Emory International Law Review

Volume 27Issue 1
Comments

Reconsidering the Purely Jurisdictional View of the Alien Tort Statute

Kedar S. Bhatia | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 447 (2013)

The Alien Tort Statute was enacted by the United States Congress in 1789 and laid dormant for nearly two centuries. After being reanimated in 1980, the statute now allows United States federal courts to hear claims for violations of the law of nations stemming from a wide array of behavior. Such an extraordinary interpretation was far from inevitable, however, and remains on unsteady footing.

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A Critique of the U.S.–Russian Adoption Process and Three Recommendations for the U.S.–Russian Bilateral Adoption Agreement

Bethanie Barnes | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 397 (2013)

This Comment analyzes and recommends changes to the Adoption Agreement that will regulate intercountry adoption between the United States and the Russian Federation until January 2014. This Adoption Agreement was reached out of concern for the safety of adopted children, due to the number of stories and allegations of abuse at the hands of American parents.

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Church-State Cooperation Does Not Violate a Guarantee of Religious Freedom: A Study of the 1978 Spanish Constitution and 1979 Concordat with the Catholic Church

Melissa Curvino | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 509 (2013)

For much of Spanish history, to be a Spaniard and to be a Catholic were understood as equivalent. Spain had seven different constitutions in a span of 150 years and the question of religion was one of the main issues in each new constitution. From the early 1800s until the Constitution of 1978 Spain oscillated between two extremes: on one side, complete identification of the Church with the state; and on the other, state discouragement and restriction of the Church. Neither extreme provided for religious freedom. The Constitution of 1978 was different. It struck a workable balance in church-state relations by embracing the historical and social importance of the Catholic Church while at the same time protecting the rights of minority religions.

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Ensuring the Effective Prosecution of Sexually Violent Crimes in the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber: Applying Lessons from the ICTY

Courtney Ginn | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 565 (2013)

Despite the extensive use of sexual violence as a weapon in war throughout history, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was the first international tribunal to develop criminal jurisprudence concerning sexual violence. Although the ICTY expanded criminal liability for sexually violent acts committed during the Yugoslav Wars to an unprecedented extent, the conviction rate for sexually violent crimes was much lower than the conviction rate for other crime.

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Targeted Killings in Yemen and Somalia: Can the United States Target Low-Level Terrorists?

John Odle | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 603 (2013)

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles—more commonly known as drones—to target individual terrorists has become an important tool for U.S. counterterrorism efforts abroad. However, to use force abroad the United States must meet the requirements of international law, particularly the international law of self-defense. The United States has claimed that it is in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda and its associated forces, which would have to be conducted under the law of armed conflict.

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Redefining “Atheism” in America: What the United States Could Learn From Europe’s Protection of Atheists

Alan Payne | 27 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 661 (2013)

There continues to be a pervasive and persistent stigma against atheists in the United States. The current legal protection of atheists is largely defined by the use of the Establishment Clause to strike down laws that reinforce this stigma or that attempt to deprive atheists of their rights. However, the growing atheist population, a religious pushback against secularism, and a neo-Federalist approach to the religion clauses in the Supreme Court could lead to the rights of atheists being restricted.

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