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comparativejurist

The Challenge of Litigation Costs and Damage Assessment Fees in Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China

The Challenge of Litigation Costs and Damage Assessment Fees in Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China

By Yu Zhuang.

From January 2015 when the new Environmental Protection Law (EPL) took effect to the end of 2016, courts in China have accepted 112 environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) cases filed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). But, as of November 2016, only six NGOs have brought EPIL cases, down from eleven in 2015. In light of China’s mounting environmental crisis and the fact that over 700 NGOs are eligible to file EPIL cases under the EPL, the number of EPIL cases filed and the NGOs filing these cases are surprisingly low. One reason is the high upfront costs and risks borne by NGOs, which includes litigation costs paid to courts and damage assessment fees. These costs and fees constitute a formidable barrier to environmental NGOs because many of them operate on constrained budgets. As a result, very few NGOs can afford to pursue legal action. […]

Green is the New Orange:  Solving the Problem of Citrus Greening for H-2A Guest Workers

Green is the New Orange: Solving the Problem of Citrus Greening for H-2A Guest Workers

By Sami L. Alsawaf.

The United States agriculture economy relies heavily on foreign workers—in 2011, there were 55,000 workers on H-2A visas. Guest workers in the U.S. are not immune to the injustices seen by migrant workers across the world. Employers of foreign workers may withhold wages or force workers to live in poor conditions. Due to these abuses, the H-2 visa program has been compared to legal slavery. […]

Circumventing International Law:  The EU’s Responsibility for Rights of Migrants Returned to Libya Under Operation Sophia

Circumventing International Law: The EU’s Responsibility for Rights of Migrants Returned to Libya Under Operation Sophia

By Victoria Jensen.

From January to October 2016, nearly 160,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Italy. In response to the smuggling and trafficking across the Mediterranean, the European Union created Operation Sophia. However, Operation Sophia has resulted in migrant and refugee boats being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and being returned to Libya. Through the Operation Sophia training program, the EU has effectively delegated European border control to the Libyan Coast Guard. This practice allows the EU to evade both their duty of non-refoulement and duty to rescue distressed persons at sea. The EU has trained Libyans to conduct actions which the EU could not legally accomplish itself under international law, and is therefore violating international human rights law by aiding and assisting Libya’s wrongful actions. […]

Freedom of Movement: the Right to Leave Permanently and the Right to Leave Temporarily

Freedom of Movement: the Right to Leave Permanently and the Right to Leave Temporarily

By Lauren Gillespie.

Man is a migrant species. With modern technology, emigration has lost its permanency, and people ebb and flow through borders. And today states struggle to control the movement of humanity across borders while respecting the right to freedom of movement. In this article, I argue that the international law community split freedom of movement into two distinct rights: namely, the right to leave permanently and the right to leave temporarily. […]

Will China Recognize Same-Sex Marriage? Take a Look at China’s One-Child Policy

Will China Recognize Same-Sex Marriage? Take a Look at China’s One-Child Policy

By Howell Ma.

The legalization of gay marriage is being argued in China right now. It is has been discussed in the society for years, especially after the United States (“U.S.”) Supreme Court Obergefell ruling came out in 2015. Constantly, there are discussions regarding why it is so difficult for the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) to recognize same-sex marriage while ancient China had relatively more tolerant policies towards same-sex relationships. This article argues the greatest challenge is not the constitutional grounds, but rather social hurdles: traditional Confucian culture, the government’s ignorance of the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people in China, and the general mass social views of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in China. […]

Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) in China – Background and Overview

Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) in China – Background and Overview

By Yu Zhuang.

Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) in China permits qualified environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to file litigation to protect the public interest in safeguarding the environment and natural resources from pollution and ecological destruction. It took China almost ten years to establish the EPIL scheme in law and may take several more years to fine-tune the EPIL system through practices. […]

Language Challenges in the South China Sea Dispute

Language Challenges in the South China Sea Dispute

By Huanxin Luo.

Due to the number of claimants and the complexity of claims, the South China Sea dispute is deemed as the “mother of all territorial disputes”. In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally filed an arbitration case, requesting the tribunal to adjudge her disputes with China concerning the interpretation and application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Philippines’ submissions were detailed about the legitimacy of China’s historic rights claim based on the “nine-dash line”; the status and maritime entitlements of relevant features in the Nanshan Islands. On July 12, 2016, the tribunal rendered its final award, which mostly backed the Philippines’ position. Immediately, the Chinese government reaffirmed her objection, insisting the award is null and void for the tribunal does not have jurisdiction over any of the claims made by the Philippines. […]

Cultural Vandalism and the Islamic State:  Rethinking Our Connection to the Past

Cultural Vandalism and the Islamic State: Rethinking Our Connection to the Past

By Jennifer Morris.

Last spring, I showed the students in my introductory art history class a slide of a lamassu taken from the Citadel of Sargon II in the ancient Assyrian city of Dur Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad, Iraq). They looked bemused as I explained how these colossal man-headed bulls with wings, most of which date to the late eighth century BCE, served as gateway guardians and protective spirits of fortresses and palaces. Their expressions promptly shifted, however, as I showed them an image of a bearded man shrouded in a black tunic chipping off the face of a lamassu with a jackhammer. With gaping mouths and indignantly furrowed brows, they listened as I described how the photo was a still from an Islamic State propaganda video chronicling ISIS militants’ sacking of the museum in Mosul. A moment of silence followed, then somebody piped up: “Let’s nuke ‘em.” […]

Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Extremism in Bangladesh:  From Policy to Grassroots Activism

Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Extremism in Bangladesh: From Policy to Grassroots Activism

By Atif A. Choudhury.

Holey Artisan Bakery is the kind of place where expats cure homesickness by indulging in a range of epicurean delights, while locals (especially kids) grab themselves a treat before fasting hours began. On July 1, during the waning days of Ramadan, seven heavily armed terrorists decided it was a suitable venue to rob 24 innocent people of their lives and to shock a nation of 170 million in the process. […]

A Human Security Approach to Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

A Human Security Approach to Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

By Dr. Ian M. Ralby.

The Gulf of Guinea – the coastal portion of West and Central Africa – is one of the most dynamic regions of the world in terms of both maritime criminal activity, and proactive efforts to counter maritime crime. The waters of the Gulf are plagued by a wide array of challenging threats including piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, trafficking of all sorts, dumping and other environmental crimes, and oil theft. […]