December 20 | December
6 | November 21 | November
3 | October 24 | October
13 | October 4 | September
19 | September 13 |
September 7 | August
14 | August 1 | March
31 | February 10
December 20, 2000
- For the first time, a judge has recognized an exception to the
Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement for searches conducted
abroad against U.S. citizens for purposes of foreign intelligence
Refusing to suppress evidence assembled in Kenya against accused
terrorist Wadih El-Hage, Southern District Judge Leonard B. Sand
found that the primacy of the executive branch in foreign affairs
and other policy reasons support judicial recognition of the exception.
- Humanitarians Test the Law in Aiding Border-Crossers Desert:
Clergy and others trying to prevent migrant deaths emulate tactics
of 1980s sanctuary movement.
Disturbed by deaths among Mexican migrants crossing illegally
into southern Arizona, church leaders and self-styled good Samaritans
have begun offering a range of aid to immigrants--at times breaking
the law to carry out what they see as acts of mercy. The scattered
humanitarian efforts by religious activists and ordinary residents
are being compared to the 1980s sanctuary movement, in which scores
of churches and synagogues nationwide agreed to shield Central
American refugees from deportation by U.S. authorities.
- Environmental Trade Guidelines Set
The Clinton administration, maintaining that free trade and environmental
protection can go hand in hand, put into place new rules December
13 that subject future trade deals to environmental reviews.
The guidelines were developed under an executive order issued
by President Clinton last year. They direct the Office of the
U.S. Trade Representative and the president's Council on Environmental
Quality to review agreements for thei potential environmental
impacts. Also consulted would be governmental agencies, Congress
and environmental groups.
While the guidelines will not be binding on a new administration,
U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky predicted that the
next administration will choose to adopt similar environmental
December 6, 2000
- Suspicious Banking Activities: Possible Money Laundering by
U.S. Corporations Formed for Russian Entities. GAO-01-120, October
- US, S.Korea Discuss Military Accord
U.S. and South Korean officials began talks Wednesday on revising
a military agreement that critics say infringes on South Korea's
sovereignty. The talks aim to refashion a 1965 accord that governs
the legal status of the thousands of American troops stationed
in South Korea, called the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA.
The officials will try to narrow their differences on the prosecution
of American soldiers accused of crimes in South Korea, environmental
regulations at U.S. military bases and the labor rights of Koreans
who work at the bases. The talks will lay the groundwork for a
week of meetings between high-ranking officials from the two countries
beginning Friday. The rights and responsibilities of the U.S.
troops are a politically sensitive subject for South Koreans:
Many view the legal arrangement for troops here as less favorable
to locals than similar arrangements for U.S. troops in Japan and
Germany. President Kim Dae-jung has urged Washington to revise
the treaty as quickly as possible to prevent a small minority
of anti-American activists in Seoul from using the issue to once
again demand that all U.S. forces leave South Korea. The matter
of custody is at the top of the agenda. Under the current agreement,
U.S. troops accused of a crime in South Korea are kept in American
military custody until they are convicted in the Korean judicial
system and all appeals are exhausted. The Pentagon is willing
to give the South Koreans custody of accused U.S. soldiers as
soon as they are indicted, but only if satisfactory legal safeguards
are in place. The issue of those safeguards has yet to be worked
out. The United States fought on the South Korean side during
the 1950-53 Korean War. It still keeps 37,000 troops in the South
under a defense treaty. AP-NY-11-29-00 0157EST
November 21, 2000
- Two Sought by FBI Arrested in Méxicali
Two alleged terrorists considered to be highly
dangerous by the US FBI were arrested in Méxicali with
what Mexican officials consider to be bomb-making material. The
pair, who were also carrying doses of "Crystal," are
originally from Oklahoma where five years ago the Alfred P. Murray
Federal Building was bombed by US citizens. La Crónica
reports that US authorities believe that the pair may have been
involved in that April 19,1995 attack.
The arrested are Reamez Ricky Lane, male, and
Daniels Kelly, female, according to Méxicali's La Crónica.
