Emory International Law Review

EILR Recent DevelopmentsVolume 32
Fall Essays

Is the Law of Treaties an Obstacle or a Conduit for the Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement?

Brian McGarry & Josef Ostřanský | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1001 (2017)

As governments begin to propose and adopt dramatic reforms to investment treaties, it is important that these governments bear in mind the fundamental common element of these treaties—that as agreements between states, they are each governed by the same body of rules as all other treaties. Over time, these treaties began to incorporate investor-state arbitration provisions, which have increasingly received criticism for allowing multinational corporations to sue governments outside of the national judicial system. As a result, there have been calls to amend the most prevalent multilateral investor-state dispute settlement treaty—the 1965 Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention). In doing so, an amendment establishing an appellate mechanism would further the ICSID Convention’s aim of establishing a neutral international dispute settlement mechanism, abiding by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

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From Playground to Prison: A Comparison of the United States' and India's Transfer Policies

Alixandria Davis | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1015 (2017)

While juvenile courts purportedly reduce crime and hold youth accountable for wrongdoing, transfer laws that try, convict, and sentence children as adults are increasingly employed in the United States. Research shows that transfer provisions are not suitable solutions to juvenile crimes. As media coverage of horrific juvenile crimes in India brought the juvenile justice system into the spotlight, India has responded by following the United States’ example and adopting its own transfer provisions. Flaws in India’s justice system—particularly delay of justice, lack of coordination, and lack of resources—exacerbate the negative effects these transfer provisions have on rehabilitation and overall public safety. As a result, India should be wary of following the United States’ lead and should instead focus on what is best for juvenile defendants.

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Advancing Digitization in Intellectual Property: How the E-Sign Act is Failing

Nicholas Marais | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1027 (2017)

As the use of technology is increasingly utilized in the digitization of commerce, business transactions involving electronic signatures are increasingly employed. This rapid growth led the European Union to enact a new electronic signature regulation (eIDAS) in 2016, creating an infrastructure for electronic signatures that facilitates e-commerce. Because standards in the United States, based on the E-Sign Act of 2000, are outdated and inefficient, it is imperative that the United States takes an affirmative step to increase the efficiency of international e-commerce. By using the European model to add clarification to its existing regulations, the United States can streamline the uniform signature standard for patent assignments in a way that allows business and agencies to increase efficiency in the workplace.

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Spring Essays

The Human Costs of Exiting and Revising Trade and Investment Agreements: Local Community Interests, Human Rights, and Global Politics

Diane A. Desierto | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1039 (2018)

Treaty exits and treaty revisions are basic matters for states. While these alterations do not typically warrant significant analysis, rapid international economic treaty changes that have occurred recently merit further review. In particular, the real human costs of these decisions to exit or revise trade and investment treaties may be obscured by the haste of these changes. But, these recent alterations also provide a significant opportunity for states to write the terms of the international economic system in a manner that deliberately respects and protects the fundamental human rights of communities, individuals, and groups that comprise states’ populations. These human rights commitments are arguably an intrinsic part of states’ social contracts with its citizens. This Essay highlights the causes of these recent treaty alterations and outlines the fundamental protections that these alterations should protect.

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The Myth of U.N. Collective Security

Mohamed S. Helal | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1063 (2018)

The United Nations Security Council, while applauded for its effectiveness in certain situations, has failed to take action in response to many crises and conflicts that constitute serious threats to global peace and security. In particular, in 2017, there were six occurrences in which at least one of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council exercised its veto, preventing the Security Council from acting. While the Security Council and the Permanent Members are often criticized, the criticism is misplaced and reflects a widespread misunderstanding of the Security Council’s structure, nature, and purpose. This Essay argues that the Security Council is not actually a collective security mechanism but, rather, is a tool whose primary aim is to maintain peaceful relations between the most powerful states in the international system.

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Revealing State Secrets: An Analysis of the Tension Between National Security and Government Transparency

Adam Marshall | 32 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1099 (2018)

Throughout world history, espionage has served as a key way to gather evidence and forge strategies. Today, espionage serves as a way to elicit knowledge that allows states to both gain superiority over adversaries and allies and also safeguard their own information from the prying hands of others. But, states often engage in espionage activities while deriding similar acts of others, producing an interesting contradiction. As a result, many states have created various espionage statutes to define the acts and their subsequent consequences. In a government for the people, states must weigh their commitment to transparency and democratic ideals against their commitment to national security and protecting their secrets. One common defense employed by Canada is the public interest defense. While the United States does not employ such a defense, these two democratic nations provide an interesting comparison as to the practicality and efficacy of such a defense.

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