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Laws, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-180

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Laws in 2013
Laws 2014, 3(1), 179-180; doi:10.3390/laws3010179
Received: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Laws would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Open AccessArticle The Aegean Dispute in the Context of Contemporary Judicial Decisions on Maritime Delimitation
Laws 2014, 3(1), 12-49; doi:10.3390/laws3010012
Received: 19 October 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 14 January 2014
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Abstract
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the principal international law document, which regulates the establishment of the maritime economic zones, namely the Continental Shelf (CS) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (ΕΕΖ) as well as any [...] Read more.
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the principal international law document, which regulates the establishment of the maritime economic zones, namely the Continental Shelf (CS) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (ΕΕΖ) as well as any issues that may come up during their delimitation. Maritime delimitation issues are settled either through state agreements or through legal redress before the respective international tribunals. In this context, the aim of this paper is to elaborate on the delimitation prospect concerning a Greek CS/EEZ based on contemporary conventional and customary international law of the sea, in addition to contemporary judicial decisions. More specifically, the analysis focuses on dispute issues in the region of the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, between Greece and its neighboring country Turkey, concerning the CS/EEZ delimitation. An attempt is made to critically compare this case to the outcome of recent relevant international judicial decisions by highlighting not only the common points but also any differences and complexities. The main purpose is to render the reader aware of the special treatment needed for the case in question, with the expectation for a fair future delimitation of the Greek maritime economic zones. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sub-Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: An Introduction to the Problem of Pretextual Enforcement and Inadequate Remedies
Laws 2014, 3(1), 61-84; doi:10.3390/laws3010061
Received: 8 November 2013 / Revised: 11 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
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Abstract
Sub-federal enforcement of immigration law has expanded significantly in the last decade raising questions concerning policing, rights violations, and remedies. While the Fourth Amendment has historically provided an avenue for potentially suppressing evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s civil rights, [...] Read more.
Sub-federal enforcement of immigration law has expanded significantly in the last decade raising questions concerning policing, rights violations, and remedies. While the Fourth Amendment has historically provided an avenue for potentially suppressing evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s civil rights, its applicability in the immigration removal context has been circumscribed. Thus, the avenues to protect the rights of unauthorized noncitizens in immigration removal proceedings are less clear where sub-federal agents act outside of their authorization, particularly in the context of Secure Communities, and enforce immigration law. In the context of immigration exceptionalism, racial profiling has historically played a unique role in immigration law. The lack of adequate measures to deter rights violations where sub-federal agents enforce immigration law raises questions concerning the relationship between criminal and immigration law, and the importance of deterring civil rights violations such as racial profiling, in immigration enforcement. This article will examine the problem of sub-federal law enforcement agents’ use of criminal law violations as a pretext to enforce immigration law and the lack of adequate deterrence of civil rights violations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is the Modern American Death Penalty a Fatal Lottery? Texas as a Conservative Test
Laws 2014, 3(1), 85-105; doi:10.3390/laws3010085
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
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Abstract
In Furman v. Georgia (1972), the Supreme Court was presented with data indicating that 15% to 20% of death-eligible defendants were actually sentenced to death. Based on such a negligible death sentence rate, some Justices concluded that the imposition of death was [...] Read more.
In Furman v. Georgia (1972), the Supreme Court was presented with data indicating that 15% to 20% of death-eligible defendants were actually sentenced to death. Based on such a negligible death sentence rate, some Justices concluded that the imposition of death was random and capricious—a fatal lottery. Later, the Court assumed in Gregg v. Georgia (1976) that guided discretion statutes would eliminate the constitutional infirmities identified in Furman: If state legislatures narrowed the pool of death-eligible defendants to the “worst of the worst” then most would be sentenced to death, eliminating numerical arbitrariness. However, recent research suggests that numerical arbitrariness remains, as the death sentence rate falls below the Furman threshold in California (11%), Connecticut (4%), and Colorado (less than 1%). The current research estimates the death sentence rate in Texas. Interestingly, Texas provides a conservative test. In contrast to most states, the Texas statute does not include broad aggravators that substantially enlarge the pool of death-eligible defendants and therefore depress the death sentence rate. Nonetheless, the death sentence rate in Texas during the period from 2006 to 2010 ranges from 3% to 6% (depending on assumptions made about the data). The same pattern holds true in the key counties that send the largest number of defendants to death row: Harris (Houston), Dallas (Dallas), Tarrant (Fort Worth and Arlington), and Bexar (San Antonio). Thus, the data suggest that Texas can be added to the list of states in which capital punishment is unconstitutional as administered. If the death sentence rate in Texas runs afoul of the Furman principle then the prognosis for other states is not encouraging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Death Penalty in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) within Developing Nations: A Qualitative Evaluation of Transfer and Impact
Laws 2014, 3(1), 106-116; doi:10.3390/laws3010106
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
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Abstract
The field of online dispute resolution (ODR) is developing both as practice and a profession. Evidence of this includes a growing community of scholars and practitioners. A Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) grant permitted 16 practitioners from developing countries to attend the [...] Read more.
