Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Trial of Saddam Hussein

Procedural Flaws Leave Us Asking, Was He Given a Fair Trial?

By Michael DeRuve
Michael DeRuve is a 2017 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School. In 2014, he graduated from Hartwick College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management.

While at Albany Law, Michael was a member of the Albany Law Review and President of Albany Law’s Criminal Law Society from 2015 to 2016. He was also active in the moot court program, competing in both inter school and regional trial competitions, and finishing as a semi-finalist in Albany Law School’s Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trial Competition.

Michael interned at the Schenectady District Attorney’s Office and at LaMarche Safranko Law, a firm which focuses on criminal defense and personal injury. Currently, he is a Junior Associate at Phillips and Paolicelli, LLP, where he focuses primarily on mass torts, birth defects, environmental toxic torts, and medical malpractice litigation. 

Michael prepared this paper for Professor Bonventre's International law of War and Crime seminar.

After the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the world awaited to see how Iraq and foreign governments would handle his fate. In response, the Iraqi High Tribunal (“IHT”) was created in order to try persons who had violated international crimes–such as crimes against humanity and war crimes–between 1968, the year the Ba’ath Party took power of Iraq, and 2003, when Saddam Hussein was captured. This tribunal was particularly important because it was the first time since the Nuremburg trials–international trials in which Nazis were tried for crimes committed during World War II–that entire senior officials of a long-lived government faced trial for human rights violations.

On October 19, 2005, the IHT held its first trial, where Saddam Hussein and seven other defendants were tried for their alleged participation in the Dujail Massacre of 1982. There, 140 people were killed, while another 800 were detained by the government in response to a failed assassination attempt on the then-President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. The trial lasted roughly thirteen months and Saddam Hussein was subsequently found guilty of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the massacre. On November 5, 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging. On December 30, 2006, after losing his appeal, he was executed.

But this trial did not come without flaws. In fact, the Human Rights Watch, along with many others, felt actions taken by the court were prejudicial against the defendants and were overall unfair by international standards.
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To read the entire paper, open HERE.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

International Law Studies (ILS) Staff, 2017-2018

Director   Vincent M. Bonventre

Student Editorial Board, 2017 - 2018

Editor-in-Chief
Christopher I. Hall is completing his final year at Albany Law School.  He grew up in Tioga Center, N.Y. and received his degree in History from SUNY Geneseo.

He spent four years in the Army as an Intelligence Analyst and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Coordinator.  From 2013 to 2014, Christopher was deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division.

Christopher has interned with Judge Kahn in the Northern District of New York, and most recently, spent the summer interning with the law firm Hancock Estabrook where he will be employed after graduation.  He enjoys playing soccer and working out in his free time.

Executive Editor
Molly Maguire is a second-year law student at Albany Law School. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a Pre-Law Certificate from Siena College.

Molly spent the summer interning with the Special Victims Unit at the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, and is currently a Law Intern for the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center’s Family Violence Litigation Project. She is also currently a member of Albany Law’s Journal of Science and Technology, and is the Treasurer of Albany Law’s Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.

In her spare time, Molly enjoys going to the movies, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Graduate Editor
(2016 - 2017 Editor-in-Chief)
Lisa Dallessandro is a 2016 graduate of Albany Law School.  She was born and raised in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Lisa 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.

For previous years' staffs, click HERE.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Maintaining High Standards of Multilateral Infrastructure Financing

By Bo Lei
Bo Lei is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He is from China and is known on campus as Michael. He graduated from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy of SUNY at Albany with a Master's degree in Public Administration.
Prior to studying in the U.S., Michael graduated from Northwestern Poly-Technical University in China with a Master's degree in Computer Science and worked 8 years in ZhengZhou Commodity Exchange as an advanced programmer and an analyst of risks of futures market. He has been committed to expanding his knowledge to the profession of law to satisfy his strong interest in public affairs.
At Albany Law School, he served as a judicial intern in U.S. District Court for Hon. Daniel J. Stewart. He also served as an intern in various public sectors, including N.Y.S. Office of General Services, N.Y.S. Offices of the Inspector General, and the Empire Justice Center.
Michael is interested in public international law and originally prepared this paper for a course entitled International Business Transactions.
He prepared this paper for Prof. Halewood's course in International Business Transactions.