Lane was identified by a driver's license. Kelly carried no documentation.
Police have no idea why the two were in Méxicali or how
long they were there. Both have outstanding US arrests warrants
for drug possession and are sought by the FBI as well. The FBI
has already asked that the two be extradited.
The pair was stopped for looking suspicious
by an anti-robbery unit that thought they looked out of place
in such a neighborhood. They had with them a metal box filled
with different sizes of drill bits and other suspicious items.
They had an English-language, bomb-preparation manual with them,
plastic packets containing "Crystal," a syringe and
a spoon with "Crystal" residue on it according to the
State Police Unit (Policía Ministerial del Estado, PME).
Stopped on Benjamín Argumedo street
in the Pedro Moreno neighborhood at 4 p.m. local time on Saturday,
November 11, 2000 a police agent said, "It seemed strange
to us to see two North Americans [norteamericanos] carrying a
metal box filled with tools and other things that were out of
When the PME notified the FBI they were warned
that the pair was considered dangerous and that they had been
fleeing the US justice system for years. The FBI also told the
PME that the man would have a scar on his right thigh from a bomb
explosion, which the PME verified. The FBI then warned the PME
that the pair's rooms could contain bomb traps and that they should
proceed with caution. However, despite using a metal detector
in the pair's apartment, the PME found nothing else.
Later, the case was turned over to the federal-level
PGR that wants to find out why the pair chose to come to Méxicali.
Source: La Crónica, November 14, 2000.
November 3, 2000
October 24, 2000
- President Clinton and Republican lawmakers have locked horns
over a Democratic proposal to grant amnesty to up to 1 million
undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States since
1985. The proposal would allow undocumented immigrants who have
been in the United States since Dec. 31, 1985, to apply for permanent
residency status without fear of prosecution. See: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.hts/nation/698976
- In a recent Foreign Policy Briefing from the Cato Institute,
visiting senior fellow Ronald Rotunda describes the constitutional
problems with enforcing the biological weapons convention.
He writes, The 1972 Biological Toxins and Weapons Conventionoften
called the Biological Weapons Convention, or BWCrequires
the signatories to renounce the development, employment, transfer,
acquisition, production, and possession of all biological weapons
listed in the convention.
Yet the BWC does not provide for any protocol for enforcement
because, as the United States candidly acknowledged at the time,
compliance with the convention would be unverifiable. However,
the Clinton administration now supports efforts to develop an
enforcement protocol, even though it acknowledged that it does
"not believe that the Biological Weapons Convention, in
the terms in which the United States assesses that word [BWC],
Efforts to enforce the BWC are noble but probably fruitless.
The proposed enforcement protocol's implementation threatens
important constitutional rights: the right to privacy reflected
in the Fourth Amendment, the separation of powers principle
found in the appointments clause, and the right to intellectual
property found in the Fifth Amendment.
Unlike most arms control agreements, the BWC applies to private
partiesnot merely to sovereign signatories. Few constitutional
difficulties exist when the U.S. government agrees to implement
limits on the number of its intercontinental ballistic missiles
by providing for inspection of the facilities that it owns.
We do not think of the U.S. government as having a right to
Things are quite different when the United States wishes to
inspect facilities owned by private parties. The U.S.
government can search private dwellings only after it has secured
a search warrant from a neutral magistrate upon a showing of
probable cause, and the government would have to use its officersexecutive
branch officials who are subject to the Constitution and controlled
by the executive. The administration's proposed enforcement
protocolsto the extent that they will apply to private
partieswould violate these important constitutional principles.
To read the full report, visit http://www.cato.org//pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-061es.html.
October 13, 2000
- On October 10, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on
how long the government can lock up aliens who have been ordered
deported, but cannot be deported because their home countries
will not allow them to return. For further details, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/10/national/10CND-SCOTUS.html
- GLOBAL: US Congress praises Ogata, UNHCR
The United States House of Representatives
yesterday adopted a resolution praising UNHCR chief Sadako Ogata
for her work in the last 10 years, reports Kyodo. The House also
praised UNHCR for its work in helping refugees around the world
for 50 years. In a rare move by a legislature not often regarded
as cooperative toward the UN, the resolution said UNHCR is "one
of the world's principal humanitarian organizations" that
protects millions of refugees and attempts to solve refugee problems.
