!

Monday, November 14, 2022

In shadow of Ukraine war, webinar tells story of UN Genocide Convention, Polish-Jewish jurist Lemkin

The Jagiellonian Law Society and its President Elizabeth Zechenter, a visiting scholar at Emory, have put together another superb program prompted by the legal implications of the war in Ukraine.

"Lemkin, Genocide, and the Modern World" will run on Zoom in two parts, the first on December 1, 2022, at 12 noon U.S. EST, 1700 GMT, and the second in January, TBA. Free registration is required.

Here is a summary:

You are invited to a webinar on Raphael Lemkin, the UN Genocide Convention, and the likelihood of prosecution of the crime of genocide. Distinguished academics will discuss Lemkin and the Genocide Convention in light of the recent Russian aggression in Ukraine. Lemkin was Polish and Jewish and survived WWII. He had complex, divided loyalties and life experiences that influenced his work. He is often portrayed as a lone ranger, but he was effective in gaining support for his ideas, especially among women groups, who made the convention possible. Lemkin had a complex relationship with Stalin, which influenced his approach to the convention.

The Holocaust Encyclopedia has more on Raphael Lemkin.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Donna Lee-Frieze, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, a genocide studies scholar specializing in memory and aftermath; 
  • Professor Doug Irvin-Erickson, Carter School Director of the Genocide Prevention Program at George Mason University;
  • Professor A. Dirk Moses, Australian historian teaching in political science at the City College of New York, CUNY;
  • Professor Roman Kwiecien, Department of International Law at Jagiellonian University, arbitrator at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague) and the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration within the OSCE in Geneva;
  • Professor Marcin Marcinko, Jagiellonian University Law School, chair of the National Commission for Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law at the Main Board of the Polish Red Cross, and co-organizer of the Polish School of International Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict.

The Jagiellonian Law Society hopes also to feature contributions from Ukrainian scholars, arrangements pending.

The program is a result of the collaboration of the Jagiellonian Law Society with support from the International Human Rights and Women Interest Committees of the American Bar Association; the New York State Bar, New York City Bar, and New Jersey Bar; the Department of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University.

Again, registration is free.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Invasion of Ukraine marks six months; Russian propaganda flows despite court OK of EU media ban

#IStandWithUkraine
On July 27, the European Union (EU) General Court upheld a continental broadcast ban on Russia Today (RT).

The EU Council promulgated the ban in March 2022. The Council accused the Russian Federation of channeling propaganda through Russian-funded but purportedly "autonomous" RT in furtherance of a "strategy of destabilisation" of European countries by "gravely distorting and manipulating facts."

The regulation asserted that "propaganda has repeatedly and consistently targeted European political parties, especially during election periods, as well as targeting civil society, asylum seekers, Russian ethnic minorities, gender minorities, and the functioning of democratic institutions."  RT agents are allowed to continue reporting in the EU through research and interviews.

By "broadcast," the regulation is not talking only airwaves. The ban purports to apply across media outlets: "cable, satellite, IP-TV, internet service providers, internet video-sharing platforms or applications." 

I'm Team Ukraine, but the broadcast ban struck me as a curious development. It sets a troubling "kill the messenger" precedent and seems to conclude that the John Stuart Mill "truth will out" premise is hifalutin hooey.

I'm actually OK with that conclusion. When I teach free speech to students in tort, constitutional, or information law classes, I make a point of demonstrating the many flaws of marketplace theory in the real world. But closing the book on the theory as a matter of supranational regulation is an unsettling further step.

Similarly, it must be conceded that war propaganda is efficacious, notwithstanding its truth or falsity. Research and experience have confirmed that concession time and again since Edward Bernays published his classic treatment, Propaganda, in 1928. I read Bernays for a seminar in journalism school in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That study first interested me to the confounding problem of expressive liberties in wartime

In its July 27 judgment, the Grand Chamber of the General Court navigated these murky waters to conclude that the broadcast ban justifiably impinged on the freedom of expression. In the challenge by RT France, the Council adduced evidence to satisfy the court that RT was in fact a mouthpiece for Russian antagonism to European security. Conducting the necessity and proportionality analysis of European free speech law, long developed by the European Court of Human Rights, the general court concluded that the ban on RT appropriately furthered the twin aims of preserving order in the EU and abating the attack on Ukraine.

The court took pains to describe the RT ban consistently as temporary and to emphasize the context of Russian military aggression, thus signaling that the ruling is grounded heavily in extraordinary circumstances and has limited precedential value.

For therein lies the hazard of effectively suspending civil liberties in a time of exigency but undeclared war. Western EU ministers must be mindful that their critical populist adversaries in Hungary and Poland have restricted media freedom in the name of public order. Proceed down the slippery slope: Should we ban World Cup 2022 coverage by Qatar-funded Al Jazeera?

Characteristically, Russia answered the EU court ruling with a threat of retaliatory restrictions on western media in Russia. But on both sides, media bans might be so much posturing anyway.

RT.com via VPN based in Dublin
The actual efficacy of the ban is doubtful, if for no other reason than the internet's famous resilience to censorship. In a study published in July, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that RT content was still reaching European consumers through alternative domain names and mirror websites.

It might not be even that difficult to find RT. Using my Dublin-based VPN, I just now accessed RT.com directly and through a Google.ie search without impediment.

