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25 years of contemporary war crimes tribunals

Much as a single discovery can transform science, paradigm shifts in international law can emerge with astonishing speed. Twenty-five years ago, the UN Security Council sparked such a shift when it created a war crimes tribunal to punish those responsible for “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia.

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WHO advances the right to health for universal health coverage

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been central to the development of human rights for public health, and as the Organization seeks to mainstream human rights in global health governance, this year’s World Health Assembly (May 21-25) comes at a unique time and provides a key forum to advance the right to health as a moral foundation and political catalyst to advance universal health coverage.

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First they came for Josh Blackman: why censorship isn’t the answer [video]

Having been thinking, reading, speaking, and writing about “hate speech” over the last four decades, I had come to believe that I had nothing new to say, and that all arguments on all sides of the topic had been thoroughly aired. That view began to change several years ago, as I started to see increasing activism on campus and beyond in sup­port of various equal rights causes.

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What does it take to be a non-state armed group?

Armed groups are involved in the vast majority of today’s armed conflicts and crisis situations, and this trend is likely to continue. It is suggested that over recent years the number of groups involved in armed conflicts has quadrupled. For instance, studies have found that at some point, hundreds or even thousands of different armed groups operated in Syria.

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Section 4968 and broad-based endowment taxation

Congress added Section 4968 to the Internal Revenue Code in the comprehensive tax legislation adopted in December. Section 4968 imposes a tax on the investment incomes of some college and university endowments. Critics of Section 4968 disparage this new tax as selectively targeting what are widely perceived as wealthy, politically liberal institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, M.I.T., and Stanford.

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What if your boss was an algorithm?

The world of work is going digital: an ever-growing number of start-ups are setting up online platforms and mobile “apps” to connect consumers, businesses, and workers—often for jobs lasting no longer than a few minutes. What started out as a small niche for digital “crowdwork” on platforms like UpWork and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has grown into a global phenomenon.

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The agonies of the Multilateral Trading System

As of late, the Multilateral Trading System has been beset by several serious agonies. The symptoms have been obvious. The 11th Ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which took place in December 2017 in Buenos Aires, has demonstrated that the WTO’s rule-making function is no longer performing as expected: with the exception of a shared willingness to collectively and constructively work further on the issue of disciplining fishery subsidies, it did not result in any new normative multilateral outcome. Likewise, the WTO’s dispute settlement function has been affected by a stalled selection process for its new judges. If this situation persists, the WTO might cease to be the Multilateral Trading System’s final legal arbiter.

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World Intellectual Property Day quiz

Every year on 26 April, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) celebrates World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging creativity and innovation. As demonstrated by French shoemaker Christian Louboutin’s recent appeal to the European Court of Justice to determine the validity of the trademark protecting the famous red sole, intellectual property law is as relevant as ever. Do you know your rights as a creator?

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The choppy waters of beach ownership: a case study

Martins Beach is a spectacular stretch of coastline south of Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, California. It is a well-known fishing spot, a family picnic destination, and a very popular surfing venue. For nearly a century, the owners of the beach allowed visitors routinely to access the beach using the only available road. In 2008, billionaire Vinod Khosla bought Martins Beach and the surrounding property. After two years of complying with the county’s request to maintain access to the beach, Khosla permanently blocked public access. A California environmental organization filed suit against the property owner.

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Impunity for international criminals: business as usual?

The shocking images capturing the atrocities of armed conflicts in Syria have so shocked the world that, in March 2011, the UN General Assembly set up the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Syria. The most serious crimes under international law are generally understood to be acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The international support for the IIIM gained traction after the reported confirmation that chem­ical weapons had been used in Syria.

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The real price of legitimate expectations

In early February, the British Legal Aid Agency (LAA) agreed to provide funds to the families of people killed in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing as they pursue a civil lawsuit against the main suspect in the case, John Downey.

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Jerusalem’s property tax

hen is a property tax dispute between a church and a municipality an international controversy? When the church is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the municipality is the city of Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest sites in Christianity. The Church takes its name from what is traditionally believed to be the tomb of Jesus located within the Church.

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What is allowed in outer space?

Humanity is no longer just exploring outer space for the sake of leaving flags and footprints. On February 6, the SpaceX Corporation conducted a successful first flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket, capable of carrying 63,800 kg (140,700 lb) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), a capability not seen since the Apollo era. As the rocket’s reusable stages can be refueled and reflown, this rocket is a significant innovation and not merely a return to past capabilities.

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The untold story of ordinary black southerners’ litigation during the Jim Crow era

Discover how Henry Buie, Moses Summerlin, Lurena Roebuck, and almost a thousand other black soutnerners managed to successfully litigate civil cases against white southerners throughout the 85 years following the Civil War. Many different tactics needed to be deployed during this period of injustice, and in a system where those in power often had very different interests and perspectives than their own.

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Corporate governance from a federal law perspective

Traditionally, American states have regulated the sphere of corporate governance, encompassing the relations among and between a corporation, its directors, its officers, and its stockholders. With respect to publicly-held companies, Delaware, known as the jurisdiction with an expert judiciary in company law, sound precedent and legislative flexibility, reigns supreme as the state where the greatest number of such enterprises incorporate.

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Addressing international law in action

The 112th American Society of International Law’s annual meeting (4-7 April 2018) will focus on the constitutive and often contentious nature of ‘International Law in Practice’. Practice not only reifies the law, but how it is understood, applied, and enforced in practice shapes its meaning and impacts the generation of future international rules.

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