The resolution lauded Ogata for a "superb
job of bringing both professionalism and compassion" to the
organization. While indicating its continued support for UNHCR
activities, the resolution also "calls on the international
community" to help efforts "to ensure that host countries
uphold humanitarian and human rights for refugees...and promote
resettlement of refugees."
AFP adds Ogata arrived in Rome yesterday for
her last visit as UNHCR chief and lined up for talks with Italian
President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Prime Minister Giuliano
Hispanic immigrants, contending high-tech manufacturers
have betrayed them in their bid for amnesty, are launching a campaign
against the industry that includes plans for a year end computer
About 100 immigrants and others gathered Monday
outside the Compaq Factory Outlet in Houston in protest.
The tension stems from two bills that recently
passed before Congress that would have affected different immigrant
One bill will provide work visas over the next
three years for 600,000 skilled foreign workers, most of whom
will work in the computer industry. But the Republican leadership
- supported by large manufacturers blocked consideration
of another bill that would have given amnesty to at least 500,000
immigrants, mostly Hispanics, who came to the country illegally.
The Hispanic immigrants say the high-tech industry
should have done more to support both bills.
They're considering a Christmas-season boycott
of computers across the country.
"Compaq is one of the companies that should
have fought for visas for all," Maria Jimenez, with the American
Friends Service Committee said in Tuesday's editions of the Houston
Compaq released a statement late Monday defending
its support of skilled-worker visas but making no mention of the
"Our priority has been and will continue
to be to support employment-based legal-immigration legislation
that will allow Compaq to hire more skilled workers as the company
strives to provide technology access for everyone, regardless
of geographic or socio-economic origin," Compaq spokeswoman
Grace Trent said in the statement.
The marchers Monday carried signs criticizing
Congress and demanding justice.
"For sale: Actions of Congress," read one sign. Few
of the signs mentioned Compaq or the computer industry.
- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Inter-American
Dialogue will host a symposium on the U.S.-Mexico border relationship.
The session will take place at the organization's Washington office
at 1211 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 510. The speakers will be
Peter Andreas of Reed College and Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX).
Andreas will discuss his new book, "Border Games: Policing
the U.S.-Mexico Divide" and Congressman Reyes, former Border
Control chief in El Paso, will comment on the book. For more information,
contact Victoria Wigodzky at Victoria@thedialogue.org
or (202) 463-2574.
- The Southern District of New York now has
before it a class action lawsuit for violation of federal law
and international human rights standards, brought against Robert
Mugabe, the President (and dictator) of Zimbabwe, several of his
colleagues and cohorts, and his political party, the Zimbabwe
African Nation Union -- Political Front (ZANU-PF). The action
is based on the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 USC sec. 1350, and the
Torture Victims Protection Act, and seeks compensatory and punitive
damages from Mugabe and his codefendants in their personal capacities
for acts of extra-judicial killings, political harassment and
torture, and deprivation of civil rights and property, all in
violation of international norms and standards as codified in
the International Convention Against Torture and other human rights
A private process server personally served
Mugabe in Harlem, New York, as he was entering a church where
he was scheduled to speak. Mugabe kept the summons and complaint
in hand as he entered the church. A colleague and fellow officer
of Mugabe named Stan Mudenge was personally served on the street
in Manhattan the next day. Both men are officers of ZANU-PF,
in addition to their personal capacities in the Zimbabwean government.