Today, August 24, marks six months since the invasion. The International Law Section of the American Bar Association (April) is organizing a social media campaign to maintain the visibility of the war in Ukraine. Lawyers are asked to post the Ukraine flag on LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine and tags @American Bar Association International Law Section and @Ukrainian Bar Association on LinkedIn and @ABAInternatl and @Association_UBA on Twitter.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Student comparative law research spans sport, schools, drugs, recidivism, regs, copyright, crypto


He who learns teaches.

widely cited as an Ethiopian or African proverb, the statement has parallels in other cultures and is sometimes paired with the Latin "qui docet discit," "he who teaches learns"


Image by Gordon Johnson via Pixabay

Because we are reasonable people, we can all agree that Torts is the most important course in law school.

Comparative Law, however, takes the cake as the best course to teach. That's because one can teach it without exhaustive knowledge of the doctrinal subject matter. For no one knows the law of every jurisdiction in the world.

Thus, for me and my co-teacher, a supremely skilled embedded librarian, Comparative Law is a never-ending opportunity to learn from our students. And our students in spring 2022, as in past semesters, had plenty to teach us.

This is a selection of the ambitious paper topics that our Comparative Law students tackled in the spring.

United States, Vietnam. Firaas Z. Akbar, Free Enterprise Versus Freedom to Enterprise: A Comparative Analysis of Entrepreneurship Rights in the United States and Vietnam. Despite pronounced cultural and ideological differences between the republics of the United States and Vietnam, one of the goals shared by both societies is promoting entrepreneurship among their citizens. While not explicitly provided by the U.S. Constitution, free enterprise has impliedly been read into its language through a series of judicial decisions since the nation's founding, within a legal system where courts are bound to follow precedent. Vietnam enshrined a broad right to entrepreneurship into its constitution as part of an effort to transition to a more market-friendly economy. Yet constitutionalism under Vietnam's civil law system works differently, where rights require legislative substantiation to take effect. This analysis explores how Vietnam gives effect to this right and compares this model of promoting entrepreneurship to the U.S. approach.

United Kingdom (pre-/post- Brexit), Switzerland. Alessandro Balbo Forero, The Impact of Brexit on Football. There has been much debate and discussion regarding the UK exit from the European Union in 2020. Brexit had an impact on the sports industry as a whole, leading to debate and discussion by legal sport scholars on football, in particular, the English Premier League (EPL), and whether Brexit is good or bad. The unrestricted movement of players across the European Union is the catalyst for competition and player power. Prior to Brexit, players enjoyed the freedom of movement between EU Member States when their contracts expired. The current Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) requirements established after Brexit restrict player movement, and, thus, players are no longer able to sign with teams in the UK without first satisfying specific requirements that are tied to their respective countries' FIFA rankings. Although players are able to appeal to an exception panel, it is still not guaranteed to be granted a GBE. The Swiss model of player immigration would provide the UK with the best of both worlds. Brexit would still be in place, thus enjoying the benefits along with it, like unrestricted EU broadcasting regulations, and players would enjoy the freedom of movement once granted by the European Court of Justice in the Bosman ruling. The Swiss model satisfies both the FA and EPL, because highly qualified, homegrown players would continue to be produced while maintaining the multicultural, global product that is the EPL.

United States, England. Elizabeth Cabral-Townson, Using a Comparative Analysis of Special Education Disputes in the United States and England to Develop a Model that Better Serves Schools and Families.  Every country with a formal public education system has a responsibility to meet the needs of all enrolled students, including those with disabilities. Many countries have developed laws or regulations that describe their special education processes and procedures. In some instances, parents and school districts disagree about what a student with a disability requires to make progress in school. In these instances, there are several different dispute resolution techniques that can be an efficient way to resolve issues. Both the United States and England have developed laws and regulations specifically related to special education disputes. There are both similarities and differences to how the United States and England handle special education disputes, and elements from each country may be used to develop a more universal model. A preferred approach may be a consistently used three-tiered system that ensures the timely resolution of special education disputes using no-cost or low-cost options.

United States, Norway. Emma Clune, Prison Education as Means to Reduce Recidivism: A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Prison Education Programs and Principles of Punishment in Norway and the United States. Access to prison education programs differs greatly between the United States and Norway. In the United States, prison education programs are not widely accessible due to issues such as lack of funding and resources. The programs that are available do not often prepare incarcerated persons for workplace environments after release. In Norway, where education is viewed as a fundamental right, all inmates are eligible to participate in education programs, and every prison facility provides access to academic and vocational programming. Norwegian prison education programs operate based on the "principle of normality," the idea that life inside prison should emulate life after release.  Research confirms that participation in educational programming while incarcerated reduces an offender's likelihood of recidivating by improving the offender's mental health and increasing the likelihood of employment after release. Emulating Norway's prison education programs and adopting the principles of Norway's penal system could be a means to reduce high recidivism rates and ultimately decrease the rapidly growing prison population in the United States.

United States, Canada. Judith Patricia Cruz Caballero, A Comparative Analysis of Refugee Law in the United States and Canada. The United States and Canada are world-leading nations for their international law policies. Refugees are a group of the population displaced from their home country due to war, discrimination, or violence. The United Nations created the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees to create a better humanitarian world. However, as the refugee crisis continue to increase over the next few years, the refugee policies of host nations will impact the support refugees receive. This paper examines refugees' procedures, immigration processes, and funding structures provided to refugees in both countries. In addition, the paper aims to compare each
nation's method of handling refugees in a time of international crisis. Finally, after analyzing each nation's policy areas, the paper provides recommendations to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of refugee response in the United States and Canada.

