Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

A global financial-transactions tax?

United Nations experts are touting the idea as a way of redistributing money from richer to poorer countries [Global Governance Watch, Dan Mitchell/Cato at Liberty, Nile Gardiner/Telegraph] Not incidentally, it would carry a potential for greatly augmenting the power of the fledgling transnational governing class, by at last giving them a source of funds not based on individual state contributions [Jacob Mchangama & Aaron Rhodes, NRO] (& welcome Above the Law readers)

U.N. enlists U.S. lawprof to scold U.S. on Indian land rights

As noted earlier, last week U.N. Human Rights Council rapporteur James Anaya (who also happens to be a lawprof at the University of Arizona) declared the U.S. to be trampling the aboriginal land rights of Indian tribes. I have a new Daily Caller piece pointing out (as I detail at more length in Schools for Misrule) that the U.N.’s involvement with American law school projects is nothing new: “Now the plaintiff’s counsel [in the Western Shoshone claim] of a few years back re-surfaces as the official instrument of a U.N. body, a revolving-door arrangement that is actually quite typical of the international human rights establishment, where a rather small band of crusading law professors, ‘civil society’ activists and Guardian readers around the world seem to take turns investigating each others’, or as the case may be their own, countries for putative human rights violations.” (& Julian Ku, Opinio Juris)

International law roundup

  • Supreme Court orders rebriefing in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case, could address extent of permitted extraterritoriality in Alien Tort Statute [Kenneth Anderson/Volokh quoting John Bellinger, Point of Law featured discussion, Ilya Shapiro on Cato brief]
  • UN “food rights” official: trade, investment pacts should not go forward without “human rights impact assessments” [De Schutter; his paternalist food-policy agenda] UN panel reviews Canada’s record on race, lectures on need for more multiculturalism [OHCHR]
  • Courts still reluctant to restrain parents’ physical discipline of kids, but UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, for which ratification push is expected in the U.S. this year, could change that [Elizabeth Wilson, ConcurOp]
  • Golan v. Holder: “Copyright Case May Have Profound Effect on Treaty Power” [Ilya Shapiro, Jurist]
  • Web accessibility litigation spreads to UK [Disability Law, related on role of U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, earlier and background]
  • New tone under Ambassador Joseph Torsella: “Obama Comes Around on U.N. Reform” [Brett Schaefer, NRO]
  • Reviewing new John Fonte book Sovereignty or Submission, Temple lawprof Peter Spiro contends that trend toward transnational governance isn’t “reversible…. It’s mostly wishful thinking to suppose that we can stick to the vision of the Founders.” [OJ, earlier here, etc., and see chapters 11-12 of Schools for Misrule]
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy “offensive and should be banned,” per UN anti-discrimination consultancy [Telegraph]

“Uncle Sam: If It Ends in .Com, It’s .Seizable”

Despite protests from online entities based abroad, “the U.S. government … says it has the right to seize any .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies that have the contracts to administer them are based on United States soil, according to Nicole Navas, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.” Unease abroad about aggressive use of such powers by the American government could heighten pressure for a U.N. takeover of the domain name system, potentially a frying-pan-into-fire move from the standpoint of web freedom and due process. [David Kravets, Wired “Threat Level”]

P.S. Extradition, too.

U.N. power grabs

“On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet.” [Robert McDowell, WSJ] And: The United States and Canada are resisting French-backed plans to turn the low-profile U.N. Environmental Program into a “planetary super-agency,” in a conflict that could come to a head at a Rio conference this June. [AFP]

UN official: evicting homeless could violate international human rights

The U.S. in 2010 signed onto the newish international human right to clean water and sanitation, but I wonder how many of those involved in the ratification expected it to lead to consequences like these [Sacramento Press]:

An appointee to the United Nations Human Rights Council has issued a four-page memo warning Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson that local officials could be violating the human rights of the homeless people living within the city. In the January 23rd dated letter, Catarina De Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the United Nations human right council, says that the current policy of evicting the homeless from their “tent cities” and denying the homeless with safe access to clean water is, in effect, prohibited discrimination based on their economic and social status.

November 26 roundup

  • “Ohio Attorney Sues Over Misleading Emails, Even Though He Wasn’t Misled” [Chris Danzig, Above the Law]
  • Feds say new EPA-ordered fuel economy standards could add $2000 to price of new car [C.J. Ciamarella, Daily Caller] More: WSJ.
  • Las Vegas considers following Chicago’s lenders-must-cut-grass folly [Kevin Funnell, earlier] “The Fed actually does impose, via legal risk, a de facto ceiling on mortgage rates.” [Mark Calabria, Cato]
  • 2nd Circuit: Prison Litigation Reform Act curbs attorney fee shift at 150% of cash won, and yes, that applies to a $1 award [PoL] Panel on attorneys’ fees in class actions at Federalist Society convention [video, PoL]
  • John McClaughry reviews Reckless Endangerment, Morgenson/Rosner book on financial crisis [Reason]
  • Daniel Hannan on John Fonte’s new book on transnational law, Sovereignty or Submission [Telegraph, and see chapters 11-12 of Schools for Misrule] International human rights activism pushes into “economic rights” [James P. Kelly III, Federalist Society “Engage”] NGOs exercise oft-envied combination of power without responsibility [Anderson] UK attorney general Dominic Grieve takes on the European court of human rights [Joshua Rozenberg, Guardian] UN battle plan on non-communicable diseases aims to save us from ourselves;
  • Sans statutory authority, EPA wanders into “environmental justice” [PowerLine]

EU directive on kids, balloons and other toys

“Whistle blowers, that scroll out into a long coloured paper tongue when sounded – a party favourite at family Christmas meals – are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14. … the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be.” Unsupervised children under 8 should not be allowed to blow up balloons, according to the European Union directive, which has just taken effect. [Telegraph; headline changed after objection that the Telegraph’s headline was misleading]

In related news, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, addressing a United Nations conference on “the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases,” has said that “mak[ing] healthy solutions the default social option” on matters such as diet is “ultimately government’s highest duty.” [Sullum]