The personal service presented considerable
personal risk to the process server, as the scene was replete
with NY Police, Secret Service officers, as well as Minister Louis
Farrakhan's security entourage. On filing the complaint, counsel
for the plaintiffs had moved eds parte for, and received, an order
form the US District Court permitting alternate forms of service
by serving the Secret Service Agent in Charge on the scene, who
would then have been required to personally deliver the papers
and make a return of service to the Court. The US State
Department, however, acting through the US Attorney for the Southern
District, intervened the next day and successfully moved to vacate
the order permitting alternate means of service. The plaintiffs
and their counsel have complained that this was an unjustifiable
and needless intrusion by the Government that had no real interest
or standing and put the individual process server at great risk
of personal harm.
The plaintiffs are five residents of Zimbabwe
(four African and one Caucasian), who were personally harassed,
beaten or tortured for their actives in support of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), the nascent opposition political
party in Zimbabwe. The plaintiffs also represent the estates
of deceased spouses and relatives who were campaigning for MDC
or merely owned private farms in Zimbabwe, when they were
dragged off by ZANU-PF operatives at the direction and orders
of Mugabe and his officers, tortured and then killed. Counsel
for the plaintiffs is Theodore M. Cooperstein, a Washington, D.C.
attorney who litigates in federal courts. (Cooperstein is also
Vice-Chair of the Civil Rights Practice Group of the Federalist
To date, no answer or other response has been
filed or served on behalf of Mugabe and the defendants. In press
releases form Harare, Zimbabwe, Mugabe spokesmen are reported
as saying the American press is mistaken and that there was no
service of process. Later, the same spokesmen added that
they felt the service of process had no legal validity.
The Alien Tort Claims Act was enacted by the
First Congress as part of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The
statute gives federal court jurisdiction to any action in tort
brought by an alien for "violation of the Law of Nations."
The statute has seen renewed life in the past decades, including
a case brought against Chinese leader Li Peng and also against
the leader of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb Republic, Radovan
Karadzic, who suffered a Southern District of New York jury verdict
in excess of $45 million in the past months. The Second Circuit,
among other courts, has interpreted the Alien Tort Claims Act
to encompass standards of human and civil decency incorporated
in customary international law, to include The International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights as well as conventions against
torture and extra-judicial killing committed under color of official
The Torture Victims Protection Act, codified
at 28 USC sec. 1350, was Congress's implementation legislation
enacted to enforce the International Convention Against Torture,
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
which the United States ratified in 1990.
October 4, 2000
All events are open to the public and are free of charge.
Unless indicated otherwise, all events take place in the Bryan
Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall (the School of Law)
on the hilltop campus of Washington University.
- Mexicos Foreign Relations (SRE) Secretary
Rosario Green criticized the toughening up and inflexibility of
the United States' immigration policy, which during this year
alone has led to the deaths of 388 Mexicans who sought to reach
- The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
has released findings and recommendations of a two-year study
focusing on how national border management policies affect border
communities. The study, "Self Governance at the Border,"
finds that policymaking and discussion taking place almost exclusively
in national capitals does not necessarily reflect the realities
of border communities. The study concludes that governments need
to create formal mechanisms for incorporating the "best practices"
developed by the leaders of border communities; flexibility must
be built into policies to allow them to be tailored to the unique
circumstances of each border region; government should reevaluate
whether processes at the border, such as visa and passport checks
or inspections of commercial goods, could be handled more efficiently
away from the border to prevent delays; and local information-sharing
should be institutionalized and supported so that the information
is also shared with other governments and border communities.
The authors urge the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to explore whether
a "North American Integration Project" is worth pursuing.
Contact: Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Masschusetts Ave., NW, Washington
DC 20036; (202) 483-7600; www.ceip.org
- San Diego Chaldeans Welcome Iraqis
by KIMBERLY LAMKE
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- More than 1,700 Iraqi Christians
crowded into separate church services Sunday to celebrate the
release of 46 Iraqi immigrants from U.S. custody and to call for
the release of others being detained in Mexico.
''It is difficult to describe it,'' said 28-year-old
Mufeed Yousif, one of 16 Iraqi Christians, or Chaldeans, released
by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials Saturday.
''It is hard to believe I am here. I want to thank the U.S. government
and INS for helping us.''