Netherlands, Colorado. Ryan Gulley, Comparing the Legalization of Drugs in the Netherlands and Colorado: Recommendations for the Future. This paper compares the similarities and differences between the recent implementation of changes regarding drug use within the legal systems of the country of the Netherlands and the state of Colorado. The paper begins with a brief introduction to both systems. Following the introduction is a brief history of the criminalization of drugs within the two systems, as well as the reason for the changes that have been made in response. The current landscape of the legal systems will then be laid out, including where society stands today. I then examine the effects of those changes. The paper concludes by providing recommendations based on the lessons learned from the changes that were made in both areas.

United States, European Union. Austin Gutierrez, SOPA & PIPA vs. Article 17 "Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market." This paper compares the failed U.S. legislation, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), to the currently enacted Directive (EU) 2019/790, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, with a focus on Article 17. This paper goes through the history and then the past and current critiques of each legislation. This paper then creates a hypothetical bill using methodologies from both legislations. This paper has discovered that the current critics of U.S. online piracy protection believe that the U.S. should legislate in favor of website blocking. The EU critics believe that the authorization requirement establishes a mandatory requirement of general monitoring, which may be too much of a request from the website owners. In conclusion, this paper decides that it is in the best interest of the United States to let other nations develop and test online piracy protection while protecting current copyright holders through the use of website blocking for piracy focused websites. 

United States, China, Germany. Christopher Hampton, Comparative Analysis of Crypto Assets/Blockchain Regulation Between PRC & Germany to Form a Spectrum Based Guide for Impending U.S. Regulations. Crypto-assets and blockchain technology have created an array of regulatory responses globally, most of which address the risks associated with illicit activities, consumer protection, and financial stability. The choice of fitting crypto into traditional frameworks, modifying existing regimes, or forming bespoke regulations to address these risks inherently creates strategic variations across the board. However, this range of approaches creates a guiding spectrum for late movers, namely the United States, to survey during impending crypto-asset deliberations. By synthesizing Germany's and China's leading, yet antithetical, approaches to the same priorities, this paper reveals both sides of the spectrum (i.e., acceptance v. full ban), details how the respective strategies address the given concerns, and weighs perceived strengths and weaknesses of their enactments. Further, upon consideration of the United States' current regulatory uncertainty and objectives, recommendations are proffered in promotion of sustainable growth and innovation for the industry. Although the collective knowledge necessary for proper regulations is not solely within this analysis, adequate and sustainable decisions can only be made through considerations as equally expansive and flexible as the emerging industry of focus. Similarly limited, policymakers would be prudent to include market participants in their deliberations and promote international teamwork. Ultimately, regulatory clarity is necessary in any regard for the industry to truly evolve, though the path of evolution depends heavily on U.S. decisions. 

Germany, Russia.  Nicholas Hansen, A Comparative Examination of Environmental Regulatory Policy Models in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Russian Federation. Regulation of the economic activities of any sovereign nation can be foundational in determinations of status, power, and recognition in modern geopolitics. In modern environmental regulation theory, two primary characterizations of economic regulations are found. This analysis compares the use of "process-integrated" environmental policy, to the use of "end-of-pipe" environmental policy, and their relative benefits and hindrances. Process-integrated regulatory policy involves a more direct intervention in production processes and business action, whereas end-of-pipe regulatory policy involves the establishment of penalties for businesses that exceed their allotted carbon output, and violate industrial or automotive emission laws.  These policies have disparate impacts on the economic health of the sovereignties in which they are employed, differing levels of legal security for businesses operating in these sovereignties, and these impacts have been modeled and cataloged in this article.

This author posits that the time-frame around which either model is implemented, and the substantive form of these model regulations have an indirect impact on the long-term economic growth and propensity for foreign investment.  This hypothesis is most principally demonstrated by a comparative examination of the "process-integrated" model presently in use by the Federal Republic of Germany, and the "end-of-pipe" model presently in use by the Russian Federation. This article seeks to explain the characterization of the German and Russian regulatory models as an "end-of-pipe" or "process integrated" model and the statistical and legal evidence that supports this conclusion. In addition, Explanations of the German and Russian environmental regulation and their relative impact on the economic health and growth of their respective sovereignties are given.

Israel, Palestine. Rachel Kilgallen, The Unique Legal Systems of Israeli Settlements. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world's most enduring conflicts, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reaching 55 years. Within Israeli settlements, where Israelis and Palestinians must coexist, an abounding number of controversies have arisen. One such controversy revolves around the legal system adopted within these settlements. Upon Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (along with the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights) in June 1967, the Israeli military immediately established military courts in both territories in order to try offenses harming security and public order. Technically speaking, Israeli military and civilian courts hold "concurrent" jurisdiction to try Israelis for offenses related to security. The policy for the last four decades, however, has been to refrain from prosecuting Israeli civilians in the military system, despite critiques that doing so constitutes partial annexation of occupied territory. The result is that Israeli and Palestinian neighbors accused of committing the very same crimes in the very same territory are arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced in drastically different systems—each featuring staggeringly disparate levels of due process protections. The International community seems to be in concurrence that Israel's actions regarding its settlements violate international law on many levels. At this point in time, all measures taken against Israel, in consequence, have been in vain. The longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine endures.

United States, Germany. Samantha Rapping, The Psychological Toll of Being Prosecuted as an Adult: A Comparative Analysis of Juvenile Prosecution and Incarceration in the United States and Germany. The United States has one of the most complex criminal justice systems, which significantly differs from other systems in the world, specifically Germany. One prominent difference between these two countries is how they handle juvenile offenders. The United States focuses merely on punishment and incapacitation, whereas Germany focuses on education and rehabilitation. As a result of the harsh treatment that juvenile offenders endure, such as frequent sexual and physical abuse, their mental health severely plummets. Juveniles are at a higher risk for suicide, depression, and anxiety. As a consequence, juvenile offenders are likely to re-offend post-release. Germany’s recidivism rates are extremely low as a result of the educational approaches and opportunities that are available to juvenile inmates such as therapy, metalworking, farming, etc. The positive reinforcement that occurs while juveniles are incarcerated leads to an increase in a juvenile inmates overall attitude and positive outlook for the future. The United States should adopt Germany's educational approach to its juvenile offenders.


