Far from fading into obscurity as the world moves towards a more interconnected and globalized future, the concept of citizenship is enjoying something of a renaissance. It is an almost constant feature in world news, as nations move to secure their positions by either welcoming or denying new citizens to cross their borders, and the contentious issue of citizenship for sale gains evermore traction.
By deciding to review Wayfair v. South Dakota, the US Supreme Court has thrust itself into the long and contentious debate about the proper tax treatment of internet sales. As I argue, the Court should use this opportunity to overturn Quill v. North Dakota.
In its amicus brief submitted in relation to the US Microsoft Warrant case, the European Commission emphasised that: “In the European Union’s view, any domestic law that creates cross-border obligations should be applied and interpreted in a manner that is mindful of the restrictions of international law and considerations of international comity.” (Amicus brief, p. 5)
After many years of attempting to explain the need for two kinds of lawyer in the United Kingdom to exasperated and confused European colleagues – and even US ones – I have lighted on the following language. Solicitors are a primary market of legal services. They are profit-sharing organisations in which senior lawyers manage teams of junior lawyers to do almost everything their clients want.
The European continent operates a legal system derived from the Napoleonic Code, first enacted in 1804. Napoleon was, I venture to point out, and without meaning to be too critical, a revolutionary dictator. He gathered four eminent jurists together and, as dictators are wont to do, ordered that they produce an all-encompassing system of law for his judges to administer to the nation. .
Paul Newman died in 2008, leaving behind a wonderful legacy of films and philanthropy. Of his many iconic movie roles, my favorite is Butch Cassidy. Unfortunately, Mr. Newman’s death in real life triggered a tax problem which now threatens his charitable bounty. Congress almost solved this problem in the new tax law passed in December 2017 but, at the last minute, failed to do so.
In the 1937 film The Awful Truth, Irene Dunne and Cary Grant are getting divorced and arguing over Mr Smith, their terrier. ‘Custody of the dog will depend on his own desires’ says the judge. ‘Send for the dog!’ Put in the middle of the courtroom, the dog eventually runs to Dunne – who has snuck a dog toy up her sleeve.
In the preamble to the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe recognises “that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power… and is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.” Justice for victims requires not only an end to violent events but also the securing of a safer environment in the longer term.
The rise of extremist populism in recent years places liberal democracy, not to mention committed liberal democrats, in an awkward position. There has been an alarming rise in public support for such extremist movements, even in established liberal democratic states. In states such as Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Venezuela, democratically elected governments are enacting illiberal and anti-democratic political goals and values into law and in some cases directly into their constitutions.
In early November 2017, media outlets hailed the Paradise Papers as a major scoop: 13.4 million leaked documents revealed the financial details of some of the world’s leading brands, politicians, sports stars, and musicians. But this was to be no repeat of last year’s Panama Papers, in which well-known names appeared relating to criminal acts l; the Paradise Papers failed to reveal a single crime. So why was it considered news?
Today we take it for granted that anyone convicted of a crime should be able to appeal to a higher court. However, this wasn’t always so. English lawyers traditionally set great store in the deterrent value of swift and final justice. Over the course of the nineteenth century, reformers pressed for the establishment of a court that could review sentencing and order retrials on points of law or new evidence. These advocates of change met with fierce resistance from the judiciary and much of the legal profession, and the cause of reform had little success until a spectacular miscarriage of justice came to light.
At a Cambridge court hearing in 1584, Margery Johnson reported that she heard Thomas Wylkinson refer to “the said Jane Johnson thus ‘A pox of God on thee, bitch fox whore, that ever I knew thee.’” If Wylkinson indeed called down such a curse on Jane, he was guilty not of libel, but of slander, a verbal attack on another person. Libel, in contrast, is defined as defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.
One of the fundamental principles of global law is to prohibit the impunity of those responsible for serious violations of human rights. The no-impunity principle is part of the founding principles of the global community, norms of a public nature, protecting the supreme values of the world community as a whole, including the fundamental rights of individuals and peoples.
2018 will be an interesting year for those concerned about the intersection of taxation and religion. Two important issues – the constitutionality of the parsonage allowance and the future of the Johnson Amendment – are primed for further controversy in the year ahead. Several months ago, Judge Crabb agreed with the FFRF that Section 107(2) is unconstitutional.
Two thousand and seventeen was, once again, a dramatic year in terms of world affairs. Fears about a rising tide of nationalism were stemmed by the failure of far-right parties to win majorities in the Dutch, French, and German elections but the impact of arguably 2016’s biggest upheaval – the election of President Trump – was felt far and wide.
The United States Department of Defense has acknowledged that it is holding a natural-born United States citizen in its custody in Iraq as an enemy combatant. The prisoner, who the government states were fighting for ISIS and turned himself over to United States allies in Syria, has now been in military custody for over four months.