Monday, February 16, 2015

"Just War"

Here are two essays on the concept of "Just War" prepared as an assignment for the International Law of War & Crime seminar at Albany Law School this past fall semester.
Just War Influence
By Nick Gargano
Nick Gargano is a third year student at Albany Law School. He graduated from Long Island University (C.W. Post) with a B.A. in History concentrating in military air and sea power.
Prior to law school, Nick worked in concert production touring around the world with well-known musical groups for 15 years thus, expanding his love for history and igniting his interest in working in the field of international law.
This essay was prepared for Professor Bonventre's Fall 2014 International Law of War and Crime Seminar. Read the Essay.


The Earthly City Must Hold Violence in Check
By Kate Roberts
Kate Roberts is a second-year student at Albany Law School.  She graduated magna cum laude from Iona College with a major in Political Science and minors in Psychology and Philosophy.
Ms. Roberts is a sub-editor on the Albany Government Law Review, and a student editor for the New York State Bar Association Environmental Lawyer. After her first year of law school, Ms. Roberts interned at the New York State Attorney General’s office in the Environmental Protection Bureau. In her free time, Ms. Roberts enjoys hiking, running, and cooking.
This essay was prepared for Professor Bonventre's Fall 2014 International Law of War and Crime Seminar. Read the Essay.

The Earthly City Must Hold Violence in Check

By Kate Roberts
Kate Roberts is a second-year student at Albany Law School.  She graduated magna cum laude from Iona College with a major in Political Science and minors in Psychology and Philosophy.
Ms. Roberts is a sub-editor on the Albany Government Law Review, and a student editor for the New York State Bar Association Environmental Lawyer. After her first year of law school, Ms. Roberts interned at the New York State Attorney General’s office in the Environmental Protection Bureau. In her free time, Ms. Roberts enjoys hiking, running, and cooking.
This essay was prepared for Professor Bonventre's Fall 2014 International Law of War and Crime Seminar.


Under an Augustinian argument, “by nature, no man has dominion over any other . . . by nature, we are not evil.”[1] Additionally, just war is “driven by a call to justice . . .” whereby the goal “is to repair that which has been torn asunder by a prior violence and to protect a community for which one has a responsibility.”[2]

Just war theory focuses on two issues: (1) jus ad bellum—the conditions that can justify recourse to war, and (2) jus in bello—the limitations on the methods that may justly be used in waging war.[3] Just war requires a justification not only for entering into a war, but also for the killing of enemy combatants.[4] According to many just war theorists, the deliberate killing of enemy combatants is only morally justified if the conditions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello are met.[5]

Jus ad bellum—the justification of war—is met with four conditions: (1) just cause; (2) declaration by a lawful authority; (3) appropriate proportion between the goals sought and the costs; and (4) war is the last resort.[6] Contemporary causes sufficient to justify war include individual and collective self-defense,[7] humanitarian interventions, and preemptive attacks.[8]

Just War Influence

By Nick Gargano
Nick Gargano is a third year student at Albany Law School. He graduated from Long Island University (C.W. Post) with a B.A. in History concentrating in military air and sea power.
Prior to law school, Nick worked in concert production touring around the world with well-known musical groups for 15 years thus, expanding his love for history and igniting his interest in working in the field of international law.
This essay was prepared for Professor Bonventre's Fall 2014 International Law of War and Crime Seminar. 



Despite having history and good foundation, the “just war” theory is open-ended. Early Christian thinker Augustine suggested that a “just war” is waged in order to “preserve or to achieve peace,”[1] while another Christian thinker, Thomas Aquinas, suggested that “the advancement of good or the avoidance of evil” was the principle justification for war.[2]

Although Christian thinkers proposed the just war tradition, it may be argued that the pagan military and its warriors abided by a code that originally influenced the “just war” theory when it came to humanitarian law. Here, it is suggested that Christian thinkers used the “just war” theory to justify Christians having the same morale of the pre-Christian pagans in reference to acts of war, as pre-Christian Rome prohibited war unless “just.” However, as Rome became formally Christian, the pacifist Christian culture had to adapt to being part of a military state.[3]

Despite the “just war” theory’s broadness, there are basic principles agreed upon within international law. John F. Coverdale[4] suggested that the basic premises are: (1) the conditions that can justify the recourse to war, internationally known as jus ad bellum; and (2) the limitations on the methods that may justly be used in waging war, known as jus in bello.[5]

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Access to Food in Developing Nations

The Disparate Impact of Human Rights Laws, Free Trade and 'TRIPS'
By Nicole Romano
Nicole Romano is a graduate of Albany Law School, class of 2014. She received her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University in Political Science with an emphasis in law government. While in law school, Nicole earned a concentration in Estate Planning. Her extra-circular activities included working as Senior Editor for International Law Studies, Pro-Bono work with the Elder Law and Tax Law Societies, and a semester in the Litigation Clinic.
She is currently working for a boutique law firm in the Greater NYC area specializing in wills and estates, asset protection and business succession planning. She is also an active member of the New York State Bar Association and currently holds a position on the Executive Committee for the Young Lawyers Section.
This paper was prepared for Prof. Halewood’s International Trade Law class.

There is undoubtedly a clear disparity between the increase in free trade, which is supposed to promote general welfare, and its actual effect of increasing poverty and hunger.  Not only is there a disparity within free trade theory itself, it can be argued that international trade law was also created to incorporate human rights law to prevent this exact epidemic from occurring.

This disparity of trade liberalization and human rights, specifically with increasing famine, can be attributed to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) and its role in patent rights on agriculture. Private industries in the US were concerned about foreign protection of patents and the weak IP policies costing them billions of dollars per year. It was the private industry leaders of developed countries being directed to devise a plan to protect IP rights against developing nations. This resulted in developing nations working under a set of rules geared to promoting the needs of the former.

Private industry has been a major player in creating the resulting disparity between human rights law and trade law. Developing countries have been at the mercy of transnational corporations (TNC) that control food access in these areas. While these corporations control the majority of global trade, they have no obligations under international law to ensure the well being of citizens because international laws are typically only binding on State actors. This means that despite TNC’s heavy social and economic impact on developing nations, private corporations are not obligated to ensure that citizens are provided with an adequate standard of living or access to food.
____________________________
To read the paper, open HERE.