Students: If you spy any errors here, don't hesitate to contact me for correction. If you were in this class and I failed to include you here, that's because I don't have an abstract from you. Please send one, and I'll be happy to add it.

Publishers and employers: Contact me if I can help put you in touch with any of these promising law students, some of whom are now recent grads!

Flags from Flagpedia.net.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

'Now NATO might join Ukraine,' experts opine

In Washington, D.C., the International Law Section of the American Bar Association receives a message from Ukraine. Attorney Michael Burke is at the lectern; Ambassador William B. Taylor is at the table. Photo by RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 with no claim to depicted video.
The war in Ukraine is not only about Ukraine, and Ukraine will prevail if the West expands military support.

Those were the top takeaways from experts at a panel of the American Bar Association International Law Section (ABA ILS) in Washington, D.C., today, April 28.

The panel at the Capital Hilton comprised William B. Taylor, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 and now vice president for Russia and Europe at the NGO U.S. Institute of Peace; Vladyslav Rashkovan, a board member of the International Monetary Fund and former governor of the Ukraine Central Bank; attorney Michael E. Burke of Arnall Golden Gregory, moderator; and, by pre-recorded message, an attorney in the Kyiv area.  The panelists spoke in their personal capacities, not as representatives of their organizations.

'This war is not new'

I withhold the name of the Kyiv attorney for security; he is a member of the ABA ILS.  As a man under age 60, he cannot leave Ukraine and sent his regrets with the message, recorded on Orthodox Easter, April 24.

Clad in a hoodie and standing before a nondescript wooded background, the Kyiv attorney described persistent air-raid sirens, especially at night, with rockets anticipated to strike "civil" targets all over Ukraine. He described the mentality of the resistance with knowledge that Ukrainian civilians have been killed, tortured, and raped by Russian soldiers.

"This war is not new for us," the attorney said. "It has been around for hundreds of years," hostilities boiling over only most recently in 2014 and 2022.

I was reminded of speaking to a Krakovian friend, a lawyer and long-ago student of mine, in March, earlier in the invasion. Like many Poles, he was planning to host Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, where he lives now.  

"It's the Russians again," he said matter-of-factly.

The Kyiv attorney emphasized a recurring theme we hear from Ukrainian officials and commentators, that the war is not only about Ukraine. Rather, "Ukraine is just the first obstacle in the way of Russia," he said. If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, "European kids and families will keep dying in their homes."

The attorney urged lawyers from around the world to reach out to their political leaders to emphasize the importance of supporting Ukraine, especially militarily.

"Please do your best to support Ukrainians," he concluded. "And keep praying for Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian army."

Ukraine will win, if ...

If western military aid to Ukraine persists and expands, Ambassador Taylor predicted, Ukraine will win the war.  Presently, he explained, Russia is "probing" eastern Ukraine for weakness and softening defenses with air and long-range artillery strikes, while "preparing for a big offensive."

Rashkovan echoed the characterization of conflict with Russia as enduring for "centuries." The February 24, 2022, invasion was "a shock, but not a surprise," he said.

Russia has coveted Ukraine since the 20-aughts, Rashkovan said. To Russia's frustration, every attempt to draw Ukraine closer had the effect of pushing it away.

According to Rashkovan, surprises did follow the invasion of Ukraine, but they were for Russian President Vladimir Putin and for the West.

Putin "believ[ed] his own propaganda," Rashkovan said, citing a recent piece in The Economist by Ian Bremmer. Putin thought "Ukrainians would be waiting with flowers."

Another surprise to Putin was that Ukrainian resistance proved to be sustainable, Rashkovan said.  In contrast, the Russian army proved "not so modern," "not prepared for 21st-century war," "not ready to fight in the streets, against drones and [civic] groups.  They are fighting [with] a strategy of the [19]80s."

Putin also miscalculated by giving a speech in February declaring interest only in the Ukrainian coast, immediately before Russia bombed targets nationwide, Rashkovan said.  The duplicity created "outrageous anger" and "unity" in Ukrainians and in the world, rather than the fear that Putin intended.

Surprises resulted for the West, as well, Rashkovan said. The West "finally understood" that conflict in eastern Ukraine, simmering since the 2014 invasion of Crimea, was about more than the Donbas region and more than just Ukraine.

"I don't want to say for Europe," because Europeans remained reluctant to give up business with Russia, Rashkovan said.  But now it has become clear that Putin stands against the western liberalism of the last half century and norms that it has generated: "globalization, humanism, ... multiculturalism, tolerance, and democracy."

"Ukraine is now on the front line of this fight," Rashkovan said. "Let's be frank.  Until recently, the West was not ready to fight for Ukraine. And Putin showed that he is ready to fight."

The defense of Ukraine should be instructive to the West, Taylor and Rashkovan both said, resulting in the joke, "Now NATO might join Ukraine."

But the joke is "not crazy," Taylor said.  Ukrainians "are showing how to fight, how to win this war."  Upon a Ukrainian victory, he opined, the West should guarantee Ukrainian security against future invasion, whether through NATO or another agreement binding in international law.

