Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What Is To Be Done About International War Crimes?

By Ian Steele Pulz
Ian Pulz is a 2021 Albany Law School graduate born and raised in New Jersey. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2016 and went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Conflict Studies in 2018.
Ian’s interests include immigration and criminal defense law as well as jurisprudence. He will be working as a public defender in Virginia, and he was just notified that he passed the Virginia bar exam! 
In his free time, Ian enjoys hiking, reading, and activism.



 If a crime occurs with no presiding coercive power to collectively enforce it, has a crime occurred? If a country passes legislation enabling any and “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any person…who is being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court,” or if a country has dropped an average of twenty-two bombs on Syria and Iraq on September 21, the UN International Day of Peace, over the span of 2014-18, is it not reasonable to adopt a cynical approach to acts of war and the crimes that oftentimes accompany military conflict?

This paper will discuss the difficult concept of international war crimes. First, this paper will analyze the history of efforts to codify a standard system of law for war crimes. Second, this paper will shift to a modern analysis of war crimes, drawing on sources such as President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, continental philosopher Immanuel Kant, and legal philosopher Hans Kelsen. A major focus in this paper is the legitimate implementation of standardized law for war crimes, and why that is so difficult.

Third, this paper will discuss the ineptitude of bodies such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. Lastly, this paper will discuss the continued practice of war racketeering, the historic blind eye that the International Criminal Court has turned toward this practice, the International Criminal Court’s racial disparity, and the importance of community in the context of war crimes.
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

An Armed Attack for Cyber Espionage

A Just War in 2020

By Scott F. Owen
Scott F. Owen is an Albany Law School alum, class of 2020, Magna Cum Laude. He grew up in Westchester, New York, and graduated from the University of Delaware where he studied History and Philosophy. 
At the law school, Scott was the Executive Editor of New York Appeals with Albany Law Review, Volume 84; he was the Vice-President of Business Law Society; and he received the Justinian Society award upon graduation. 
Currently, Scott is an incoming associate, July 2021 BAR applicant, and is focusing on civil litigation.  In his free time, Scott enjoys hiking, running, playing chess, and playing basketball. He is the proud son of Chris Owen and Claudia Nerreau.



“The utility of cyber is not as a weapon of war but as a weapon short of war.”  Cyber-attacks have been used with increasing effect and regularity over the past twenty-five years.  Despite this, the international law community—the United Nations' Security Council, the International Court of Justice, among others—have barely analyzed its legality if at all. Cyber-attacks continue to occur unabated globally with no signs of slowing down due to the lack of attention it has drawn.

This paper will discuss the Security Council and International Court of Justice, Article 51 and its history, and cyber-attacks against the United States. Additionally, this paper will address whether the United States could justify an armed attack against a State that conducted a cyber-attack against the United States, and whether the United States would respond to a cyber-attack with an armed attack.  Lastly, this paper will analyze what could be done to curtail cyber-attacks in the future, and whether any strategy would be fruitful.  
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Monday, August 23, 2021

International Law Studies Staff, 2021 - 2022

 Director   Vincent M. Bonventre


Student Editorial Board, 2021 - 2022

Editor-in-Chief
Julia L. Bertolino is a third-year student at Albany Law School. She grew up in Virden, Illinois, and graduated from Western Illinois University where she studied Political Science. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she was employed with the Illinois House of Representatives for 5 years before continuing her education in Albany.
At the law school, Julia has been Vice-President and is now acting President of the Italian American Law Student Association. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in Family Court with domestic violence survivors and children.
In her free time, Julia enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks and spending time with family and friends.

Executive Editor
Raymond F. Leggett IV is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He grew up just outside Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Miami University of Ohio where he studied Philosophy and Ethics. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he was employed with the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice for a year before continuing his education in Albany.
At the law school, Raymond is President of the National Lawyers Guild, Albany Law Chapter; a research fellow for the Center for Global Governance and Emerging Law; and a research assistant for Professor Ray Brescia. Upon graduation, he hopes to work as a trial attorney and appellate advocate, specializing in identifying issues for appeal and complex case management.
In his free time, Raymond enjoys writing poetry, philosophy, and fiction, playing blues guitar, and exploring exotic places with friends and family.
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For previous years' staffs, click HERE.

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Submerged Lands Act

By Victoria M. Craft
Victoria Craft attended Albany Law School and graduated remotely with the class of 2020. A University at Albany alum, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2017 and is now a general practitioner in Upstate New York.
While attending law school, Victoria participated in various public interest placements and internships, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Attorney General’s Office. This paper was written for Professor Bonventre’s International Law of War and Crime Seminar.


Congress enacted the Submerged Lands Act of 1953 to supersede the 1947 Supreme Court decision that the United States held all rights “in, and full dominion and power” over lands, minerals, and anything else within the three nautical miles “underlying the Pacific Ocean seaward of the coast.”  United States v. California (1978), citing United States v. California (1947).

In its 1947 per curium decision, the Court did seem to allow states to seek, from the United States, title to and ownership of the lands beneath navigable waters at the time of statehood, as well as the natural resources within three nautical miles of such lands, measured using the mean low-water mark. Block v. Board of School Lands (1983); United States v. California (1978). Lands owned on the “date of statehood” were within boundaries “as they existed at the time such state became a member of the Union.”  United States v. Louisiana (1960); United States v. Louisiana (1967). This could be accomplished only via a quitclaim deed, without warranty, Block v. Board of School Lands, supra, effectively “leav[ing] it where [the United States] found it.”  United States v. California (1978), supra.

This paper explores the relation between the domestic Submerged Lands Act and the International Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.  
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To read the paper, open HERE.