Thursday, February 11, 2016

Transnational Corporations and Child Labor

The Never Ending Global Cycle
By Courtney Heinel
Courtney Heinel, a 2015 graduate of Albany Law School, passed the bar exam in July. She graduated from Ithaca College with a major in Legal Studies, and completed extensive studies in Politics with a concentration in International Relations.
Following her first year at Albany Law, Courtney interned at the law school’s Civil Rights and Disability Law Clinic, and later interned for the Rensselaer County Public Defender’s office.
Last spring, she competed in the Donna Jo Morse Negotiations. Additionally, Courtney served as a senior editor for International Law Studies and then the submissions editor.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and reading.

This paper seeks to explore the complex relationship between Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and child labor on a global scale.  By examining how TNCs, through political loopholes, avoid enforcement of basic human rights afforded to children in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), it is possible to see how child labor is perpetuated across generations in a never-ending cycle. While TNCs are responsible for many other human rights violations under numerous conventions and treaties, this paper seeks only to explore the human rights violations associated with TNCs and child labor.

The first section of this paper will briefly introduce the international conventions that govern the rights of the child—the CRC and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC)—specifically focusing on the provisions governing child labor. The second section will seek to highlight some of the theories that underlay the causes of child labor globally.

The third section will define Transnational Corporations and their influence on child labor within the global community.  The next section will then examine why TNCs pose a problem for the elimination of child labor and explore the various international attempts to regulate TNCs over the past few decades. The fifth section will discuss how the CRC, even though not applicable due to the lack of enforceability against TNCs, is perfectly equipped to deal with the issue of child labor employed by TNCs.

Finally, this paper will conclude by arguing that the international community needs to step in and take action to eliminate child labor. Given that a child laborer today makes a child laborer in the future, protecting children worldwide should be a top priority.
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Formation and Current State of the United Nations

By Jared La Porta
Jared La Porta, a 2015 graduate of Albany Law School, received his BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011, with concentrations in both the United States and Europe. While in law school, Jared interned for the New York State Defenders Association and the Albany County Public Defender’s Office.
His paper was prepared for Professor Bonventre's International Law of War and Crime Seminar.


On October 24, 1945, representatives from fifty-one nations ratified the Charter creating what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had previously designated the “United Nations.” United Nations Day, as it came to be known, marked the culmination of decades of international efforts to create a single multinational organization.

The organization’s primary purpose would be to maintain and promote peace and security throughout the world. A major feat, the UN was the result of not only long-standing warfare and international strife, but also a lengthy process of trial and error that began nearly a century before its founding.

Throughout this process, a multitude of organizations and peace conferences shaped and reshaped the notion of international cooperation to ensure peace and humanity on a global scale. It was this historical context that marked the beginnings of what would become the United Nations.
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Child Soldiers: More Victims than Perpetrators

By Lisa Dallessandro
Lisa Dallessandro, a third-year student at Albany Law School, is an Executive Editor of International Law Studies.
Lisa was born and raised in Hudson Valley, N.Y. She received her B.A. in History from Boston College in May 2012. After graduating college, she interned at Sanocki, Newman, and Turret, a New York City firm specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury. In her free time, she enjoys reading historical biographies, listening to classical music, and playing with her dog, Eric.
Lisa wrote this paper for Prof. Bonventre's International Law of War & Crime Seminar.

Child soldiers present the international community with a tremendous challenge.  An estimated 300,000 children participate in more than 30 conflicts worldwide. The phenomenon of child soldiers has given rise to a complex victim-perpetrator paradox and made the prosecution of child soldiers a controversial issue around the world.

After considering the arguments for and against the prosecutions of child soldiers, this paper will argue that the international community is right to emphasize rehabilitation and reintegration over prosecution.  The paper will then evaluate DDR programs, the predominant form of rehabilitation and reintegration, and argue that their success is dependent on outside influences.
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Recipe for Pharmaceutical Balance

Research and Development, Affordability and Accessibility

By Michelle Frankel
Michelle Frankel completed her BA and JD degrees in a total of six years. She was a member of the “3 + 3 Law and Public Policy” program between Union College and Albany Law School, having graduated from the latter in the spring of 2015.
During law school, Ms. Frankel pursued her health care interest in many different ways: she took several health law classes, worked at the NYS Department of Health and Pfizer (for academic credit), and interned at medical malpractice and boutique health care law firms. Overall, she is an advocate for systematic health care reform with an interest and focus on corporate and policy issues.
This paper was adapted from a paper she wrote for Professor Halewood’s International Trade Law class.


The pharmaceutical industry struggles to balance the cost of research and development (R&D) against the need for affordable and accessible drugs.  It is difficult to find the “right” balance because pharmaceutical innovation and continued development require a great deal of financial investment, which somewhat forces prices to reflect R&D costs.

Pharmaceutical development is further complicated by the fact that most of the developing world is dependent on production from the U.S. and the EU because of the capital and infrastructural demands; most developing countries are incapable of domestic production, which magnifies their dependence on the developed world.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that develops pharmaceuticals specifically targeted to address unmet medical needs.  In September 2014, Gilead announced an initiative to combat Hepatitis C, which represents one of the latest pharmaceutical efforts to assist and guarantee that certain developing countries have access to a pricey but lifesaving drug.  Gilead’s overall approach to promoting access to pharmaceuticals, and the specific methods used in its Hepatitis C efforts, highlights many of the intricacies in striking the right balance between promoting R&D and providing affordable and accessible pharmaceuticals.

This paper discusses how GATT, TRIMs, TRIPs and the Doha Declaration impact the pharmaceutical industry, and provides background about Hepatitis C and Gilead’s licensing agreements with seven India-based generic pharmaceutical companies.  It then assesses the pros and cons of Gilead’s initiative and explains how to ensure that there are sufficient incentives to promote continued pharmaceutical advancement, while also more reliably guaranteeying affordable and accessible drugs in the developed and developing world.
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To read the paper, open HERE.