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Testamentary freedom vs claims by family members

Should a person be free to dispose of property as she wishes on death, or be forced to leave it to certain family members? This is one of the most fundamental questions in succession law. Some (particularly continental European) jurisdictions allocate compulsory portions to certain family members, irrespective of any will.

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Filling Supreme Court vacancies: political credentials vs. judicial philosophy

In the current, hyper-partisan environment, relatively few individuals publicly supported the confirmations to the US Supreme Court of both Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. I know because I am one of these lonely souls. Now, the same considerations which led me to support their confirmations lead me to support the confirmation to the Court of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

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Giving up on (indirect) Discrimination Law

Some readers might be surprised if told that one of the most significant cases on discrimination law generally, and race discrimination in particular, is likely to be decided by the Supreme Court before long.

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What has happened to environmental protection?

Fast forward to 2017: with a few possible exceptions, Congress hasn’t addressed any significant environmental problems for over a quarter century and has blocked important environmental legislation; President Trump has promised to gut the EPA; and its new administrator, Scott Pruitt, as Attorney General of Oklahoma, sued the Agency over and over again to kill major environmental regulations.

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Abortion: conflict and compromise

A few years ago, when I told a colleague that I was working primarily on abortion rights, he looked at me quizzically and replied, “But I thought they had sorted all of that out in the seventies”. Needless to say, he was a scientist. Still, while the idea that the ethical questions implicated in abortion were somehow put to bed in the last century is humorous, I knew what he meant.

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Mitochondrial replacement techniques and Mexico

The birth of the the first child after a mitochondrial replacement technique has raised questions about the legality of such procedure. In this post we explore some of the legal issues surrounding this case. Mitochondria are cellular organelles that generate the energy cells need to work properly. Two interesting features of mitochondria are that they are solely inherited via the maternal line and that they possess their own DNA.

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Are you an expert on international organizations? [quiz]

With the upcoming publication of Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations and the highly anticipated launch of Oxford International Organizations (OXIO), international law has never been more relevant. From the United Nations to UNICEF, this quiz will put one’s international law knowledge to the test. Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations is an authoritative and comprehensive study of the United Nations’ legal practice.

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Reproductive rights and equality under challenge in the US

If the Trump administration and the current Congress have their way, however, state restrictions on abortion are likely to flourish and may ultimately prevail. Far less likely, however, is careful ethical consideration of what these changes may mean. Even now, many US women find abortion beyond their reach either economically or geographically. These women and their children face what may be life-limiting challenges.

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Anglo-Saxon law, social networks, and terrorism

How would the Anglo-Saxons react to the threat of terrorism if they had access to Facebook? It’s a bizarre question, I admit, but I’ve been immersed in England’s pre-Norman Conquest legal system for over a decade now, and it’s been playing on my mind. The answer makes me uncomfortable. Supposing the brutal persecution of minority groups was impractical (which it actually wasn’t), how would the Anglo-Saxons have reacted if they knew that there were among their number people who secretly rejected their core values and plotted to cause them harm?

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My life as a police officer: a Q&A

Ahead of tomorrow’s International Women’s Day, we asked a female police officer about her experience of working in a police force in the UK. She talks about her motivations for joining the police, some of the challenges facing officers today, and shares some advice for aspiring officers.

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The right way to amend the Johnson Amendment

President Trump, reiterating the position he took during the presidential campaign, has reaffirmed his pledge to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.”The Johnson Amendment is the portion of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which prohibits tax-exempt institutions from participating in political campaigns.

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What happens after the Women’s March? Gender and immigrant/refugee rights

On the morning of President Trump’s inauguration, women stood back to back, with their hair braided to each other, on the Paso del Norte Bridge, which connects El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. As activist Xochitl R. Nicholson explained, the gesture of braiding, one often performed by women, symbolized women’s solidarity in the face of anti-immigrant discrimination.

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Brexit, Shakespeare, and International Law

How to make sense of the Brexit vote and its aftermath? To where can we look if we are to learn more, and to learn more deeply, of the agonistic parts played by principle and pragmatism in human decision-making where self, sovereignty and economic well-being are concerned? King John – Shakespeare’s English history play with the earliest setting of all – casts the longest and, perhaps the strongest, light.

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From hostage to fortune to prisoner of war

On 10 August 1678, France and the Republic of the United Provinces of the Northern Netherlands signed a peace treaty at Nijmegen [Nimeguen]. The treaty, which was one of several between the members of opposing coalitions, ended the war which had started with the nearly successful surprise attack by the French King Louis XIV (1638–1715) on the Dutch Republic in 1672.

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