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Vol. VI


MASTHEAD

ARTICLES
Human Rights Litigation Under the ATCA as a Proxy For Environmental Claims by Natalie L. Bridgeman
Abstract | PDF
Normativity in International Law: The Case of Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention by Daphné Richemond
Abstract | PDF
Making Access to Pharmaceuticals a Reality: Legal Options Under TRIPS and the Case of Brazil by Zita Lazzarini
Abstract | PDF
Aftershocks: Reflections on the Implications of September 11 by W. Michael Reisman
Abstract | PDF

NOTES FROM THE FIELD
The Complementary and Conflicting Relationship Between the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Abdul Tejan-Cole
Abstract | PDF

NOTES
Staged Cities: Mega-events, Slum Clearance, and Global Capital by Solomon J. Greene
PDF


ARTICLES
Human Rights Litigation Under the ATCA as a Proxy For Environmental Claims by Natalie L. Bridgeman
Suing corporations in U.S. courts for environmental harms abroad may soon be possible under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA). While several cases have been brought alleging environmental torts under the ATCA, no case has yet yielded corporate liability. Until courts accept environmental principles as part of the "law of nations," and therefore actionable under the ATCA, plaintiffs should use remedies available for human rights claims as proxies for their environmental claims. Because corporate international environmental law violations are frequently linked to human rights abuses, well-established human rights causes of action should be used to usher in the emerging justiciability of environmental claims.

Normativity in International Law: The Case of Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention by Daphné Richemond
This Article argues that the ambiguous normative regime currently governing unilateral humanitarian intervention provides an adequate legal framework for such intervention. The Article reviews the arguments typically made in support of a codified, strict normative regime, finding that strict normativity is unlikely to deter human rights violators more effectively than the current framework. In addition, the Article points out that any effort to codify a norm of unilateral humanitarian intervention faces formidable obstacles. Such an effort must overcome the conflict between the traditional doctrine of state sovereignty and emerging principles of human rights, as well as practical difficulties in reaching international consensus on the content of a codified norm. A permissive legal regime, while imperfect, provides adequate safeguards against abuse, acknowledges the exceptional nature of unilateral intervention, benefits both intervening and target states, and protects human rights. Although the article argues that normative ambiguity is the only viable legal regime at this time, it recognizes strict normativity as an ideal towards which the international community should strive.

Making Access to Pharmaceuticals a Reality: Legal Options Under TRIPS and the Case of Brazil by Zita Lazzarini
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has made the problem of access to pharmaceuticals in developing countries a subject of intense public debate. This Essay contends that tensions between intellectual property rights and human rights are largely resolvable through the full utilization of exceptions under new international trade and intellectual property rules. Rather than undermining these regimes, the approach laid out in this Essay was anticipated by the international forum that established the World Trade Organization and issued the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Agreement (TRIPS). Brazil's experience illustrates possible strategies, relevant to developing countries, which can be used to strike a balance between respect for public health and human rights and protection of intellectual property rights.

Aftershocks: Reflections on the Implications of September 11 by W. Michael Reisman
The Fundamentalist conservatizers in the Islamic world who support or passively sympathize with those who are attacking us perceive themselves as under a grave threat. To assess the accuracy of their perception, we must look at what they fear. Since 1945, the international legal system, at the initiative of leading Western modernizing states, has established a set of ground rules of political and other social organization based upon what it considers to be universally valid and self-evident principles. These ground rules are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although the United Nations Charter purported to reserve the domestic jurisdiction of states from international concern, Western governments and the human rights lobby have vigorously diminished the scope of domestic jurisdiction so that it no longer buffers the internal legal arrangements of states from the application of international human rights law. The values we designate as "universal" are, indeed, "universalizable," in contrast with tribal or other ethnically or religiously restrictive values that limit their reach and confine their benefits to members of a particular group. But "universalizable" values are not necessarily universally held. Nor are they "natural."

NOTES FROM THE FIELD

The Complementary and Conflicting Relationship Between the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Abdul Tejan-Cole
Most countries in transition from civil war face limited choices when imposing accountability for past atrocities. Some, like Mozambique, opt to grant unconditional amnesty. Other countries, like South Africa, have instituted a truth and reconciliation commission and granted limited amnesty, while yet others, like Rwanda, prosecute perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. These solutions are not mutually exclusive. Following a ten-year, bloody war characterized by widespread killings, amputations, rape, slavery, enforced prostitution and extensive use of child soldiers, Sierra Leone has chosen a unique blend of institutional mechanisms. At first, the government purported to grant an "unconditional" amnesty to the perpetrators while establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. When the agreement establishing the latter foundered, the government established a Special Court in addition to the Commission. Amnesty pardons all, the Commission seeks truth, reconciliation and healing for past wrongs, and the Court aims at prosecuting the most culpable perpetrators. This Note examines two of these seemingly conflicting mechanisms--the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court. The Note compares the mandates of the respective bodies, as well as their basis, composition and jurisdiction and discusses their respective roles in Sierra Leone. The Note highlights several areas in which these bodies need to cooperate while maintaining their independence and emphasizes the need to define the relationship between the two institutions in order to preserve their effectiveness.

VOL. 6 MASTHEAD

 Nathaniel J. Blake
 Articles Editor
 Darren Cohen
 Executive Editor
 Erin Shannon Conroy
 Notes from the Field Editor
 Amina El-Sayad
 Articles Editor
 Ying Ying Li
 Notes Editor
 C. Scott Lopez
 Executive Editor
 Tanvi Madan
 Technical Editor
 Malcolm Seymour
 Articles Editor
 Lara Slachta
 Notes Editor
 Eric Tam
 Articles Editor
 Steve I. Vladeck
 Submissions Editor
 Brent Wible
 Editor-in-Chief

* Claudio Aragón served as co-Editor-in-Chief through Dec. 2002

EDITORS
Maria Burnett, Amanda Edmonds, Abigail Greene, Ethel Higonnet, Abja Midha, Elora Mukherjee, Emma Quinn-Judge, Marie Rivera, Eric Sapp, Joanne Savage, Katherine Southwick, Jennifer Sperling, Tahlia Townsend, Deborah Thomas