Emory Law Journal

Volume 60Issue 6

Superhuman in the Octagon, Imperfect in the Courtroom: Assessing the Culpability of Martial Artists Who Kill During Street Fights

Stephen Michael Ian Kunen | 60 Emory L.J. 1389 (2010)

This Comment offers a new way for subjective characteristics to influence the criminal law of self-defense. Specifically, this Comment proposes a higher standard of self-defense for martial artists who kill their opponents outside competition settings, by denying the martial artists, as a matter of law, the ability to claim two distinct partial defenses: imperfect self-defense and provocation. For a martial artist, a proportional use of force should rarely require killing the aggressor because martial artists possess special fighting skills that are designed to subdue opponents without killing them. Courts should allow juries to judge a martial artist’s culpability for homicidal violence by considering his skills according to what this Comment introduces as the “martial sufficiency test.”

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Inappropriate Forum or Inappropriate Law? A Choice-of-Law Solution to the Jurisdictional Standoff Between the United States and Latin America

Jena A. Sold | 60 Emory L.J. 1437 (2010)

Numerous substantive and procedural advantages make the U.S. court system a uniquely attractive forum to plaintiffs worldwide. As a result, U.S. courts increasingly rely on forum non conveniens (FNC), a common law doctrine permitting a court to dismiss a case to another more convenient forum that is also available for the litigation. When the foreign plaintiffs hail from Latin America, however, their home forums are often unavailable following an FNC dismissal due to the Latin American courts’ interpretation of their own preemptive system of jurisdiction. To make this clear and prevent U.S. courts from dismissing for FNC, numerous Latin American countries recently have enacted “blocking statutes,” explicating that a Latin American court cannot exercise jurisdiction over a case dismissed abroad under the FNC doctrine. Many U.S. courts refuse to accept the outcome this legislation seems to dictate and, through incorrect FNC analysis, continue to dismiss these cases to Latin America, where they will not be heard.

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