In 2014, I worked as a research assistant at The National Security Archive. My supervisor built her career on using declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act to bolster the prosecution in international human rights trials. [. . .]
Narrowing the Global Digital Divides: How Lawyers Can Help
By Louise D. Williams
In March 2020, no sooner had COVID-19 lockdowns begun sweeping the globe than the breadth of the world’s “digital divide” came into full view. The pandemic forced students, workers, and businesses worldwide to carve digital pathways toward business-as-usual-as-possible. They did so, respectively, by transitioning to online learning, endeavoring to work remotely (job-permitting), and increasing their investments in digital services and e-commerce.
Historical Memory and Transitional Justice
By Peggy Cooper Davis
I was honored in September of 2020 to join an august group of speakers convened by Professor Christine Warren, the brilliant and prolific director of William and Mary’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Professor Warren had called us together at a time of urgent national soul-searching that was triggered by official and sometimes deadly violence against Black and Brown people and against demonstrators supporting the idea that Black lives matter. We came together to understand transitional justice more fully and to assess its applicability in the United States. [. . .]
US-UK Free Trade Agreement: Not So Fast
By Nancy Rosen, Cameron Krause, and Jenik Radon
With the Brexit withdrawal agreement concluded, the United States has an opportunity to finish what it started with the United Kingdom and create a strong free trade agreement—but questions abound. First, is it really an opportunity? Specifically, should it be a focus of US efforts? And should it be a priority before a free trade agreement is entered into with the EU, a much larger, and therefore more important trade partner of the US? [. . .]
EU-China Investment Agreement: A Values Agreement? The Proof Will Be in The Pudding
By Allison Lofgren and Jenik Radon
Seven years after talks between the European Union and China commenced, a surprise eleventh-hour investment agreement was struck on December 30, 2020, despite requests from the incoming administration of President Biden to wait. This deal, the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), is intended to replace the bilateral investment treaties that the majority of EU member states currently have with China, effectively unifying and standardizing them. [. . .]
Vagueness and Contradictions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Elusive Standards?
By Rachel Sleiman and Jenik Radon
With the new administration of President Biden, the United States will have no alternative but to re-assess its relationships with the world. To be frank, the United States has unfortunately lost credibility and stature during the last four years. And re-envisioning, and even reinventing, the Obama initiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be a good start. While former President Trump withdrew from the original TPP, its potential rejuvenation, welcomed by Australia and Japan, calls for a fresh perspective. [. . .]
A Trade Agreement with a Possible Twist: The EU-Mercosur Agreement
By Michalis Polygiannis and Jenik Radon.
The monumental European Union–Mercosur free trade agreement was announced in 2019 after twenty years, literally a generation, of negotiations. This trade agreement will create the largest free-trade zone in the world, cut tariffs, and simplify the customs procedures between the EU states and the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Uruguay. For the EU, this means more exports of high-value products like machinery, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. In contrast, for the Mercosur countries, it would mean more exports in commodity agricultural products, including meat, poultry and sugar for which quantity is the name of the game, to the European single market,. However, despite the almost endless ongoing global discussions and negotiations for a transition to a low-carbon economy to mitigate climate change, trade and environment are like two ships passing in the night. But President Macron of France is ready to change that and is willing to have a “collision” of these two spheres. [. . .]
Declarar la Interdependencia
By José M. de Areilza
Los europeos no temenos major aliado que Estados Unidos en un mundo de incertidumbres y tambien de oportunidades. Hay grandes expectativas de recuperar y poner al dia una relación transatlántica maltrecha.
La victoria de Joe Biden puede tener consecuencias muy positivas para la política exterior de su país. Es más difícil aventurar, sin embargo, lo que ocurrirá en el ámbito doméstico. La escisión de los votantes en dos mundos paralelos, que consideran a la otra mitad fuente de todos los males, es un problema político mayúsculo. El nuevo presidente acertará si ignora a la izquierda de su partido y se enfrenta a la pandemia y a la crisis económica tendiendo puentes y dialogando con aquellos republicanos dispuestos a olvidarse de Donald Trump. [. . .]
Should We Experiment with Election Administration in the U.S?
By Chad Vickery and Bailey Dinman.
As Louis Brandeis noted in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, in the United States’ federal system,individual states are intended to “serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” This innovation at the state level – for example in education, infrastructure, and public health – is enabled by the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which provides that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” When this decentralized system works well, innovation is supported and successful policies and approaches are replicated throughout the country. However, when this system does not work well – for example, when minimum standards for government service provision are not defined or respected – citizens experience stark differences in public administration and the quality of services they receive. This holds true for the decentralized U.S. electoral system, which is rooted in this constitutional deference to each state’s autonomy. [. . .]
An Interview with Constitutional Law Scholar Sanford Levinson
Sanford Levinson and The Comparative Jurist.
What makes it worth looking at other constitutions compared to say, the US Constitution? “One answer to that comes in a Rudyard Kipling poem. ‘What do they know of England who only England know?’ It’s an embarrassing truth that one reason to look at other constitutions, whether next door in Canada or in Tanzania, India, really anywhere, is that you end up learning a lot about the US Constitution that hadn’t occurred to you. You learn what deeply embedded assumptions we have.” [. . .]
Why Gender Equality is not a Zero-Sum Game Implying Loss for Men
By Augusto Lopez-Claros.
The single greatest antidote to poverty and social stagnation is the emancipation of women. Failed economies have been critically analyzed since the early twentieth century, with dedicated researchers analyzing problems ranging from the role of education in poverty alleviation, to the benefits of macroeconomic stability, to the advantages of an open trade system, to the consequences of corruption. The role of women, however, has been relegated to the periphery when assessing the effectiveness of economic policy. […]
Toward the Abolition of Slavery under the Aegis of Islamic Law
By Bernard Freamon.
Slavery and slave trading are both universally abolished, statutorily and very often constitutionally, in all the world’s jurisdictions. . . . Scholars, government officials, diplomats, journalists, and many others were therefore shocked to see that partisans of ISIS, Boko Haram, and, later, Abu Sayyaf, actively employed purported Islamic ideology permitting the enslavement of captives and prisoners of war based on interpretations of core Islamic texts and opinions of medieval and early modern Islamic jurists. . . . The issue of the abolition of slavery in Islamic law is thus a matter of some urgency for observant Muslims, for governments that look to the Sharīʿa for guidance in the formulation of their juridical policies and legal norms, and for scholars and practitioners of Islamic law […]