Vol. 3:1 Fall 2012

donesOn Friday, April 13, 2012, CICL and JICL, together with the American Society of International Law, presented:

A Global Issues Panel Discussion: When Drones Attack: The Legal and Political Implications of U.S. Policy

Drones have revolutionized war and counterterrorism operations. Remotely controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles allow intelligence and military personnel to conduct surveillance and attack targets from half a world away. This technology has vastly increased the capabilities of the U.S. to target terrorists in Afghanistan and other countries.

Introduction

Drones are certainly one of the most discussed features of the ongoing conflict between the United States and al Qaeda, and in many ways they are one of the most misunderstood. To some they represent a step towards a dystopian future in which Terminator-like machines relentlessly hunt down human beings. Others have criticized drones for causing civilian casualties, for violating the sovereignty of nations not directly involved in the conflict, for increasing the support for al Qaeda amongst the civilian population, and for bringing a “video-game” mentality to warfare. Drone strikes are viewed negatively by the general populations of most nations surveyed in a recent poll by Pew Research, and some jurists have gone so far as to suggest that their use should be banned entirely, comparing them to cluster munitions and landmines. Yet in spite of all these supposed faults drones have been used with increasing frequency in the conflict with al Qaeda as well as in other low-intensity conflicts in Libya and Somalia. Most of these critics attribute this use to the political advantage associated with a “no risk” war fought by invulnerable drone operators who sit thousands of miles from the battlefield. This invulnerability creates a sense that such a conflict in which one side does not risk its soldiers is “unfair,” contributing to the widespread negative perception of drones. Given all of these negatives, why is drone use becoming more, rather than less prevalent?

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About the Author

Michael W. Lewis is a Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. He thanks the members of the St. John’s Journal of International and Comparative Law for creating an excellent Symposium to discuss the legality and policy considerations underlying the use of armed drones. He also thanks the participants at the symposium for their comments and suggestions concerning this essay. In discussing the capabilities, limitations and near term uses of drones, Professor Lewis draws upon his experience flying F-14’s for the U.S. Navy during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

 

 

 

 

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Introduction

 In the last couple of decades, the threat from transnational terrorist organizations has prompted many States to reevaluate how international and domestic laws can effectively operate to counter these threats.  Although terrorists have conducted violent acts for centuries, it has only been since the early 1990s that terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda (“Al Qaeda”) have been effective in extending their span of operations globally and continuously.  With the global reach of such groups, they have successfully threatened the fundamental security of States with a magnitude of violence never envisioned by the drafters of the legal instruments that guide State behavior in this area.  Today, States struggle to reevaluate how these laws are applicable to this new category of enemy.  This article examines the relevant domestic and international legal framework for countering the modern threats from terrorism, focusing on the U.S. drone program as one tactical tool to counter terrorists.

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About the Author

Dr. Catherine Lotrionte is Visiting Professor and Director of the Institute for Law, Science & Global Security at Georgetown University.

Introduction

The American civil litigation system has a number of distinguishing features.  This reality has led scholars of comparative civil procedure to remark upon and consider the consequences of what they have termed “American exceptionalism” in civil procedure. One commonly cited example of “exceptional” American procedure is the “American rule” of costs allocation or the “no cost-shifting rule”: the losing party is not required to indemnify the prevailing party for the court costs and attorney fees that the prevailing party has incurred in the course of the litigation.

Notwithstanding this general rule, there are a number of circumstances in which a party in the American system may be indemnified for expenses incurred in a lawsuit. One such circumstance is the case in which an attorney is found to have improperly conducted himself or herself and, as a result, is held to be personally responsible for the attorney fees of an opposing party.  The United States is not unique in empowering courts to impose personal responsibility upon a lawyer for the costs of litigation.  However, this power of the courts has not been the subject of any comparative scholarship.  In this paper, I compare the American practice of requiring attorneys to pay personally the fees of opposing parties to analogous practices in two other common law jurisdictions: England and Canada.
 

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About the Author

Amy Salyzyn is a J.S.D. Candidate, Yale Law School, J.D., University of Toronto. The author completed an earlier draft of this paper during her L.L.M. studies at Yale Law School in the context of a course entitled “Comparative Civil Procedure” taught by Professor John H. Langbein. The author is grateful to Professor Langbein for his insights, encouragement and helpful comments.

Introduction

Between 2000 and 2010, United States citizens adopted over 200,000 children from other countries.  War, poverty, and disease all contribute to the overwhelming number of orphaned children worldwide. In addition, as the social framework of America changes, the popularity of international adoption has grown.  Unfortunately, with the increasing number of intercountry adoptions, a black market of baby selling and child trafficking has emerged. In response to the growing concern over corruption and abuse in international adoption systems, the international community developed the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (“Hague Convention”) in 1993.  The Hague Convention was designed to provide a uniform legal framework for international adoption that focuses on the best interests of the children.

While many find the mission of the Hague Convention admirable, it is often criticized for creating unworkable procedures. Many countries that send children to the U.S. for adoption do not have the resources to ratify the Hague Convention or to enforce its policies.  Moreover, there is little incentive for countries to sign the Hague Convention because they may face moratoriums from the U.S. on outgoing adoptions if they are unable to meet the Hague Convention standards. Aside from prohibiting future adoptions from those countries, moratoriums also place a hold on adoptions that are already in the pipeline. Thus, American families who have adoptions that are approved, yet incomplete, must wait until the moratorium is lifted before they can unite with their adopted children.

This paper will analyze the Hague Convention focusing on the problems it has created for American adoptive parents and their internationally-adopted children, known as “pipeline families,” whose adoptions were approved before the Convention’s stringent provisions put them on hold.

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About the Author

Sarah Baird is the Senior Articles Editor of the St. John’s Journal of International & Comparative Law; J.D. Candidate, 2013, St. John’s University School of Law; B.A., 2007, Binghamton University.  She thanks her family and friends for their love and support.  Special gratitude is given to Michael Weglinski.  This article is dedicated to pipeline families around the world.

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