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16 Cards in this Set

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1. The United States has the death penalty, a penalty that is outlawed by the European Convention on Human Rights. When US Attorney General Eric Holder travels to an ECHR signatory country, is he subject to civil or to criminal charges on this account?
US did not sign
According to articles 33 & 34, cases can only be brought against High Contracting Parties. Since the US is not one of these, Holder would not be eligible. This is Restrictive Immunity, acting in the function of the state. Death penalty is not one of the crimes that is subject to Universal Jurisdiction. In IL few things are subject to non-signatories – sovereignty really valued.
2. What is A4 paper and what does it represent?
A4 Paper is the standard letter format for every country except the US Canada and Mexico. It is the ISO standard paper size. Very efficient. It represents a world wide movement towards standardization of norms, as well as the US refusing to go with the flow. Close to functionalist ideal. Globalization since 1980s
3. What crimes can the ICC prosecute? Under what circumstances?
The ICC has jurisdiction over 4 crimes: Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes, Against Humanity, and Agression. Can only hear a case if a country can’t prosecute, not if it chooses not to. Controversial because nationals of non-signatories can be prosecuted. Weakness of international bodies. It is usefull in that it eliminates jurisdiction struggles and reduces victor’s justice.
4. Does Williams College Museum of Art’s continued possession of the Assyrian reliefs violate the Convention on Cultural Property?
Countries promise only to take appropriate steps to recover and return any such cultural property imported after the entry into force of this Convention in both States concerned. The reliefs were acquired in 1851, and the treaty went into effect in 1972, so its not a problem. Difficulty with retroactivity, desire not to piss off the powerful countries if you want to get anything actually done
5. Draw one possible UPU-compliant international postage stamp for the country of Mauritius, and draw one noncompliant postage stamp.
Price in numerals
Poste (Postage) in roman letters
Name of country in latin letters (England=one exception)
Portrait, bust, numeric design, pictoral
Closely linked to cultural identity of the country
Should not be offensive
Functionalism, power of the West
6. Why were some reservations to CEDAW accepted by the treaty’s other parties while other reservations were rejected?
Some made reservations about the ICJ solving disputes. Others objected so long as it didn’t conflict with Sharia law. Reservations with regards to Articles 2 and 16 deemed impermissible. These concerned equality of women under the law and with regards to marriage and children. Specifically vague objections because don’t know what it will do. In international law reservations are acceptable when they are not incompatible with the object and purpose of the convention. This was established in a 1950 ruling by the ICJ, and is frequently a question in IL.
7. What is “the responsibility to protect”? Is it international law?
an emerging norm, or set of principles, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege, but a responsibility.[1] RtoP focuses on preventing and halting four crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing, which it places under the generic umbrella term of, Mass Atrocity Crimes.[2] The Responsibility to Protect has three "pillars".1. A state has a responsibility to protect its population from mass atrocities,
2. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state if it is unable to protect its population on its own.
3. If the state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort.
Brings into question sovereignty rights. Countrys who proscribe to the notion of RtoP – we respect your sovereignty b/c it is necessary for self-determination. If people in country are being slaughtered, don’t have right of self-determination. If a country is not protecting its people, then its sovereignty does not need to be protected. Also shows how big a deal genocide is.
8. What rights do foreign ships (merchant, military, pleasure craft) have inside another country’s territorial waters? In their inland waterways?
A nation is free to set laws and regulate the use of its internal waters. There is no right of innocent passage. In the territorial waters, everyone has the right to innocent passage. Even submarines can come thtough if they are above water, or do not stop. Merchants are under the jurisdiction of the flag they wave. Military ships have complete immunity with regards to what is going on on their ships. In both cases, they have the right to be in a place where order is maintained. This is the duty of the state that owns the water. They may not pollute/broadcast/fish in someone else’s territorial waters without permission. These are based on very old traditions, so it shows how IL relies on the ways of the past.
9. What international laws affect the treatment of “boat people”?
Duty to render assistance does not apply to them bc put themselves in situation. Nations don’t want to accept them so they go into International waters to try and intercept them and send them back. Impose wet ankles laws haven’t made it until ankles dry. If they reach the country entitled to have their claim for asylum heard. Countries don’t want to bother. Follow letter, not spirit of law.
10. What did Executive Order 5 (2009) do?
The Bush administration had essentially refused to go along with IL in the realm of torture. They interpreted pain and suffering as organ failure. Essentially allowed torture. Obama revokes this virtually as soon as he steps into office. Common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions now back in effect. Step towards US being more of a team player in the world. End of a dark era for USA.