Yousif is part of a wave of Iraqi Catholics
who have fled their homeland for Mexico in recent months in hopes
of seeking political asylum in the United States. San Diego County
is home to some 15,000 Chaldeans, the second largest Iraqi Christian
community in the United States, behind Detroit.
The plight of more than 200 Chaldeans drew
national attention last week when Mexican authorities cracked
down on a Tijuana hotel that had been used as a sort of halfway
house for those seeking asylum. The Chaldeans said they feared
persecution if forced to return to Iraq.
Yousif said he spent 18 days in Tijuana after
a five-week journey from Iraq to Mexico that cost him about $19,000.
He said he walked to Turkey, then flew to Greece and France before
flying to Mexico.
Yousif said he will stay with friends until
he makes enough money working as an auto mechanic to pay for his
own living quarters.
''It is like President (Kennedy) said -- we
must do things for this country because it is now our country,''
he said. ''We want to do good things to say thank you for letting
us stay here.''
He was one of about 20 Iraqis attending the
service at St. Peter Chaldean Christian Church who had been released
by the INS last week.
On Sunday, the INS processed 64 other Iraqi
Christians, bringing the total since last week to 188, 61 of whom
The INS reported it had paroled 46, releasing
them pending a final determination on their asylum claim by either
the INS or a federal immigration judge. About 40 still remained
under guard at the Tijuana hotel.
The east San Diego County church held two services
Sunday, one in English and one in Aramaic.
''This is the most joyful day of my life,''
said the Rev. Michael Bazzi, the priest at St. Peter. ''But my
joy, our joy, will not be full until we have all of them here
He said several church members had been traveling
the 35 miles to the hotel for several weeks. They are asking for
the release of all those in the hotel and jail. Mexican authorities
began preventing Iraqis from leaving the hotel Wednesday after
suspecting them of violating immigration laws. Nine were arrested
Tuesday night, and six remained in jail Sunday. Some were Americans
attempting to help the immigrants gain asylum.
The 22-year-old son of two of the jailed Americans
said his parents are innocent of all smuggling charges. Anthony
Barno said his parents, Raymond and Kathy Barno, were simply translating
for fellow Chaldeans in the hotel.
More than 500 people signed a petition following
Sunday's church services demanding the Barnos' release.
''I'm trying everything,'' Anthony Barno said.
''They're not doing well down there. They've been thrown in a
room with nothing, and they're having to sleep on the floor with
cockroaches ... all because they've done nothing wrong.''
- Drug czar urges cooperation: McCaffrey
tells border that enforcement must be bolstered
Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
Cooperation, rather than confrontation, and
reducing the demand for drugs in the United States would enhance
U.S.-Mexican efforts to curb the flow of drugs at the border,
U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey said Friday.
He stressed that the drug cartel led by Vicente
Carrillo Fuentes "is one of the most dangerous and corrupting
forces" operating in the border region.
To deal with the threats of drug trafficking,
"we must build a more adequate Southwest law-enforcement
presence," he said.
McCaffrey concluded his two-day visit to El
Paso-Juárez with a tour Friday of the new wing of the Enrique
Camarena El Paso Intelligence Center and a stop at the Compañeros
drug treatment center in Juárez.
The center's new wing, dedicated in December,
adds 30,000 square feet to the center at Biggs Army Airfield.
It cost about $6 million and includes a state-of-the-art 150-seat
auditorium for training law-enforcement officers.
McCaffrey also met with Mexican officials,
including Juárez Mayor Gustavo Elizondo, and reviewed vehicle
inspection stations and new scanning technologies at the Bridge
of the Americas.
Thursday, McCaffrey met with U.S. border law-enforcement
officials and announced that El Paso will be the new headquarters
for the Southwest Border High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas
program. The plan to reopen in El Paso an office phased out in
California elicited a strong complaint from El Paso County Sheriff
Samaniego, who is chairman of the Southwest
Area's program executive committee, said his committee wasn't
notified in advance about the plan. He also said the committee
had phased out the San Diego office "because it was not doing
any good, and we were saving $1.2 (million) to $1.5 million by
The Southwest program, formerly based in San
Diego, is a federal agency that provides money and other support
to counter drug trafficking. It has an annual budget of $46 million
and concentrates on specific border counties in California, Arizona,
New Mexico and Texas.
