First printed in 1978 as the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Comparative Corporate Law and Securities Regulation, the Journal of International Law (JIL) is the oldest topically focused journal at Penn Law and widely recognized as one of the top international law journals in the world.
Since 9/11, the growth of the national security state has brought with it an increasing struggle to maintain the legal and ethical boundaries surrounding executive authority, boundaries that help to define and protect democratic governance. In today’s political landscape, debates about the scope of presidential power have intensified, and they are likely to accelerate even more as a divided Congress does battle over fundamental aspects of civilian leadership and the president continues to press an unprecedented vision of the powers of his office. Questions such as whether a sitting president may be indicted, whether the president’s pardon power under the U.S. Constitution allows the president to pardon himself, and whether the president may use emergency powers to fund and build a border wall, will be contentiously debated and may even find their way to the U.S. Supreme Court soon.
- Claire Finkelstein, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Jonathan Turley, Professor, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro
- Sharon Lloyd, Professor, University of Southern California
- Michael Skerker, Associate Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Law
The Weaponization of Outer Space: Ethical and Legal Boundaries
The video of the keynote address can be found here: https://youtu.be/Gh_EgJ7YSRE
This symposium focused on ethical and legal boundaries that will inevitably arise in a future space-based conflict. Until recently, the dominant approach among space-faring nations has been strategic restraint. Now, there has been a discernible shift in international rhetoric toward offensive defense in space and there is speculation that China, Russia, and the U.S. all possess anti-satellite weapon capabilities.
Therefore, there is a critical need for clear representations from states as to their position on national and international law applicable to space and well-informed policy positions on the emerging weaponization of space. Due to the specificity of the space domain, specialized expertise must be provided to decision-makers, and interdisciplinary opinions must be sought from a multitude of stakeholders. To that end, CERL hosted a high-level discussion, which focused on questions of ethical conduct and standards that assessed the ways in which the U.S. and other leaders in space can protect their space assets in accordance with the core tenets of the Outer Space Treaty regarding freedom of access to and use of space, and the prohibition on non-peaceful uses of outer space, as well as potential arms control measures and the unique role that commercial actors play in securing space for sustainable civilian and military uses.
- Theresa Hitchens, Director of the Center for Defense Information and Director of the Center’s Space Security Project
- Andrew D’Uva, President of Providence Access Company
- Doug Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy
- General James Cartwright, retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who last served as the eighth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Dr. Cassandra Steer, Independent Consultant in Space and Securities Law
- Claire Finkelstein, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
JIL Online presented this online symposium of student work on international investment and arbitration. The Journal of International Law originally began as an international business law journal, evolving over the years to encompass a wider array of international legal issues. Likewise, the investor-state dispute settlement process was originally designed to resolve a limited range of business concerns, but it has since grown to address a broader range of social and political issues. In recent years, the regime of international investment laws have greatly influenced the political conversation, both in the United States and abroad, and continued academic engagement in this area is more crucial now than ever before.
The University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law and JIL Online were honored to share the contributions of this student-led, collaborative symposium, which united both JD and LLM candidates to address international investment law, a subject which directly impacts the quality and sustainability of our global community, no matter what country we call home.
- Emma Rose Bienvenu: The EC’s Proposal for a Permanent Investment Court System: Politics, Pitfalls, and Perils
- Emma Rose Bienvenu: International Arbitral Tribunals and Corruption: Not so Duty Free
- Seungwoo Cha: Losing Credibility Of Tribunals’ Interpretations: The Standards Of Review Of “Denial Of Justice” Lacking In Relationships With Treaty Wording
- Yu-Jui Chang: Non-Action as an Indirect Expropriation
- Aleksandra Dziki: A Fiercely Contested No-Man’s Land Of International Arbitration: Consent Arbitration In Bilateral Investment Treaties And The Frontiers Of The Application Of MFN Clauses To Dispute Settlement Provisions
- Anna Förstel: Can the E.U. Proposal to Establish an Investment Court Through TTIP Inform the Establishment of an Appeal Mechanism in ICSID?
- Karan Kalia: Denunciation of ICSID: Does it Really Mean no ICSID Arbitration?
- Suzanne Knijnenburg: The Protection Of Migrant Workers Under The International Investment Law Regime
- Allison Kowalski: More Guidance Necessary? Limiting State Vulnerability to Investor-State Disputes by Reducing the Grounds for Non-Enforcement of Commercial Awards
- Allison Kowalski: Recognizing an Investment: An Argument for Access to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms for Non-Governmental Organizations
- Sarah Kramer: Public vs. Private: State-Owned Enterprises as Claimants in ICSID Arbitration
- Lawrence Lee: The Ambivalent Changes In Foreign Investment Market Condition Of South Korea In The Post-IMF Era
- Amal Sethi: Playing By The Tribunals’ Rules: A Solution For Resolving The Conflict Between Rules And Practice In IIA Interpretation
- Zachary Sweebe: Shades of Green: Health, Safety, and Environmental Protections in China’s International Investment Agreements
- Zeynep Tekin: International Investment Law And Treaty Shopping Through Corporate Nationality Structuring
- Yifan Zhou: Connecting the Dots of Business and Health at International Fora: An Analysis of the Investor-State Arbitration of Tobacco Plain Packaging
Male circumcision has deep cultural and religious roots, meaning that many governments permit the practice as part of the free exercise of religion. But because parents often circumcise their sons as infants, the procedure implicates boys’ autonomy interests as well.