Stop saying 'off ramp'

I was pleased to hear a harder line from Ambassador Taylor than I hear from the U.S. leaders that Taylor no longer represents.  Evidently, I am not the only person tired of hearing commentators chatter about the need for an "off ramp" for Putin, a compromise, or my word, "appeasement."

"I am not interested in an off ramp," Taylor said. "Putin caused this problem" by invading a peaceful neighbor that posed no threat and made no provocation.

An "off ramp suggests that we should find something to help him save face," Taylor explained. "No, no.  He needs to find a way out."  When Putin realizes he is losing the so-called "second phase" of the war, if Western military aid does expand, Putin "will look for an off ramp, something to convince the Russian people that it was worth all this.  Good luck with that."

Taylor said he is not worried about Russian aggression against other countries, such as Moldova, as long as Ukraine prevails. Without control of the Ukrainian coast, Taylor opined, Putin "doesn't have the manpower ... to go all the way across the south."

And Russia will not use the nuclear option, Taylor said. "I don't think Putin is suicidal," nor "crazy." "[W]e have to be ready," he said, but "Washington sees no indication of an operational step toward that."

However, if western military aid is not expanded, and Russia does gain control of Ukraine, "then that would be a threat," Taylor said. Besides Moldova, Russian aggression would threaten Georgia, the Balkans, and, ultimately, NATO allies.

"This is not the last war in Europe" if Russia prevails, Rashkovan agreed. "Who knows about Sweden and Finland," countries that recently signaled their intentions to join NATO, "now under critic[ism] from Russia. Who knows about Poland."

Zelensky stars

Both Taylor and Rashkovan praised the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky as key in the defense of Ukraine.

Taylor was in Kyiv just three weeks before the invasion, he said, and he met with political opposition leaders, who were characteristically critical of Zelensky.  Upon the invasion of February 24, "that changed....  Zelensky has motivated and inspired leaders, parliaments, nations around the world."  Now, in the context of the war, opposition leaders line up "nearly 100%" in support of the president, Taylor said.

Famously an actor and comedian before entering politics, Zelensky was a sort of Stephen Colbert of Ukrainian "late night" fame.  (Colbert has "run" for the U.S. Presidency more than once, since 2008, in mixed satirical and activist capacities.)  A pledge to eradicate corruption saw Zelensky to a stunning 73% electoral victory in 2019.  When war broke out, Taylor said, it was Zelensky himself who gathered and energized the Ukrainian leadership.

"He understands the Ukrainian people because of his entertainment background," Taylor said. His audience is the electorate.  "It's that connection with the leader and the people that gives him the strength, the moral strength."

China watches and learns

Taylor commented also on the perspective of China.  Just before the invasion, at the Olympics, Beijing broadcast its allyship with Moscow. China has been conspicuously non-committal since.  It has not joined western efforts to arm Ukraine, but has refrained from speaking favorably of the invasion and has not moved to undermine western sanctions. In fact, Taylor said, many Chinese firms are respecting the sanctions.

China's strategy is pragmatic.  Before the invasion, China was the biggest foreign investor in Ukraine, Taylor explained. And Chinese economic planners have their eyes on the European market, "which dwarfs the size of the economy in Russia."

Moreover, the Chinese are studying Russia's exploits relative to the matter of Taiwan.  "President Xi is watching very carefully the response of the United States and NATO, putting sanctions on a central bank," Taylor said. "That probably opened some eyes in China: 'Can they do it to us?'"

And China is watching the military engagement on the ground, too, Taylor said. China might be wondering whether, like Russia, its army is not as strong as Beijing has calculated, and whether Taiwanese resistance to a takeover might be stronger than anticipated.

Lawyers and sanctions help

Both Taylor and Rashkovan told the ABA ILS audience that lawyers are important in the Ukraine conflict, now and in the future.  Lawyers play a role now in documenting and calculating infrastructure losses in Ukraine, Rashkovan said. Data are being fed to the World Bank in anticipation of a reparations bill that might someday issue to Russia.

Meanwhile, Rashkovan said, lawyers should be helping Ukrainian people and businesses to design "legal class action[s]" against Russian defendants.  "I don't know the practicalities," he said, "but we should deliberate this further."

Taylor said that American lawyers can support the investigation of war crimes notwithstanding U.S. non-ratification of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court.  Lawyers can help, too, to strengthen sanctions, which must be made "more targeted and smarter," Rashkovan said.

To evade sanctions, "Russia will start looking for the back doors," Rashkovan said. Russia still imports western food through eastern European and central Asian allies; Rashkovan joked about "Belarusian parmesan," before Belarus, too, came under sanctions.

According to the Crimean play book, he said, Russians will take over businesses from fast food, such as McDonald's, to car manufacture and aerospace, "knowing the techniques" to keep them running. But Rashkovan predicted that "the capacity of Russia to produce something serious, high tech, will diminish substantially."

Acknowledging that not everyone sees sanctions against Russia as necessarily enduring as long as Putin's presidency, Taylor suggested that sanctions will outlast the war, "[b]ecause when they [Russia] lose, they will be back.

"They will not give up," Taylor said, at least not as long as Putin remains on his "almost mystical mission, his commitment to dominate Ukraine."