Federal, state, and local law-enforcement organizations
within regions of the program assess regional drug threats and
design plans to reduce or eliminate the production, manufacture,
transportation, distribution and chronic use of drugs. Samaniego
said one of McCaffrey's assistants unveiled the plan at a dinner
with border U.S. law-enforcement officials.
"There were a lot of people upset (Thursday)
night," he said. "We heard it at 11 p.m. ... (McCaffrey)
spoke for five minutes after that, and that was it. The $46 million
annual budget for the HIDTAs is the same thing we have now."
In light of the danger posed by the Carrillo
Fuentes cartel, McCaffrey said, he's puzzled at why Chihuahua
state Attorney General Arturo Gonzalez Rascon would say that his
police won't arrest Carrillo because he knows of no arrest warrant
pending for Carrillo.
U.S. officials recently indicted Carrillo in
connection with 10 murders in Juárez, and Mexican federal
officials have warrants for his arrest on drug-smuggling charges.
"What the attorney general said was bizarre,"
McCaffrey said. "The primary target of (Carrillo's) violence
has been Mexican citizens. Given the ferocity and savagery of
the cartel, I don't know what he was thinking. They don't just
kill other drug traffickers; ... they're also gunning down innocent
When McCaffrey visited the border last year,
he was given information about El Pasoans and others who were
"disappeared" in Juárez. Their abductions were
linked to corrupt law enforcement and drug traffickers.
A couple of the people reported missing turned
up in clandestine graves in Juárez unearthed by FBI and
Mexican federal agents in December.
"This information came about as a result
of citizen intervention," McCaffrey said. "I turned
it over to the U.S. Justice Department."
He said he previously discussed drug matters
with Mexican President-elect Vicente Fox and key staffers.
"They are determined to confront the drug
issue; they are pragmatic, and they listened," he said.
During his El Paso visit, McCaffrey said, U.S.
border prosecutors complained about insufficient funding for local
courts to try federal drug cases. He said the U.S. Marshals Service
also needs more funding to house inmates closer to where they
will be tried and to avoid endangering certain inmates or violating
human rights. Congress set aside $12 million for district
attorneys along the U.S.-Mexico border almost three months ago
to help pay border courts' multimillion-dollar tabs for prosecuting
federal drug cases. However, none of the district attorneys
has received any money.
McCaffrey said the law related to funding for
drug enforcement -- "and this is a function of Congress"
-- needs to be changed to include providing more support to local
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- President Clinton is threatening to veto a
multibillion-dollar spending bill unless Republicans agree to
include a provision allowing certain Latinos and other immigrants
to stay in the country.
- CITIZENSHIP: The court agreed to decide whether
the government can treat fathers and mothers differently in deciding
whether their children born out of wedlock and outside the country
are U.S. citizens. The court said it will hear an appeal by a
Texas man, born in Vietnam to an American father and Vietnamese
mother, who was ordered deported to Vietnam after being convicted
of sexual assault. He contends he is an American citizen and therefore
cannot be deported. See http://news.findlaw.com/ap/l/0000/9-27-2000/20000927015438330.html
for further details on upcoming Supreme Court cases.
- The White House released a memorandum from President Clinton,
who has determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of
the United States to defer for 1 year the deportation of any Liberian
national who is present in the United States as of September 29,
2000, except for certain categories.
- The Supreme Court refused on October 2 to
let 31 members of Congress sue President Clinton for ordering
the military to join last year's NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The
court, without comment, turned down the lawmakers' argument that
they had legal standing to pursue their claim that the president
violated the 1973 War Powers Act.
September 19, 2000
- Religious Minorities Suffere Discrimination.
At the end of President Khatami's speech to Iranian expatriates
in New York, he thanked "our dear Jewish, Zoroastrian, Assyrian,
and Armenian compatriots for taking part in this meeting."