A German court case criminalizing the practice — and the subsequent legislative override of the ruling — subjected ritual circumcision and the competing concerns around it to public scrutiny and political controversy. Professor Stephen Munzer argued that secularization, cultural factors, and anti-minority sentiment factored into this court decision and subsequent controversy in his article “Secularization, Anti-Minority Sentiment, and Cultural Norms in the German Circumcision Controversy,” published in Volume 37 of our journal.
This article catalyzed continuing discussion about the court case and male ritual circumcision more generally, leading to this collection of responses by Professor Melanie Adrian, Professor Debra DeLaet, Mr. Brian Earp, and Dr. Robert Darby — who are all respected scholars in this field — and to another piece by Professor Munzer responding to their critiques. The University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law and JIL Online were grateful to have the opportunity to serve as a forum for continued dialogue on this subject and other important legal, moral, and ethical issues.
- Stephen R. Munzer: Secularization, Anti-Minority Sentiment, and Cultural Norms in the German Circumcision Controversy
- Melanie Adrian: Reply to Stephen R. Munzer’s “Secularization, Anti-Minority Sentiment, and Cultural Norms in the German Circumcision Controversy”
- Debra DeLaet: Response to Stephen R. Munzer’s Article, “Secularization, Anti-minority Sentiment, and Cultural Norms in the German Circumcision Controversy”
- Brian Earp & Robert Darby: Circumcision, Sexual Experience, and Harm: Reply to Stephen R. Munzer’s “Secularization, Anti-Minority Sentiment, and Cultural Norms in the German Circumcision Controversy”
- Stephen R. Munzer: The German Circumcision Controversy – And Beyond
This symposium focused on the legal challenges countries face during regime changes, recovery efforts after conflicts, and other transitional events. The symposium included panels with renowned speakers on trade and investment challenges, transitional justice, migrants and refugees, and recommendations for U.S. involvement in transitioning countries.
During the symposium, students, alumni, faculty, and community members examined the issues facing transitioning countries. We examined complex issues and brainstormed solutions.
Our speakers included: Rambod Behoodi, Stephenie Foster, Karen Hoffmann, and Vinicius Pinheiro as well as many wonderful student speakers.
Investment and Trade Challenges
Rambod Behboodi is currently a counsellor at the World Trade Organization in Switzerland. He has previously worked in both private, public and academic sectors including as an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University where he specialized in international trade and economic regulation. He has served as General Counsel and Executive Director of the Department of Finance Canada, where he advised on many issues including international trade, money laundering, and international financial institutions. He is also the author of Industrial Subsidies and Friction in World Trade, a book on international trade, and numerous other articles on international law and economic regulation.
Stephenie Foster currently serves as a Senior Advisor and Counselor to the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State where she is responsible for various regional and functional issues. She previously served at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since 1997, she has participated in numerous international programs in the public and private sectors focused on increasing civic engagement skills, democratic governance, and project management. She has authored two manuals for Vital Voices, and was formerly a litigation partner at Steefel, Levitt & Weiss and a Professorial Lecturer at the Women & Politics Institute at American University.
Migrants and Refugees
Karen Hoffmann is currently an On-The-Ground Advocate at the Berks Family Detention Center, representing families fleeing violence in Central America. She also serves as a coordinator for the NGO Advocates Abroad, which connects lawyers from around the world with refugees in Greece and Turkey. Before law school, she worked as a freelance journalist in Latin America covering human rights and the environment. She holds a JD from Temple Law and a BA in biology and writing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Latest Developments to the ILO Engagement on Issues Related to Migrants and Refugees
Vinicius Pinheiro currently serves as Special Representative to the United Nations and the Director at the International Labour Organization Office for the United Nations where he works to achieve social protection and resolve youth employment and migration issues. He previously served as Executive Secretary of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group where he assisted in the ILO’s adoption of nationally-defined social protection floors. Prior to working with the ILO, Pinheiro served as the National Secretary for Social Security of Brazil where he was responsible for designing and implementing the Brazilian Pension reform, including efforts to increase coverage and strengthen social protections.
The symposium celebrated three historical milestones in the campaign for gender equality that took place during 2015 — the Beijing Women’s Conference and the Beijing 20+ Platform of Action, the 15th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and the burgeoning Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The Journal of International focused on bringing together scholars and practitioners that have distinguished themselves as unrelenting advocates for gender equality. Panels and discussion included Women and Economic Security; Women, Peace & Security; Women of Power; and Women & Decision Making.
- Patricia Sulser, International Finance Corporation
- Erin Walsh, Goldman Sachs
- Jeni Klugman, Kennedy School of Government (Harvard)
- Sital Kalantry, Cornell University Law School Fatima Sbaity-Kassem, UN ESCWA
- Haleh Esfandiari, Wilson Center
- Judge Nancy Gertner, Harvard Law School Indira Jaising, Lawyers Collective
- Jennifer Klein, Advisor to Hillary R. Clinton Julien Pellaux, UN Women
- Stephenie Foster, U.S. State Department
- Lakshmi Puri, UN Women
- Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Akiko Ito, UN DESA
- June Shih, U.S. State Department (Former)