Friday, May 14, 2021

Comparative law papers examine fin reg, human rights, environment, labor, piracy, sovereignty, and more

Image by Gordon Johnson via Pixabay
Lately, I've been part of interviewing faculty candidates.  In that awkward part of the interview when the interviewee gets to ask questions, and the interviewee really wants to know, "What are you going to pay me?, because we could put an end to this charade right now if you're not serious," but doesn't ask that for fear she will look like it's only about the money, and really, why fear that? would you work for free? I wouldn't; there's a word for that, but the interviewee asks instead some dopey question to make the interviewer feel good, along the lines, "How can it be that you are so fabulous?," the subtext of which is not, but should be, "you, who really doesn't come off as bright or spirited enough to have pulled off fabulous," I'm wearing a hoodie after all, even if we are on Zoom, an interviewee recently asked me, "What do you like most about your job?"

Well, you asked, so I answer:  I never tire of seeing the ingenuity, inventiveness, and range of interests and life experience that law students bring to the table.  And a seminar as wide-ranging as Comparative Law gives the most ingenious and inventive a chance to shine.  This spring it's been my privilege to be informed, educated, and thought-provoked by a range of papers, and I am eager to share here a selection of abstracts, with authors' permission.  These students have outdone themselves in a challenging course, despite an ogre of a professor and limited access to resources during the pandemic.  Filled with (I hope, authentic) pride, I congratulate each and every one.

Laura Z. Copland, Understanding Human Trafficking: A Comparative Analysis of the Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention Laws in the United States and Honduras.  Human trafficking is a high-profile global issue, generating billions of dollars at the expense of millions of victims. Trafficking occurs to minors and adults in urban and rural communities. Victims have diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, varied levels of education, and can be documented or undocumented. Traffickers target victims using tailored recruitment methods they find effective in compelling individuals to fall into exploitation. In recent years, both the United States and Honduras have attempted to provide legal redress to the lack of focus placed upon the effects of human trafficking in legal scholarship. Anti-human trafficking legislation in these jurisdictions has differed in their specific approaches. Still, both have sought to implement prosecutorial guidelines to support the execution of the three main pillars of the fight against human trafficking. These three pillars are prosecution, protection, and prevention.  This note compares the similarities and differences in the attainment of the three pillars by both jurisdictions. Moreover, this note illustrates that despite trafficking’s tremendous impact, most people in positions of authority in both the United States and Honduras still need to learn about what human trafficking is, how to identify it, and how to combat it effectively.

Dolapo D. Emmanuel, The Inadequacy of the Insanity Defense in the United States and England.  According to Our World Data, as of 2018, nearly one billion individuals globally suffer from a mental health condition. Conversely, media portrayals of mental health conditions are both comparatively rare and largely inaccurate. Though insanity is a legal concept rather than a clinical condition, the preceding statement applies. Dramatizations of legal insanity have both obfuscated and marginalized the concept such that even individuals with academic or professional legal footing are confused about its place in criminal law. This confusion in turn fosters perceptions that may not be accurate. One of the most popular claims about the insanity defense is that it is a powerful tool criminal defendants employ to escape the legal consequences of their criminal conduct. To determine the extent of this alleged power, this paper aims to discern the adequacy of the insanity defense in the United States and England based on three factors: the congruency between the medical and legal perspective of mental illness, the utility of required expert testimony, and the stability of the defense’s place in criminal law. As such, it seems, despite the facts that there has been more evolution in the insanity defense’s standard in the United States, and that the standard is more difficult to satisfy in England, the insanity defense is more effective in England than it is in the United States. However, this paper identifies continuing inadequacies in both countries.

Sydney Anne Goldstein, The Force of Discipline: Laws of Good Order and Discipline of the Armed Forces of the United States and the Russian Federation.  From the primordial beginnings of combat to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, factions of humanity continue to assemble and take up arms to defend their way of being or vindicate their honor. Of course, there is strength in numbers along with the breadth and depth of their capabilities, but the real magnitude of military power comes from the discipline and conduct of those serving. Out of the countries currently grasping for global influence, the United States and the Russian Federation have climbed to the highest echelons of military power on the international stage. But with this elevated stature comes the pressure to maintain diplomacy coupled with the indelible friction of conflict.  In this paper, I survey the historical development of military jurisprudence of the United States and Russia to compare their legal institutions' impact on military power.

Richard Grace, The Modern Myth of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. The turn of the century wave of innovative technology companies, colloquially “FAANG” (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), set in motion a revolution of the global economy.  Trade is more efficient than at any point in human history, as are the global financial markets.  Technology has expanded the reach of the instrumentalities of global finance to previously incomprehensible levels, allowing anyone with a smartphone to connect to stock, currency, bond, and commodities markets, and to execute trades anywhere you have a cell signal.  This realm, previously restricted to professional brokerages and traders, has been opened to the everyday individuals.  These individuals have come to be known as “retail,” or non-professional investors.  In response to these changing market conditions, large institutional brokerages have begun to market to retail investors, and numerous smaller brokerages have been formed with the sole purpose of providing the “little guy” access to the world’s markets.  The school of minnows can now play in uncharted territory, in the deep end alongside the whales.  This article aims to explore the impacts of the expanding role of retail investors on the global financial market.  Unsurprisingly, the changing market has resulted in many changes in the law.  The focal points of interest will be the responses in the law to the surge in retail trading in the United States and the United Kingdom.  As both jurisdictions have operated under the same common law tradition, the comparative value of juxtaposition of the present responses should provide useful comparisons as to the efficacy of certain laws, rules, and regulations passed to precipitate issues perceived by the global market.  I will first consider the frameworks under which retail investors operate; the regulations and laws that make up the rules of the game.  These rules include the "Pattern Day Trader Rule," and the trading of security derivatives in the form of option contracts.  Second, I will evaluate changes in monetization of retail trading at the brokerage level, most notably, the "Payment for Order Flow" system, originally devised by the infamous Bernie Madoff.  The financial market is inherently global, and therefore, changes in the law and in regulations within the United States impact all retail investors, regardless of their country of origin.  The result of this global system is that a routine practice in the U.S. markets may be completely prohibited within the U.K.’s, and vice versa; the same securities are being traded with two different sets of rules governing the transactions.