The field of online dispute resolution (ODR) is developing both as practice and a profession. Evidence of this includes a growing community of scholars and practitioners. A Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) grant permitted 16 practitioners from developing countries to attend the 2008 ODR Forum in Victoria, British Columbia. In the year following the Forum, an evaluation was conducted to identify changes among these practitioners’ behaviors, knowledge, skills, abilities and credibility. Results indicate that ODR practitioners in developing countries are engaged in a wide range of activities, many of which are technologically and logistically complex. These practitioners also face a number of political and infrastructural challenges that are not as commonly experienced by those from developed nations. Taken together, these realities have implications both for the nature of ODR’s proliferation as a legitimate practice, as well as for the provision of education and training concerning its underpinnings. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Political Potential of the Return Directive
Laws 2014, 3(1), 117-140; doi:10.3390/laws3010117
Received: 23 November 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
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Abstract
This paper demonstrates how the legitimate interests of immigrants are gradually being recognized through judicial application of EU immigration law. A philosophical and theoretical introduction demonstrates how this recognition constitutes a political momentum. After a brief review of the impact of the [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates how the legitimate interests of immigrants are gradually being recognized through judicial application of EU immigration law. A philosophical and theoretical introduction demonstrates how this recognition constitutes a political momentum. After a brief review of the impact of the ECtHR, we discuss the case law of the ECJEU on the Return Directive to show how, through the principles of proportionality and sincere cooperation, this legitimate interest is indirectly being calculated by the Luxembourg court. This means that national courts will have to follow suite, as is demonstrated in the last section of this paper. Hence the title of the article: the political potential is due to this indirect recognition. In the conclusion, a suggestion is made to further develop this potential. Full article
Open AccessArticle Death Row Confinement and the Meaning of Last Words
Laws 2014, 3(1), 141-152; doi:10.3390/laws3010141
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 1 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 17 February 2014
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Abstract
Life under sentence of death can be a transformative process. One measure of this transformation can be found in last words, which often highlight the humanity of condemned prisoners on the threshold of execution, in sharp contrast to popular conceptions of these [...] Read more.
Life under sentence of death can be a transformative process. One measure of this transformation can be found in last words, which often highlight the humanity of condemned prisoners on the threshold of execution, in sharp contrast to popular conceptions of these prisoners as evil, remorseless, and irredeemable. Our reading of last words suggests that the transformation process can be best understood by examining the dominant contours of the death row experience, the most recent formative experience in the lives of condemned prisoners before they are put to death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Death Penalty in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle The Dog that Stopped Barking: Mass Legal Executions in 21st Century America
Laws 2014, 3(1), 153-162; doi:10.3390/laws3010153
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
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Abstract
During the first two centuries of European colonization of what is now the United States, executions for a variety of offenses relatively frequently involved mass executions, that is, the execution for the same criminal incident of four or more persons. By the [...] Read more.
