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Items tagged with International Law

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  • June 28
    To many, the law in Saudi Arabia is the prison shackling women to their homes, their husbands, and their fathers. This perspective, however, is superficial. Even if the law is the prison, more often than not the law is not the prisoner’s shackles. Culture, religion, society, and conformity: these are the true shackles keeping women bound to their posts.
  • June 18
    An interview with Elise Kraemer, Executive Director of Graduate Programs. Interviewed by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs
  • May 22
    The United Nations (UN) has long characterized the Rohingya as the world’s most persecuted population. Historically, the Burmese viewed the ethnic and religious minority as illegal immigrants permitted entry by their former British colonizers. Such historical context informs contemporary views of the group as “foreigners.” And that has helped justify decades-long persecution by both private and public actors culminating in the Rohingya’s legal exclusion as citizens and other discrimination codified as law. Despite the group’s pre-colonial ancestral ties to the land, messaging that Rohingya are “outsiders,” “Bengalis” and even, “terrorists,” has helped the government justify mass atrocity crimes. The current humanitarian and human rights crises also implicate national security.
  • May 1
    It is a timely issue of resonance and consequence, the confluence of a class of committed students and an engaging Professor of unparalleled expertise. Our vigorous classroom discussions sounded more like policy debates and revolutionary cries than staid academic deliberation We represented a handful of different countries and states, a global array of religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds. More like a weekly conference than a class, we spent our two hours every Tuesday afternoon in friendly arguments— was it enough to have women at the table, or have people been ignoring a critical variable in the equation, having the right women at the table? And if that is the case, then how do we ensure women in the international community were prepared to lead? And is the top-down approach to securing women’s rights effective, or is that method only paying lip-service to the women living in rural villages who are legally barred from accessing capital to run a business and from attaining a passport without a male guardian’s permission?
  • March 27
    This year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) proved to be a historic one where member states gathered to discuss the substantial progress made in favor of gender equality. While each country addressed areas still in need of work, each event of the CSW offered an inspirational promise of hope. The excitement was palpable whenever discussing the significant progress already made—how women’s voices have been amplified and legitimized through legal reform and political activism.
  • January 9
    In 2017, the UN and its members, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies, committed themselves through regional and international dialogue to developing a new framework to address the challenges confronted in and by migration. As the world recognized the need for greater international collaboration, the Trump Administration moved the United States towards a more isolationist approach while implementing restrictive and enforcement-oriented policies and practices, in a notable shift from prior administrations.  As we head into 2018, the United Nations and its members have set out to draft and agree upon an international cooperative framework for managing migration, while also ensuring that the rights of migrants are respected, protected and fulfilled. 2018 will be the year to see whether the political resolve exists to meet this goal, with or without the United States’ participation.
  • October 2

    According to the United Nations, Rohingya Muslims are considered to be the most persecuted minority group in the world. These unfortunate people are an ethnic Muslim minority numbering around one million living in the Buddhist majority country of Myanmar. The Rohingya have been residing in the northern parts of “Rakhine”, which is a geographically isolated state in western Myanmar. The word “Rohingya” is considered taboo in a country where they have been residing for more than a century. The continued victimization of Rohingyas at the hands of the Myanmar government is not a contemporary issue. The former British colony after achieving independence in 1948 has been struggling with armed ethnic and religious conflict.

  • May 19
    Hassan Rouhani may prevail in tomorrow’s presidential elections. Whether he can continue on the path to reform is uncertain.
  • April 18
    On March 10, the eve of the Commission on the Status of Women’s 61st session in New York, Penn Law, UN Women, UNESCO, The UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund, and the International Law Development Organization (IDLO) convened leading women jurists, legislators, policymakers and advocates engaged in legislative and policy drafting for a High-Level Roundtable on Women and Legislative Reform hosted by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz. Against the backdrop of the CSW’s annual two-week session when representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather to shape global standards on gender equality, thirty women and men representing over twenty countries analyzed the legal implementation gap through the prism of representative case studies on gender equality, violence against women and personal laws.
  • April 7
    A new round of chemical attacks in Syria has not only shocked the world, but it has also moved President Trump. And after years of war in Syria, Trump pulled the trigger. On Thursday night at the President’s orders, U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
  • March 8

    This International Women’s Day, Trump’s concern with Muslim women’s experiences confronting bigotry, hatred, and violence is a welcome opportunity to educate and engage in dialogue.

