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A lost opportunity: President Trump and the treaty supremacy rule

Several commentators have noted that the election of Donald Trump poses a significant threat to the established international legal order. Similarly, the Trump election constitutes a missed opportunity to repair a broken feature of the constitutional system that governs the US relationship with the international order: the Constitution’s treaty supremacy rule.

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Preparing for AALS 2017

As a brand new year stretches out before us, promising just as much excitement and interest as the last, we look forward to the latest exciting Association of American Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting in 2017. This year’s meeting will have the theme of “Why Law Matters” and will provide fresh and novel insights into today’s most important issues in law and legal education.

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Top ten developments in international law in 2016

This year seems to have packed in more news events and shocking developments than any other in recent memory. As 2016 draws to an end, many are fearful of how the political trends that surfaced this year will play out and what their long-term effect will be on the international legal order. At the same time, the year has seen a number of successes in international law, most notably in judicial decisions that championed the rule of law against the interests of powerful states and corporations. This post highlights and discusses ten international law victories and failures in 2016.

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The Internet never forgets, unless the law forces it to

The ultimate fate of the right to be forgotten remains to be seen. Although Europe has temporarily resolved this question in favor of the right by adopting its General Data Protection Regulation, many questions surrounding the issue still must be answered. It’s unclear whether other parts of the world will follow Europe’s lead. Internationally, writers are exploring some of these matters.

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Human rights and business: is international law relevant?

Corporations are now widely seen as having responsibilities in regard to human rights abuses. This was thrown starkly onto the front pages recently when a number of high profile UK companies, including M&S and Asos, were caught up in allegations of child refugees from Syria working in very poor conditions for clothing suppliers based in Turkey.

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Nat Turner’s legacy

Nate Parker’s movie The Birth of a Nation, which opens in Europe this month, tells the semi-fictionalized story of Nat Turner, an enslaved man who led a short-lived rebellion in rural southeast Virginia in August 1831. The movie focuses on Turner’s life before the rebellion; demonstrating one man’s breaking point sparked by the witnessing of extraordinary brutality.

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Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Why is forensic bitemark identification likely to be abolished as a form of trial evidence?

The public holds exaggerated views of the quality of the scientific foundations of a surprising number of forensics sciences, as well as of the courts’ scrutiny of that evidence. The most significant of the weaknesses were made plain in a report by the (U.S.) National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which concluded: “The bottom line is simple: In a number of forensic science disciplines, forensic science professionals have yet to establish either the validity of their approach or the accuracy of their conclusions.”

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Pipelines and persistent objection: Indigenous rights in Justin Trudeau’s Canada

In recent weeks, relations between indigenous groups and the Canadian government have soured further over the Trans Mountain Extension Project–the controversial proposal for extending oil pipelines in British Colombia and Alberta. This proposal, and other similar pipeline proposals, has led to a notable unification of indigenous groups in opposition. The ‘pipelines dispute’ between the government and a large section of its indigenous population has been rumbling on throughout the first year of Justin Trudeau’s leadership, but it intensified significantly at the start of November.

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Social Work

International Human Rights Day resources

December 10 is International Human Rights Day, as recognized by the United Nations. Human dignity, freedom from discrimination, civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights for all should go without question. Whether it be from “the Hindu Vedas; the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi; the Bible; the Quran (Koran); the Analects of Confucius; the codes of conduct of the Inca,

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Human rights under siege

International human rights law has come to face compound challenges in the recent two decades. Long gone the optimism that followed the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993 which confirmed that the major changes in the international political scene at the time, and the aspirations of all the peoples around the world were finally moving in the same direction. Since then, political support for human rights globally has suffered a significant decline.

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International Law in Domestic Courts [map]

This year marks the tenth anniversary of OUP’s International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC). Created to be an innovative and valuable resource for research on the interpretation and application of international law, it shows how international law matters in practice. Digital innovation in the past decade has allowed ILDC to provide scholars with data in the form of case law and analysis on which to base further scholarship from jurisdictions around the world.

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How Facebook’s Aquila initiative provides an impetus to rethink the boundaries in competition law

Aquila is the Latin word for eagle, but it is also an ambitious Facebook project to provide internet access by solar-powered drones. In India, the project was supposed to provide internet access to the rural and most impoverished areas. Yet, the project was prohibited by the telecoms regulator for several reasons, one being net neutrality. The project would have offered free access to Facebook and some associated web pages and access to the rest of the internet for a fee.

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Hillary Clinton and the “women’s vote”

One hundred years ago, in 1916, Montana elected the first woman to serve in Congress: Jeannette Rankin. On Tuesday, the US did not elect its first woman president. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Donald Trump won the Electoral College. The expectation of a Clinton victory led many to reflect on the long history of women’s quest for the right to vote.

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Uber drivers found to be ‘workers’ not employees

There has been much in the press recently about the employment tribunal ruling finding that two Uber drivers were not self-employed, but rather workers, and were therefore entitled to some employment rights. In some reports it has erroneously been suggested that these drivers were found to be employees. This is not what happened.

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CETA and Wallonia’s Trojan Horse

It’s not often that Wallonia makes the news, but for the past week Belgium’s French-speaking region has been at the heart of the latest in a long series of EU crises. The reason for this is the Wallonian government’s refusal to sign off on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

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Warren Buffett’s taxes: the more complicated narrative

In the second presidential debate, Donald Trump indicated that Warren Buffett had deducted, for federal income tax purposes, net operating losses in a manner similar to Trump’s deduction of his net operating losses. In response, Buffett, an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton, released a summary of Buffett’s 2015 federal tax return. Buffett’s intended message was clear: Trump didn’t pay federal income taxes; I did.

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