During the first two centuries of European colonization of what is now the United States, executions for a variety of offenses relatively frequently involved mass executions, that is, the execution for the same criminal incident of four or more persons. By the time of American independence, some of those crimes had largely ceased to exist or to elicit such punishment, like witchcraft and piracy. However, the punishment of slaves and Indians kept the percentage of executed persons involved in mass executions significant, if not large. During the last quarter of the 19th and first six decades of the 20th century, mass legal executions diminished as a percentage and were largely limited to punishing robbery-related homicides, including felony-homicides of conspirators. Throughout that period, the end of mass executions for a particular crime presaged the end of all executions for that offense, and the last mass legal execution occurred in 1960. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Death Penalty in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle Migratory Policy as an Exclusionary Tool: The Case of Haitians in the Dominican Republic
Laws 2014, 3(1), 163-178; doi:10.3390/laws3010163
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
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Abstract
This article examines major changes in the migratory policy of the Dominican Republic over the last decade, and how they possibly relate to the consolidation of racist perceptions of the Other, prevalent since the Haitian and Dominican independence wars in the early [...] Read more.
This article examines major changes in the migratory policy of the Dominican Republic over the last decade, and how they possibly relate to the consolidation of racist perceptions of the Other, prevalent since the Haitian and Dominican independence wars in the early 19th century. Generally focusing on the intersection of politics, exclusion, and Otherness, the paper takes a multidisciplinary approach fundamentally focused on the juridical and legislative processes, whenever the rule of law is presented as a legitimizing vehicle through which racism is expressed. Considering the conceptual usefulness of migration as a threat, the article problematizes cultural and biologic understandings of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic, and their legislative reduction to ‘bare life’. It finally examines the convenience of Haitian lives for the Dominican State, conditioned by de facto and de jure processes of exclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Human Rights)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessEssay Death Row Confessions and the Last Meal Test of Innocence
Laws 2014, 3(1), 1-11; doi:10.3390/laws3010001
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 23 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
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Abstract
Post hoc analyses of Rector v. Arkansas have regularly highlighted that the defendant requested that part of his last meal be saved so that he could it eat later. While the observation is typically raised as part of arguments that Rector was [...] Read more.
Post hoc analyses of Rector v. Arkansas have regularly highlighted that the defendant requested that part of his last meal be saved so that he could it eat later. While the observation is typically raised as part of arguments that Rector was incompetent and unfit for execution, the more basic fact is that commentators have drawn important inferences about Rector’s mental state from how he treated his last meal. In this essay, we draw upon multiple disciplines in order to apply the same inferential logic to a much broader sample and explore the question of whether traditionally customized last meals might offer signals of defendants’ guilt or innocence. To investigate this, the content of last-meal requests and last words reported for people executed in the United States during a recent five-year period were examined. Consistent with the idea that declination of the last meal is equivalent to a signal of (self-perceived) innocence, those who denied guilt were 2.7 times as likely to decline a last meal than people who admitted guilt (29% versus 8%). Consistent with the complementary theory that people who admit guilt are relatively more “at peace” with their sentence, these individuals requested 34% more calories of food than the rest of the sample (2786 versus 2085 calories). A third finding is that those who denied guilt also tended to eat significantly fewer brand-name food items. Previous discussions of last meals have often lacked quantitative measurements; however, this systematic analysis shows that last meal requests offer windows into self-perceived or self-proclaimed innocence. Knowing one’s last meal request and one’s last words can provide valuable new variables for retrospectively assessing the processes that led to past executions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Death Penalty in the 21st Century)
Open AccessDiscussion Prevention and Punishment: Barriers to Accessing Health Services for Undocumented Immigrants in the United States
Laws 2014, 3(1), 50-60; doi:10.3390/laws3010050
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 21 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
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Abstract
Undocumented immigrants face significant challenges in accessing health care. Throughout the United States, these challenges may relate to the structure of the public health system in which the undocumented find themselves. In addition, local, regional, and national practices aimed at targeting immigrants [...] Read more.
Undocumented immigrants face significant challenges in accessing health care. Throughout the United States, these challenges may relate to the structure of the public health system in which the undocumented find themselves. In addition, local, regional, and national practices aimed at targeting immigrants for deportation or other non-health reasons may serve to punish them for seeking health services or care. Spain and the United Kingdom serve as useful case studies in comparing the ability of the undocumented to seek health services in Europe and the United States. Overall, promoting access to comprehensive health services for the undocumented should be a national priority, along with analysis of any immigration-related laws or policies for potential harmful impact on health care access. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Human Rights)

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