    In both the United States and the European Union, Muslim women observing hijab are vulnerable to verbal and physical attacks. And, while so-called “honor killings” are seen as undermining women’s rights, such hate crimes are generally viewed through the lens of religion alone.

  • February 13
    With June 20 marking World Refugee Day, Tala al-Jabri, a Syrian-Palestinian strategist in development economics, calls upon the GCC states that have not ratified the 65-year-old U.N. refugee convention to modernize their immigration policies.
    This piece was originally published in Refugees Deeply.
  • February 8
    Through a global research seminar at Penn Law, I was able to travel to Cuba for a week to speak to a variety of individuals about Cuba’s past, modern reforms, and future government without a Castro at the head. This is a crucial transition period for Cubans as they face the prospect of an increased role of the private sector domestically and await the implications of a Trump presidency on the previously thawing U.S. – Cuban relations.
  • February 3
    In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in anti-Sharia legislation, an Executive Order implementing a de facto Muslim ban, and the introduction of a bill in Congress seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.  So-called “alternative facts” informed by anti-Muslim prejudice and hatred are the commonality threading these legal developments together.
  • December 10
    In honor of Human Rights Day on December 10th, Hayley Winograd L’17, shares her reflections on her documentary A Dignified Death, which addresses issues of the treatment of prisoners and compassionate release from Pennsylvania state prisons. Introduction by Editor Patricia Stottlemyer, L’17.
  • December 6
    Part three of a tripartite series as presented by Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on November 1, 2016.
  • December 6
    Part two of a tripartite series as presented by Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on November 1, 2016.
  • December 6
    Part one of a tripartite series as presented by Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on November 1, 2016.
  • October 25
    Two titans of the global human rights movement reflected on the challenges facing women’s human rights, on September 20, before a packed room of students and faculty at Penn Law. Associate Dean for International Programs Rangita de Silva de Alwis moderated the conversation between former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
  • September 28
    Transnational terrorist groups, from al Qaeda to the Islamic State, complicate this framework in numerous ways, in no small part by making it difficult to ascertain when and where armed conflict exists such that wartime targeting and detention rules apply.
  • September 19
    The fight against bribery and corruption is rightly a global cause. This fight requires the corporate world’s active participation. Companies must make the effort to ensure their employees and agents around the world do the right thing. But sometimes the legal system gets in the way.
  • September 16
    Should the AIIB apply standard conditionality rules? The short answer is “yes,” in light of the AIIB’s financial and institutional interests and for the sake of China’s own reform. Conditions from procurement guarantees to environmental protection should be implemented. However, considering China’s traditional stance on sovereignty and its political system’s incompatibility with that the West, political conditionality will likely be excluded.
  • September 14
    The TPP should not be viewed as a strategic “counterweight” to Chinese influence. The agreement is important not only for the trade benefits that the U.S. will receive, but also because it promotes competition among the larger powers’ vision for economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, conferring greater choice and legitimacy to the emerging economies.
  • August 4
    With the recent publication of Sir John Chilcot’s report criticizing the decisions by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the debate over war crimes has taken a new turn. One hundred years ago, what Blair did might have seemed senseless but it would not have been a crime. But, over the last century, international law has increasingly criminalized individual actions. So in 2016 (or 2003), what Blair did might be deemed not only injudicious but also criminal.
  • August 3
    Historically, nations have often denied the existence of a state of war to elude its accompanying legal obligations. When fighting non-state actors, leaders have been especially loath to concede either the vulnerability of their regime or the legitimacy of the rebels challenging it. From King George III’s view of his pesky American colonists, to President Lincoln’s outlook on the Confederacy, established governments have long preferred to classify armed opposition as a criminal enterprise rather than a military threat—at least as long as conditions allowed.
  • July 25
    Read William Burke-White’s op-ed on CNN.