Volume 23, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)

The five pieces in this Issue were written by exceptional academics, practitioners, and students who have presented views on a wide range of topics, including international criminal justice in Africa, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s genocide exception, the possibility of using a nuclear explosive device for planetary defense against an incoming asteroid, the indictment and prosecution of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, and the lack of public concern for the devastating number of African migrant drownings in the Mediterranean Sea. Available at HeinOnline, Westlaw, and LexisNexis.

Ordinary Citizens: The Hope for International Criminal Justice in Africa, by Miriam Abaya. 23 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 1.

Ms. Miriam Abaya discusses the future of international criminal justice in Africa. Ms. Abaya examines past outreach efforts to African citizens about international justice mechanisms , and argues that broader outreach will improve advocacy for international justice, make future mechanisms more effective, promote the rule of law, and raise African leaders who will ensure that Africa remains a vibrant part of the international justice framework.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s Evolving Genocide Exception, by Vivian Curran. 23 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 46.

Professor Vivian Curran traces the evolution of the genocide exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). She argues that the Seventh Circuit and DC Circuit’s genocide interpretation with the imposition of a requirement that local remedies be exhausted not only trivializes genocide, but also distorts both the FSIA and customary international law. Professor Curran further contends that coupling the genocide category with an exhaustion requirement has a net effect of depriving plaintiffs of recovery. Moving forward, as US courts continue to develop FSIA jurisdictional standards, they will need to be ever better instructed in international law and its ongoing evolution in order to stay true to the statute.

Exoatmospheric Plowshares: Using a Nuclear Explosive Device for Planetary Defense Against an Incoming Asteroid, by David Koplow. 23 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 76.

Professor David Koplow explores the devastating consequences that could result from an asteroid collision with Earth. Although no such threat now looms, astronomers concede that if such a danger were discerned, there is no proven capability for diverting or destroying it. Professor Koplow examines one possible response to this type of catastrophe: to send into space a nuclear explosive device with the hope that the blast could alter the asteroid’s trajectory. Two major nuclear arms control treaties, however, forbid this response. Professor Koplow thus concludes that the best response would be for the UN Security Council to adopt a binding resolution to deal with the emergency on a global basis and presents a draft of such a resolution.

The Prosecutor v. Al Mahdi and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Property Crime or Crime Against Humanity?, by Alice Curci. 23 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 159.

Ms. Alice Curci analyzes the landmark prosecution and sentencing of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi to nine years in prison for intentionally directing attacks against ten buildings of a religious and historical character in Timbuktu, Mali. The case was the first international prosecution for destruction of cultural property as an independent charge rather than an ancillary charge to “more serious” crimes against persons. Ms. Curci examines how the case fits within the broader framework of international criminal and cultural heritage law, and what its precedential impact might be moving forward. She argues that crimes against cultural heritage should be considered crimes against people and addresses further policy implications of the opinion.

Black Bodies Drowning in the Mediterranean Sea: Why Does the World Not Care?, by Roza Patterson. 23 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 183.

Ms. Roza Patterson grapples with the important question of why the thousands of African migrant drownings in the Mediterranean Sea have received limited media coverage and adequate life-saving solutions. By drawing on international law, philosophy, psychology, and Critical Race Theory, Ms. Patterson argues that the lack of proposed solutions concerning the drowning of African migrants can be understood through the metaphor of the “Dark Continent,” which the West has used to “other” Africans for centuries. She further argues that racist attitudes towards Blacks also play a significant role in the lack of public concern for this issue.

Available at HeinOnline, Westlaw, and LexisNexis.

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