Posted on 12 September 2012.
As Volume 40, Issue 4 of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy heads off to the printers, we’re previewing articles in that issue. Here is A Conflict of Diamonds:The Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields, by Julie Nichols.
In 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (“KPCS”) entered into force as a novel approach to regulate the diamond industry and combat associated atrocities regarding “conflict diamonds.” Fueled by the recent history of bloody civil wars, and graphically publicized slaughters and amputations by rebel groups funded by African diamonds, diamond-producing nations, the diamond industry’s leaders and human rights groups created a process whereby “conflict diamonds” are identified and systematically excluded from the legitimate trade. However, the KPCS definition of “conflict diamond” has proved unacceptably restrictive. Diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields are mined using systematic relocation, mass murdering campaigns and, recently discovered, torture camps. Yet, because Zimbabwe’s “legitimate” government, not a rebel group, controls the Marange mines, the KPCS has certified these diamonds as conflict-free, fit for international trade. To stop this unacceptable situation, in which perpetrators of systematic and violent human rights abuses benefit from their crimes, the KPCS’s definition of “conflict diamonds” must change. The diamond industry must support such a change by refusing to allow trade of any diamond mined through such systematic abuse. If these changes are not adopted, the United States must use all additional means, including legislative boycotts and civil suits, to stop the atrocities occurring today in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields.
Posted in Article Preview, Julie Nichols, TVFA Posts
Posted on 07 September 2012.
As Volume 40, Issue 4 of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy heads off to the printers, we are previewing some of the articles. Here is a look at Science Fiction No More: Cyber Warfare and the United States, by Cassandra Kirsch.
Faced with the increased propensity for cyber tools to damage state computer networks and power grids with the click of a mouse, politicians and academics from around the world have called for the creation of a Geneva Convention equivalent in cyberspace. Yet, members of United Nations Security Council continue to disagree as to what cyber activities might rise to the level of an armed attack under the existing Law of Armed Conflict. Activities once limited to cyber espionage, and outside the reach of international law, are now the very same tools utilized in cyber operations to disable state communications and wreak havoc on state infrastructure. Wars, traditionally waged between nations and clearly defined groups, can now be fought behind the veil of anonymity inherent of the Internet. While acts of war have yet to happen openly on the Internet, accusations have already been made against Russia for the 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia and against Israel for the Stuxnet worm unleashed on Iran’s nuclear reactors. Just as aerial bombing and nuclear arms revolutionized the battlefield, cyber attacks, and the mechanisms behind them, stand poised as the next evolution in weapons of war and any multilateral treaty must take these facts into consideration.
Posted in Article Preview, Cassandra Kirsch, TVFA Posts
Posted on 04 September 2012.
As Volume 40, Issue 4 of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy is off to the printers, we are previewing the articles contained within. Here is a brief overview of Towards a More Realistic Vision of Corporate Social Responsibility Through the Lens of the Lex Mercatoria, by Jon Bellish.
Globalization has led to a shift in power away from states and towards the private sector, which has resulted in multinational corporations becoming among the most powerful international actors. This phenomenon has had many positive consequences, but it has also resulted in human rights, labor, and environmental abuses in developing nations. Such abuses are inconsistent with the way these multinationals behave at home and have led to a subsequent call for increased corporate social responsibility (“CSR”). Though there is substantial agreement as to the contents of CSR norms, there is little such accord where enforcement is concerned. Some have suggested that binding CSR norms will ultimately emerge from multinational corporations themselves along the lines of the lex mercatoria. This article seeks to counter that argument by suggesting that, even if the traditional narrative of the lex mercatoria is true — an assertion upon which considerable doubt has been cast — modern multinational corporations are not likely to take the lead in developing such norms. This is because, while lex mercatoria norms tend to increase profits and reduce liability, CSR norms tend to shrink margins and expose corporations to an additional form of liability. From this assertion, the article concludes that political and macroeconomic developments are likely to overtake legal and normative developments, particularly those emanating from the corporate suite, in leading to corporate responsiveness to a broader community of stakeholders.
Posted in Article Preview, Jon Bellish, TVFA Posts
Posted on 31 August 2012.
Volume 40, Issue 4 of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy is off to the printers. Here is a preview of one of the articles, The Trouble with Westphalia in Space: The State-Centric Liability Regime, by Dan St. John.
What happens when a satellite owned by a private company in one state crashes into a bit of detritus that fell off another state’s rocket? International space law has a regime for addressing this dilemma; however, the solutions reflect the era they came from. A better system is needed to address the emerging commercial space sector.
In the 1960s, the international community convened to build a framework governing state activities in outer space. Given Cold War fears, these treaties were imbued with principles of cooperation and mutual assistance. The space liability regime, therefore, is built around diplomatic, cooperative dispute resolution between states. I explain the treaty system and how a state must bring a claim, from identifying the responsible party to forming a Claims Commission. The space liability regime, however, meant to supplement other international mechanisms for assigning liability. If the treaty process is ineffective, state responsibility and international liability are principles to fill the gaps left by the space treaties.
Despite the time and effort put into building this structure, the treaty framework has formally been used only once. And today, with space becoming increasingly crowded and private companies launching more into space, a state-centric liability regime is not the most effective way to handle problems. It is unlikely that a new treaty will be negotiated soon, so I propose the private sector use alternate mechanisms to preempt the treaties, such as a robust contractual allocation of risk.
Posted in Article Preview, Dan St. John, TVFA Posts