And during the speech he noted that Iranians from all ethnic and
religious backgrounds have contributed to their country: "We
have Jewish martyrs, Zoroastrian martyrs, Armenian martyrs, and
Assyrian martyrs among our martyrs." In fact, a son of the
recently deceased leader of Iran's Zoroastrian community, Mobed
Rostam Shahzadi, died in the war with Iraq.
September 13, 2000
- Mugabe Sued in NY Over Rights Abuses. By Bill Miller. Washington
Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe who was in New York
for a U.N. summit of world leaders, was served with a civil lawsuit
September 7 accusing him and two associates of human rights abuses
against political enemies. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District
Court in Manhattan, alleges that Mugabe has orchestrated a campaign
of violence to keep his political party, the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriot Front, in power. The plaintiffs include
relatives of three people who were slain and a political opponent
who claims she was beaten. "All my clients are looking for
is basic justice," said Federalist Society member Theodore
M. Cooperstein, who hopes to turn the suit into a class action.
The conduct by Mugabe and his supporters, Cooperstein said, "violates
all international and domestic norms."
Facing his strongest political challenge in 20 years of leadership,
Mugabe's government has encouraged the expropriation of hundreds
of white-owned farms this year. At least 31 people were killed
in the lead-up to parliamentary elections in June. Human rights
groups have blamed Mugabe's supporters for much of the bloodshed,
alleging they were determined to quash support for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. The lawsuit was filed under
the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 211-year-old U.S. law originally
meant to combat piracy. The act gives foreigners the right to
file civil suits in U.S. courts for injuries suffered in violation
of international law. Last month, a jury in New York ordered
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to pay $745 million to
a group of women who Accused him of killings and other atrocities.
The suit against Mugabe seeks Nearly $400 million in damages,
though plaintiffs in the past have had great difficulty collecting
judgments in such cases.Mugabe was the second international
leader to be served with court papers while in New York. Another
group of plaintiffs filed a similar suit against former Chinese
premier Li Peng, alleging that he was responsible for the crushing
of pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989,
as well as other violations of human rights. Peng's security
guards were served with that suit on Aug. 31 in a hotel garage.By
locating Mugabe in New York, the plaintiffs overcame one of
the biggest hurdles in pursuing a human rights case under the
Alien Tort Claims Act. Courts typically have held that defendants
must be served with such lawsuits while in the United States.
The plaintiffs' attorneys got a court order on Wednesday clearing
the way for the Secret Service to hand Mugabe a copy of the
lawsuit during his New York stay.But the U.S. government objected,
citing concerns by the State Department that Mugabe and the
other defendants might be entitled to immunity while on a diplomatic
visit. The plaintiffs' attorneys maintained that Mugabe is not
immune from the lawsuit because the case involves alleged actions
that took place outside his official capacity as Zimbabwe's
president.In light of the U.S. government's position, a judge
instructed the plaintiffs to get the court papers to Mugabe
on their own. They did so without incident Thursday night, as
he was entering a church in Harlem to give a speech.During his
speech, Mugabe defended his plan to take land from white farmers
and give it to poor blacks. The Associated Press quoted him
as saying, "We will die clinging to our land."
September 7, 2000
Regulatory Interest in Internet Telephony Continuing at Home
- Go Ahead for U.S.-EU Safe Harbor by John Reynolds
On July 27, 2000, the European Unions (EUs)
Director-General for the Internal Market wrote to the U.S. Undersecretary
for Commerce to confirm the EUs acceptance of the Safe
Harbor Privacy Principles as adequate protection for EU
nationals personal data. (Final versions of the Safe Harbor
Principles and related documents were published in the July 24,
2000, Federal Register.) EU member states must implement the decision
within ninety days of notification. The Safe Harbor Principles
should, therefore, be fully in effect by early November. As was
the case throughout the negotiation of the Principles, the U.S.
and EU have agreed that transatlantic data flows will not be interrupted
during the implementation period.