Brooke Loneker, Designer or Dupe? Assessing the Development of the United States: A Comparative Analysis Between Single-Use Plastic Recycling Laws Established in the United States and PerúIn what millennials might describe as a “Freaky Friday” scenario, this paper explores the notion of a "first world" country following in the steps of a "third world" country’s national legislation banning single-use plastics. In December of 2018, the nation of Perú passed and quickly enforced Law No. 30884, speaking directly to the prohibition of unnecessary or non-recyclable single-use plastics, which, under the civil law system, made the law applicable to all provinces, regions, and the Province of Lima. The United States, in contrast, with a federal legal system, does not have a national legislation that regards single-use plastics. California, a leading state among the United States in environmental regulation, has passed state laws regarding single-use plastic bans. This paper compares Perú’s Law No. 30884 and California’s Senate Bill No. 54, as amended in 2020. This paper focuses on the cost of enacting this legislation, the revenue opportunities provided through enacting this legislation, and the similarities of Perú's and California’s laws. In understanding these comparisons, this paper argues that implementing a structure that is successful in a country such as Perú would be cost efficient, promising to the state/federal budget, and would promote the health and general welfare of the U.S. population.

Ryan Manning, Counter-Piracy: A Comparative Analysis on Two Multinational Organizations’ Fight Against Piracy.  As piracy spiked around the horn of Africa, several organizations and countries sought to combat it. Although a prominent actor in counter-piracy efforts, NATO was not the only organization making strides to deter this maritime threat. Although initially reluctant, member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), specifically China, made efforts to alleviate a dangerous situation. By addressing two different responses to the threat of pirates surrounding the horn of Africa, this paper compares NATO’s anti-piracy operations with China’s through the SCO. The paper first introduces what drove the pirates to start hijacking merchant vessels and the evolution of their tactics, causing them to become a threat to maritime security. Following that, NATO is analyzed, describing how it became involved in counter-piracy; then, the SCO’s lack of response as an alliance and China’s efforts to protect Chinese vessels from hijackings. Last, the missions of NATO and the SCO are analyzed. NATO’s integration of outside forces and cooperation has proved to be a beneficial tactic in counter-piracy operations, and the SCO was reluctant to involve itself in the operations. Disagreements among member states of the SCO prevented organizational cooperation, in turn, causing China to handle the threats on imports and exports unilaterally. Whereas NATO had extensive maritime experience, China used counter-piracy operations to develop its capabilities and provide support for vessels not of Chinese origin. Further, where NATO freely cooperated with organizations and states outside of its members, China was initially reluctant to provide support and struggled to allow other members to work alongside.  Yet as declines in pirate attacks have been related to multinational cooperation, China’s participation with NATO and other operations has become a crucial contribution to further deterrence of piracy.

Brett Mueller, Animal DiplomacyIn a time when common ground between the United States and China seems to be eroding, one area of shared goals could provide fertile ground to help ease tension: wildlife. While both countries seek to preserve naturally occurring creatures, historic practices and differing viewpoints on just how to achieve that goal have left the picture of wildlife protection looking vastly different in each. While the approaches may be different, different is not synonymous with ineffectual (or wrong), and it is important to understand the underlying complexities that exist in each society in order to chart a reasonable path forward. Of course, the relationship between natural creatures and mankind has developed over many centuries, and will continue its indefinite transformation as time goes on. Instead of casting judgment from afar, the United States and China would be wise to learn from each other’s successes and failures. Regardless of other sources of disagreement, when it comes to wildlife preservation it is time for the two world superpowers to put on a unified front to set a strong example for the rest of the world.

Sara O'Brien, A Comparative View of Irish and Israel Citizenship Laws as Products of Settler-ColonialismIrish and Israeli citizenship laws are compared by activists because of their seeming similarity; they both provide citizenship to those born abroad under certain conditions or circumstances. However, their approaches to citizenship are not as similar as they seem. Each nation has imposed certain restrictions on claiming citizenship, and as we see, those restrictions and limitations effectuate particular purposes.  The purpose of this paper is to explore how the laws differ, and how they work to accomplish particular political goals. The respective approaches appear to be motivated either in moving beyond a settler-colonial regime, as in Ireland, or continuing one, as in Israel. By examining the Israeli Citizenship Act (1952) and Law of Return closely, a stark difference in how people of different religion are treated becomes clear. In practice, the laws make it easier for foreign nationals of the Jewish faith to immigrate to Israel, while making it difficult for Palestinians to gain citizenship as both a practical and political manner. In Ireland, the post-settler-colonial citizenship scheme is visible in the relative religious and ethnic neutrality of the laws. Ireland allows for descendent citizenship provided the applicant meets a handful of requirements, and acquisition is structured in a manner that does not consider religion, race, or national origin, and does so explicitly to make Ireland more inclusive after the Good Friday Agreement was ratified.  Together, they provide examples of how active settler-colonialism can manifest in citizenship laws, as well as how citizenship laws can be used to uphold the ideals of post-colonial governments.