In March 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“the AIIB”) dominated front-page headlines in most of the world’s important news media, not merely because of the bank itself, but more because the United Kingdom (U.K.) joined the AIIB as a founding member.   Following the U.K.’s decision, Australia and South Korea, the U.S.’s main allies in Asia, and other G7 countries such as Germany, France, and Italy, eventually announced their intention to join as well.

The U.S. opposed the establishment of the AIIB and had been attempting to lobby its allies not to join it.   Some deemed the AIIB a part of China’s plan to challenge the World Bank as well as the standing global financial order.   Others were concerned that the AIIB “would not live up to the ‘highest global standards’ for governance or lending.”

Why is the establishment of the AIIB so controversial?  What are multilateral infrastructure investment banks’ roles for regional and global development?  Would the AIIB challenge the global system of governance or supplement the existing system?  This paper discusses these questions from the perspective of global governance with respect to infrastructure investment, examines and compares measures and standards adopted by the AIIB and the Asian Development Bank (“the ADB”), analyses projects that have been approved by the AIIB, and will find that the AIIB supplements the existing system and maintains no lower standards of governance than the ADB does.
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To read the entire paper, open HERE.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Animal Law: Evolution and the Need for International Protection

By Myleah Misenhimer
Myleah Misenhimer is a 2016 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School. She earned her undergraduate degree in English, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany. She is also a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.
During her time at Albany Law School, Myleah was active in the moot court program, competing in both inter and intra school trial and appellate competitions. She was also a member of the Animal Law Pro Bono Project, and continues to be a member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Myleah is currently a first year associate at Rose Waldorf PLLC.
She prepared this paper for Professor Bonventre's International law of War and Crime seminar.


In 1948, following the atrocities committed against the Jews by Nazi Germany, the Genocide Convention was passed, elevating and isolating genocide as an aggravated crime against humanity. But what of the right to existence of entire non-human groups?  Have the “dictates of public conscience” and the principles of our nations expanded to the point where protection for non-human beings would reflect our communal notions of humanity and morality?

In a literal sense, a crime against humanity is a crime committed externally against humankind. Humankind is humanity, but also has humanity, and thus a crime against humanity can be viewed as a crime that goes against the collective conscience, whether innate or learned. In a time where domestic animals are regarded as family members or referred to as man’s best friend, where we, as people, can set up pet trusts to ensure a safe and secure future for our animals, where most nations in the world have independently adopted laws to criminalize the abuse of such animals, is it time for another convention to bring about internationally recognized animal laws?

The bond between humans and animals was formed in antiquity, primarily out of economic need.   Humans exploited animals for physical purposes, such as plowing fields, but animals also served metaphysical purposes. In her article, Attitudes towards Animals in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Liliane Bodson writes about philosophical views of animals. For example, in the 7th Century B.C., Hesiod made the ox his first servant. Though he asserted Zeus granted justice only to humans, Heisod would treat the animal servicing him with a basic level of care. Pythagoras believed after death that human souls transmigrated into other living beings, and consequently taught his followers to never harm an animal.

Plato believed in the dual soul of man; the divine half was shared with the Gods, whereas the spirited half was shared with animals. Domesticated animals in antiquity were attributed a certain level of intelligence, at least enough to offer consent, as evidenced by Plato’s classification of such animals as “willing partners in human culture.” The notion of consenting animals even extended into the area of religious animal sacrifice, where the sacrificial animal was said to have nodded to humans in assent before being killed.
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To read the entire paper, open HERE.