Human Rights & Development Law Journal Volumes


MASTHEAD

ARTICLES
International Responsibility for Human Rights Violations by American Indian Tribes by Klint A. Cowan
Abstract
Refugee Responses, State-like Behavior, and Accountability for Human Rights Violations: A Case Study of Sexual Violence in Guinea's Refugee Camps by Alice Farmer
Abstract
Litigating the Rights of Street Children in Regional or International Fora: Trends, Options, Barriers and Breakthroughs by Uché U. Ewelukwa
Abstract

NOTE FROM THE FIELD
Mediation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Second Application by Steven Austermiller
Abstract | PDF

NOTE
Building on Custom: Land Tenure Policy and Economic Development in Ghana by Joseph Blocher
Abstract | PDF

Articles


International Responsibility for Human Rights Violations by American Indian Tribes by Klint A. Cowan
The American Indian tribes have a unique status in the law of the United States. They are characterized as sovereigns that predate the formation of the republic and possess inherent powers and immunities. Their powers permit them to create and enforce laws and generally to operate as autonomous governmental entities with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Tribes enjoy immunity from suit and exemption from federal and state constitutional provisions which protect individual rights. These powers and immunities provide a connection between tribal governments and U.S. international human rights obligations. This Article explores that connection. It examines whether the tribes may breach certain international human rights obligations of the United States, whether tribal violations may incur U.S. international responsibility, and if so, what consequences might result. It constructs an argument that the United States has failed to implement fully its international human rights obligations and that it can be held internationally responsible for tribal violations of human rights. This argument leads to policy recommendations for the United States and tribal governments.

Refugee Responses, State-like Behavior, and Accountability for Human Rights Violations: A Case Study of Sexual Violence in Guinea's Refugee Camps by Alice Farmer
This Article advocates for better access to justice and a more comprehensive accountability system in refugee camps. Refugee women are frequently subject to sexual violence and sexual exploitation in the country of refuge, and find themselves without ways of redressing these fundamental rights violations. This Article uses the sexual violence and sexual exploitation that was documented in refugee camps in Guinea in 2002 as an illustrative case study of the protection problems faced by refugee women in many parts of the world. The author argues that the host government, UNHCR, and various non-governmental organizations operated together to fulfill state-like functions in long-term refugee camps, but their efforts left accountability, access to justice, and enforcement of women's human rights laws sorely lacking. The movement toward rights based refuge - embraced in varying forms by the aid providers in Guinea - provides a theoretical and practical framework for greater rights recognition, but has not yet delivered a complete response to the specific human rights violations faced by refugee women. If rights-based refuge is to succeed in refugee settings like Guinea, aid providers must make the protection of women's human rights a central concern by instituting a robust, multi-layered system of accountability to which all refugee women have access.

Litigating the Rights of Street Children in Regional or International Fora: Trends, Options, Barriers and Breakthroughs by Uché U. Ewelukwa
This article focuses on the fate of street children and interactions between street children and international law and international institutions. The landmark November 1999 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Villagrán Morales v. Guatemala, provides the basis for this article. Villagrán Morales was the very first case in the history of the Inter-American Court where the victims of human rights violations were children, and the first case ever involving street children before an international adjudicatory body. This article examines the significance of this decision for street children

Notes from the Field


Mediation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Second Application by Steven Austermiller
A nation born out of mediation turns to mediation again, this time to rescue its judiciary and promote the rule of law. The country known as Bosnia and Herzegovina was created out of U.S. mediation efforts in 1995. Ten years later, the peace has held but a new set of challenges has emerged. The nation now plans to use mediation to improve judicial efficiency, and promote democracy and the rule of law. This article reviews the nation's new mediation laws and their potential impact on the judiciary and society generally. Drawing on his mediation experiences in private practice and his work managing rule of law projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the author concludes that the new mediation laws are an excellent start but need to be amended. The author further concludes that if given sufficient time and proper implementation, mediation can improve judicial efficiency and democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Notes


Building on Custom: Land Tenure Policy and Economic Development in Ghana by Joseph Blocher
This Note addresses the intersection of customary and statutory land law in the land tenure policy of Ghana. It argues that improving the current land tenure policy demands integration of customary land law and customary authorities into the statutory system. After describing why and how customary property practices are central to the economic viability of any property system, the Note gives a brief overview of Ghana's customary and statutory land law. The Note concludes with specific policy suggestions about how Ghana could better draw on the strength of its customary land sector.

VOL. 9 Masthead


Andrea Armstrong

Submissions Editor

Oliver Babson

Notes from the Field Editor

Mihailis Diamantis

Managing Editor

Kimberly Gahan

Articles Editor

Margaret Hellerstein

Articles Editor

Celeste Hernandez-Gerety

Submissions Editor

Jael Humphrey-Skomer

Submissions Editor

Raquiba Huq

Notes Editor

Eisha Jain

Articles Editor

Nicole LeFrancois

Articles Editor

Eunice Lee

Editor-in-Chief

Mollie Lee

Editor-in-Chief

Julie Maupin

Executive Editor

Ngozi Ndulue

Articles Editor

Nicholas Robinson

Articles Editor

Adam Romero

Notes Editor

Nora Staal

Notes from the Field Editor

Eric Tam

Executive Editor

Julie Wilensky

Submissions Editor

Junior Editors


Jonathan Baum, Kyla Brooke, Julien Cantegreil, Mary Christensen, Jorge Contesse, Alicyn Cooley, Aliza Cover, Rohit De, Katherine Desormeau, Katherine Dominguez, Kristen Eichensehr, Joshua Foust, Geri Greenspan, Ravi Gupta, Nicole Hallett, Dawn Hewett, Abigail Horn, Paul Hughes, Stephanie Jacobs, Sonia Kumar, Viviane Meunier, Jared Morris, Jennifer Nou, Brie Pettigrew, Thom Ringer, Naomi Shatz, Marc Silverman, Geoffrey Starks, Ebunoluwa Taiwo, Michael Tan, Samantha Trepel, Elizabeth Wang