Spencer K. Schneider, The Necessary Evil of Environmental Federalism in the U.S. and Brazil.  Brazil and the United States are respectively the fifth and third largest countries on earth. As a result, both countries are composed of many diverse environments, from forests to waterways, and these environments require careful management and conservation. But both countries suffer from inconsistent environmental regulation that is primarily due to the frameworks of federalism that shape the relationships among each country’s national, state, and local governments. These frameworks of shared power are crucial to effective environmental regulation and protection, but, these frameworks are also at the root of some of environmental policy’s largest problems today. Understanding how federalism functions in environmental policy is crucial to solving some of the biggest problems in environmental regulation that exist today.

Ricardo J. Serrano R., Jíbaro Nation: Las Crónicas de la No Incorporación (Jíbaro Nation: The Chronicles of Non-incorporation).  Puerto Rico en los últimos quinientos años ha tenido una compleja existencia colonial que todavía se ve plasmada en el presente. En este estudio investigamos más profundamente el efecto de la Carta Autonómica en el estatus colonial de Puerto Rico bajo España, sus limitaciones, y existencia de una noción de soberanía introducida por los líderes nacionalistas de Puerto Rico. También, luego del 1898 examinamos la integración de Puerto Rico como territorio no incorporado a los Estados Unidos y como este proceso de integración ha afectado a Puerto Rico y su estatus colonial. Al mismo tiempo, se hace un contraste entre el Puerto Rico bajo la Carta Autonómica de 1897 y el Puerto rico bajo los Casos Insulares y el Acta Foraker para comparar los derechos legitimados por cada sistema. Por último, se establece un esquema que comprende el trato de Puerto Rico desde el 1898 hasta la ratificación de la asamblea constituyente de 1951.  (Author's translation: Puerto Rico in the last five hundred years has had a complex colonial existence that is still embodied in the present. In this study we investigate more deeply the effect of the autonomic charter on Puerto Rico's colonial status under Spain, its limitations, and the existence of a notion of sovereignty introduced by Puerto Rico's nationalist leaders. Also, we examine the integration of Puerto Rico, after 1898, as a territory not incorporated into the United States and how this non-integration has affected Puerto Rico and its colonial status. At the same time, a contrast is made between Puerto Rico under the 1897 Autonomy Charter and under the Insular Cases and the Foraker Act to compare the rights legitimized by each system.  Finally, a scheme is established comprising Puerto Rico’s treatment from 1898 until the ratification of the 1951 Constituent Assembly.)

Matthew R. Stevens, Collectivism, Individualism, and Their Respective Costs of Human Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic.  On the final day of 2019, December 31, the World Health Organization discovered a media statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission describing new cases of “viral pneumonia” in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China. One year later, this viral pneumonia would claim the lives of two million souls. While almost every country and human on the planet has experienced the COVID-19 Pandemic in one way or another, disparate impacts have arisen throughout the globe. One curiosity inducing dichotomy is that of South Korean and the United States, suffering 1,700 deaths and 551,000 deaths, respectively. This paper dives into a comparative study of the COVID-19 responses of South Korea and the United States through the scope of collectivism and individualism. This paper explores whether the respective responses have direct ties to the country’s individualistic or collectivist culture, and if any connection can be drawn to the relative success of one cultural response over the other.

Jhoanna Sylio, Reexamining the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) and Possible Improvements Based on the Administration of the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers ProgramTemporary agricultural foreign workers are admitted to the United States and Canada through guest worker programs to perform low-skill seasonal or temporary agricultural labor.  Foreign workers fill jobs that farmers are otherwise unable to fill with a local workforce despite availability of jobs and requirement of very little formal education. In the United States, employers are able to bring in foreign workers from 80 countries to fill temporary agricultural work under the H-2A program.  In Canada, employers are able to source seasonal workers from Mexico and 11 participating Caribbean countries under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (“SAWP”). The paper examines the legal framework of the H-2A program in the United States and the administration of the H-2A program in North Carolina, specifically. This examination serves as a basis of comparison with the administration of SAWP in Canada, focusing on Ontario. The paper overviews the guest worker programs in the American and Canadian contexts, and  the important role migrant agricultural workers play in ensuring food security in these labor-destination countries. The paper concludes by identifying measures that could be adopted in Ontario to effectively increase protections and  improve conditions experienced by migrant agricultural workers under the SAWP.

Thomas D. Aaron Wazlavek, The Pond Separates Cultures But Not Values: A Comparative Look At the French Codification of Right to Withdrawal of Labor and the American Concept of At-Will Employment.  The differences and similarities of the United States common law concept of “right to work” and the modern development in France of the right to withdraw labor, after the “yellow vest” movement in 2018, demonstrate a parallel diminution of workers’ rights. These changes are motivated by the same values inherent within capitalism that are superimposed through the law. This article analyzes the social and legal context in both countries that demonstrates that the superimposition of these values through law is a continuing modern western trend. The key difference is that, while the French model is designed to decrease the pressure for strike actions by workers, it also serves as a protection to workers, as compared with the American model, which largely exists merely as a tool to remove workplace protections by substantially altering the terms and conditions of employment. Further, this article demonstrates that these concepts are both divergent and convergent in terms of core shared values and the peripheral aspect of laws setting cultural norms.  This article then concludes through comparative analysis that while the French right to withdraw labor is a product of legislative supremacy, and the American view within the common law is that at-will employment is the standard, the French model is a product of generations of social negotiations. The American model is a product of the easily swayed influences within the common law that allow a new legal theory with little to no precedential value at the time of its proposal to be adopted in sweeping fashion with very little civil discourse.

National and U.S. state flags courtesy of Flagpedia.net.  Puerto Rico historical flags from Welcome to Puerto Rico.  Ontario flag from Britannica.com.  NATO and SCO seals from Wikimedia Commons.