- EU/U.S. Privacy Safe Harbor Agreement Caught
Up in Euro Politics
On July 5, the European Parliament adopted a resolution stating
strong dissatisfaction with the safe harbor data privacy
accord that the U.S. Commerce Department and EU representatives
tentatively agreed to in March of this year. (See April Privacy
In Focus). On May 31, the Article 31 Committee, a
key EU committee composed of representatives from the 15 EU Member
States, unanimously voted to approve the safe harbor agreement,
after the United States agreed to make several minor changes
to the proposal. At that time, Commerce Secretary William Daley
declared the Committees approval begins the process
which guarantees implementation of the accord.
The classification of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
or Internet Protocol (IP) telephony IP telephony as
regulated or unregulated has become increasingly important as IP
telephony offerings proliferate around the world. Under current
U.S. regulations, telecommunications services, such
as basic, long-distance and international calls, have been regulated,
while information services, such as e-mail and Internet
access have not. VoIP competes with traditional, regulated voice
services offered over the telephone nwork except that, as
a relatively unregulated service, it can be offered at a significant
discount to traditional voice services. The regulatory arbitrage
opportunities for IP telephony providers are especially ripe in
international telecommunications markets because of the artificially
high costs for traditional international voice services in many
countries. This has made IP telephony a catalyst in the drop in
telecommunications rates worldwide. It has also spurred recent activities
in Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the international
arena that could affect the economics of VoIP.
August 14, 2000
- French authorities are seeking to prevent Yahoo Inc., of Santa
Clara, California, from allowing French citizens to gain access
to Internet auctions of Nazi era artifacts on its web site. The
French court's ruling marks the first time a French Judge had
issued a prior restraint against a foreign Internet company.
- The George Washington International Law Review will sponsor
a Symposium on Friday, 22 September at The George Washington University
Law School. The Symposium will be on international trade law,
and will be titled "Global Trade Issues in the New Millennium."
Leading trade scholars from around the world will be presenting
papers. The WTO Director-General designate, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
(currently Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister) will deliver the
Keynote Address at lunch. The dinner address will be delivered
by Professor Taniguchi of Kyoto University, who is the new WTO
Appellate Body member from Japan.
The proceedings of the Symposium will be published in GW's International
Law Review. For further information, please see http://www.law.gwu.edu/ILRtrade/.
August 1, 2000
- The American Academy of Arts & Sciences will be hosting
a conference entitled "The International Criminal Court and
US National Security" at American University, Washington
School of Law, Ceremonial Court Room, Washington, D.C., on September
14, 2000. The Federalist Society will be co-sponsoring the conference.
Topics include the ICC and international law, war crimes tribunals
and why they do or do not work, the evolution of administration
policy toward the ICC, and the ICC and the US Constitution.
March 31, 2000
- On Friday, September 22, The George Washington University International
Law Review will sponsor a symposium on "Global Trade Issues
for the New Millennium." It will feature leading academics
from around the country, and overseas. The next Director-General
of the WTO, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Supachai, has agreed
to deliver the Keynote Address. The Symposium will be held at
The GW Law School. More information will be forthcoming. In the
meantime, contact Ms. Mariya Talib, the Symposium Editor at the
GW International Law Review, 202-676-3847.
February 10, 2000
- The Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia
Law School has some new publications (including monographs on
Stalin's role in starting the Korean War and a legal analysis
of the current status of the 1972 ABM Treaty), and two upcoming
programs that might be of interest to society members. On April
28-29, the Center will host a major conference on "The Real
'Lessons' of the Vietnam War: Reflections Twenty-Five Years After
the Fall of Saigon," at the Law School in Charlottesville.
The conference will feature several of the nation's leading scholars
on the war, and will examine many of the arguments used by anti-Vietnam
activists to justify the American withdrawal. In early June, the
Center will host its 10th Annual National Security Law Institute,
designed to train law professors and government lawyers in this
growing new field-which originated at Virginia more than a quarter
of a century ago. For further information, check the Center's
website at: http://www.virginia.edu/cnsl/index.htmll.
2003 The Federalist Society