11. Say that you wanted to expatriate yourself in a way that effectively detached you from the authority of your country of birth. What lessons do Blackmer and Nottebohm offer regarding what to do and what not to do?
The only way can you get rid of your citizenship is by voluntarily giving it up. In order to really expatriate yourself, you should probably become a citizen of a new country, so that someone else will be responsible for you. Must establish a genuine connection with the new country. Try not to cause a stir that would create a controversy (no war crimes etc.).
Blackmer – tried to get rid of his American nationality. Didn’t want to come back and testify. Us was able to make him because there still was a genuine link. A bit of reasonableness as a standard in IL.
12. What is an “asylum-seeker,” exactly? What does the following story signify?
An asylum seeker is someone who has left their home country and wants to be qualified as a refugee in the country where they are. Signifies that conditions around the world must be really awful, and that people are really desperate – asylum seeking is a miserable process, and to risk that is hardly worth it. Try to prevent them from even getting to country. Will listen but don’t have to take you. Even if deserve asylum (could be sent back if not) will likely be detained. Send to 3rd party, or grant status. Getting status granted=rare b/c it’s a condemnation of the other country. Letter not spirit.
I. Verbs. The Genocide Convention and the Refugee Convention affect signatories’ power in two ways, by detailing what countries must (shall) do and (or versus) what they may (could) do in each of these issue-areas. Compare the two treaties on this dimension, may versus must, and reflect on why you might see the similarities and differences that you do see.
Countries are required to prevent and punish. You can talk to a country, but that doesn’t really do much. Likewise punishment happens after the fact. There is nothing that the countries must do during the genocide. They MAY intervene, but they don’t have to. That being said, politically, it is mandated. Can’t say theres a genocide and not intervene. The reason for this discrepancy is that countries will only intervene militarily if they have an interest, and they don’t want to be liable under IL for not intervening when they don’t feel like it.
Countries that sign are required to hear what the asylum seekers have to say. And treat the refugees that they except reaconably well. Beyond that, the obligations are very limited. They can take them in as a refugee. Deny entry, even though you qualify – send to a 3rd party. Or send back if think they are not credible.
Both pretty lenient with what actually required to do.
In practice though, spirits are opposite way.
Genocide is the basis of IL
General bias against immigrants
2. Signing on. Since human rights are complied with/enforced internally anyway, why do countries sign treaties promising to do this? Why not just...implement them without going through this process?
Allows for a common ground - higher levels of international cooperation
To get credit and relief from criticism in the short run
Look like a monster if don’t
Not actually required to do that much, but free PR
Fact is won't stop them from doing anything they would have wanted to do anyways
All that you lose is credibility and international goodwill if you violate, which you would be losing anyways if you were to commit attrocities
Spread Human Rights abroad.
Lock into Democratic reforms – fear relapse to totalitarian regimes. ECHR’s biggest supporters were former Communist countries. Actually can provide domestic groups with a starting point for starting meaningful change. Spark plug for citizen mobilization. Solid starting block. Legitimacy. Justice through judicial system. Recognize rights gap. Make govt more likely to respnd
Put something on the agenda that they just have not gotten around to
3. Direct objects. Why do we not see protestors marching in front of the United Nations lobbying for an amendment to the UDHR to add an ignored right, or, alternatively, to protest the failure of a listed right to be realized?
UDHR are just aspirations, not actual comitments.
Vague with no timetable/enforcement/consequences
Does not really do anything- when want to ensure that something in there happens, have a separate convention
Some of the stuff in there just has no chance of happening
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Any one who would care enough to organize a protest would have to realize that there is no serious intention to implement this stuff
4. Status. How does nationality matter? What determines a person’s (natural person, corporation, vessel) nationality? How/Can it be changed, under what circumstances, and by whom? What obligations (if any) does the country of nationality have toward the national?
Person can be jus soli or jus sanguinus
Corporation based on either where incorporated (EU), or headquarters (USA)
Boat the flag underwhich they fly – the nation they choose to register with
A Nation cannot strip a person of their Nationality. They can do pretty much everythting else. The only way to lose original Nationality is by voluntarily giving it up. Can strip you of nationality if you switched and then did something terrible. Must establish genuine link with new country. Only real obligations are that must let nationals back in when they leave, and they cannot deprive people of it arbitrarily or forbid dthem from changing it. In a more idyllic world self-determinatinon. That being said, having a nationality is extremely important, as people only exist in IL as nationals of a country.