Lecturer examines international law

first_imgBrigham Young University (BYU) law professor David H. Moore gave a lecture focused on the relationship between international law and its domestic enforcement in the United States at the Eck Hall of Law on Thursday, sponsored by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy.Moore said there is a fundamental conflict between two concepts: the effectiveness of international law and the integrity of proper domestic governance.“In my opinion, the Supreme Court is trying to accommodate both concerns in their decisions,” Moore said.According to Moore, the primary sources of international law are treaties, which are formal legal agreements between nations, and customary international law, which consists of non-binding conventions that countries traditionally follow. Illustrating this distinction with an example, Moore said diplomatic immunity existed as a informal mutual agreement between countries before it was codified into law with formal treaties.Moore then explained the principle of self-execution. International law that is ratified by the U.S. must include a provision that specifies in what way it should be enforced to fulfill the standard of self-execution. Otherwise, Moore said, international law cannot be enforced in the U.S., absent of authorization from a branch of government.“However, a broad notion of non-self-execution violates the Supremacy Clause [of the Constitution],” Moore said. “This is because the Supremacy Clause states that formally ratified treaties must be treated as the law of the land.”Moore said the case of Medellin v. Texas demonstrates the principle of non-self-execution. Medellin, a convicted Mexican national on death row, appealed his conviction because Texas legal authorities failed to allow him to contact the Mexican consulate in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Supreme Court sided with Texas and decided that international treaties are not applicable to domestic law unless Congress implements an enforcement statute or the treaties include self-executing provisions.“There are two basic views on relationship between customary international law and federal common law,” Moore said.The modern position believes international law can be enforced to a large extent by the courts while the revisionist camp argues it can only be enforced as authorized by Congress or the executive branch.Moore referenced the case of Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain to show how the Supreme Court interprets these two views. The case involved a suspected cartel member who had been abducted to face murder charges by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The court held that an abducted foreign national could face prosecution, but the act of kidnapping itself might be a violation of international law and thus provide grounds for civil litigation under the Alien Tort Statute.“Most scholars see the court’s decision as a victory for the modern view, but I think they confuse two questions: whether Alien Tort Statute creates a cause of action and whether customary international law is federal common law in the absence of political branch intent,” Moore said.In fact, Moore said the court’s analysis actually endorses the revisionist position with its focus on Congressional intent and concern with separation of powers.“Academic commentary is out of step,” Moore said. “Incorporation [of international law] through the political branches is the appropriate direction.”Tags: David H. Moore, domestic governance, international law, Lawlast_img read more

BW in LPG retrofit move

first_imgBW LPG, the world’s largest liquid petroleum gas shipping company, has signed contracts including future options for the delivery and retrofitting of four LPG-propelled dual-fuel engines in its fleet.BW LPG claims in a statement that this move is “a world’s first initiative.” The company expects the first retrofitting to take place in conjunction with scheduled drydockings starting 2020.With LPG propulsion, BW LPG says it would reduce its sulphur oxide emissions by up to 97 percent, allowing for full compliance with all current and future sulphur emissions requirements.This means the retrofitted ships, when operating on LPG, will go beyond IMO’s global 0.5% sulphur emissions cap to also be in full compliance with Emission Control Areas (ECA) and Sulphur Emission Control Areas’ (SECA) 0.1% sulphur cap, according to BW LPG.“BW LPG has been preparing for IMO 2020 for years… We will be the global pioneer in operating next-generation, high-tech green ships with dual-fuel propulsion,” Martin Ackermann, BW LPG chief executive said in the statement.last_img read more

Let markets deal with subprime `meltdown’

first_imgOur catastrophe-obsessed traditional media call it the subprime mortgage “crisis” or “meltdown.” Here’s what happened: Borrowers with shaky creditworthiness received low interest “teaser” rates. No problem, as long as housing prices continue to rise. But with house prices stagnating, if not declining, this places some borrowers and the holders of their “paper” on financial shaky ground. In other words, lenders lent and borrowers borrowed. Some borrowers took on debt only to find themselves unable to pay their mortgages, and the carriers of their debt now find their holdings less valuable. But what about the responsibility of both lender and borrower? The Media Research Center examined news coverage of the subprime “crisis.” Of 156 stories broadcast between November 2006 and August 2007, 62percent “ignored the consumer’s responsibility for debt.” No one put a gun to either lenders’ or borrowers’ heads, and now both sides of the transaction find themselves in financial difficulty. Lawmakers scream for more laws. Never mind lenders already operate under many regulations including, but not limited to, full disclosure requirements. “If a large group of people can’t pay their mortgages, they may lose their homes. But the banks don’t suffer as they used to – local American lenders have already converted those loans into cash and sold off their risk. In fact, German regional banks suffered some of the most significant losses from bad American mortgages. Other European and Asian banks and hedge funds took their lumps as well. American banks essentially bought insurance by exporting their risk overseas.” Let’s not minimize the trouble faced by thinly collateralized borrowers and their lenders, given the soft housing market. But the financial difficulties affecting both sides of transactions voluntarily entered into do not warrant a taxpayer bailout. U.S. homeowners’ equity today equals almost $11trillion. Price declines for this year and next year may amount to $6 billion, or a 0.05percent decline – a worry, but hardly Judgment Day. Christopher Cagan, of First American Real Estate Solutions, estimates that “the impact of rate sensitivity and subsequent defaults will be well below one-half percent of total mortgage debt outstanding” and spread out over several years. Donald Trump, who knows a bit about crisis management, having dealt with his own financial “meltdown,” suggested a simple, direct approach: Cut a deal with your lender. Similarly, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has already urged banks and borrowers to get together and renegotiate the terms of their loans. So what would a bailout say to those who avoided the subprime lending fervor? The Wall Street Journal reports that unlike Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs “maintain(ed) relatively small holdings of collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, the complex mortgage-related securities whose rapid devaluation prompted the massive write-downs at other firms.” Should government reward the shortsighted losers and, by extension, punish firms such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers that had the foresight to protect themselves? People in the insurance business use a term called “moral hazard.” This means actions, however well-intended, that shield people from the consequences of their behavior lead to even more irresponsible behavior. Secretary Paulson recently said, “I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators.” OK, then butt out! Larry Elder is an attorney, syndicated columnist and national radio talk-show host. He can be heard from 3 to 6p.m. Monday through Friday on KABC-AM 790 (e-mail: [email protected]). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champDemocrats, and many Republicans, cry for some sort of government (read “taxpayer”) bailout. A New York Times editorial demands legislation, “including a rule that lenders must verify a borrower’s ability to pay.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seek legislation to make Federal Housing Authority “loans more widely available in order to help both new homeowners and those struggling with abusive mortgages.” They also demanded that President Bush fund nonprofit foreclosure prevention counseling, and appoint a senior administration official to oversee federal response to the “crisis.” Instead, the president has offered a sort of middle ground, suggesting a five-year freeze on mortgage rates for some subprime borrowers facing default on their mortgages. Suppose you stayed on the sideline and rented or stayed in a smaller home in order to move up? Too bad, for the Bush plan artificially props up home prices. The president’s plan also enables some homeowners to receive Federal Housing Authority loans in which the government – taxpayers – pay lenders in the event of a default. The plan also does nothing to prevent lawsuits by investors who hold the mortgaged securities in expectation of a certain return. George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen says, “We’ve all heard about the defaults on subprime mortgage loans. But so far, the real story is how little the broader American economy has suffered. Today, banks usually sell their loans to third parties. You might have originally borrowed money from Wells Fargo, but now a bank overseas cashes your mortgage checks. last_img read more