A current disaster leading to violation of international law

One of the most prominent debates and discussions going on in the legal world currently is the shooting down of the MH17. The governments of countries as well as the UN are entering into constant discussions in order to bring the perpetrators in public eye and do them justice. The most likely scenario and argument that is being brought forth is that the unfortunate event was the consequence of a mistake made by the pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels who shot down the aircraft. But, there is still lack of clarity and this is mainly due to lack of proper evidence. More evidences about responsibility have to be gathered; and currently pending investigation is leading to difficulty in accountability of international law. A crime under the law Law protectors and enforcers are of the view that the entire incident represents a crime that has taken under the international law. According to the international law, a conflict between the rebel forces of Ukraine as well as those of the state can lead to an armed conflict of a bigger nature. This will lead to the application of international laws of war which are generally declared in case of internal conflicts. One of the main tenets of the international humanitarian law is the distinction between combatants and civilians. It is completely prohibited to target civilians as an object of attack in conflict and this tenet is found under treaty law. The International Committee of Red Cross, prohibits targeting innocent civilians and considers it an international legal norm, to be followed by all countries. Steps taken by the ICRC According to international jurisprudence and...

Marijuana and its legalization

Marijuana becoming legalized in some states has opened the doors to many new issues. Now Home Owner Associations have to come up with rules for the use of marijuana in their neighborhoods. Homeowners’ associations don’t have the power to ban anyone in their communities from using the drug in the comfort of their own homes, especially since it’s legal. But if the neighbors can see or smell weed anywhere near their homes, then the law is completely clear. Homeowner associations do have the power to regulate the drug as a nuisance or a threat to all of the children who may also be able to smell the drug. Just because the drug has become legal does not mean that they can smoke whenever they want no if’s or but’s. The fact in the matter remains that smoking doesn’t just affect the person but everyone who surrounds themselves with him. You wouldn’t light up a cigarette in a restaurant, so you most certainly can’t light up a joint around someone else’s property. Many people in Colorado have claimed that as soon as spring and summer times come around, they are forced to file complaints because people are out in their patios with the windows down. There have been constant disputes between neighbors on a daily basis. There are many people, who want to smoke pot, and there is nothing wrong about that, but there are also many people who don’t want to see it or smell it. There have been mixed feelings about the issue, and there is a 50% chance that your neighbor might disagree with you on the...

Senate Bill Focuses on ‘leveling the playing’ with Tax Fairness Act

Since the creation of the online marketplace more than twenty years ago, brick-and-mortar stores have experienced a steady drop in revenue thanks impart to ‘unfair’ tax laws. A Senate bill that looks to gain traction on Capitol Hill targets such ‘unfair’ practices by ‘leveling the playing field’ between online E-tailers and brick-and-mortar retailers. Under the 1992 United States Supreme Court’s decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298, an online E-tailer is not obligated to collect sales tax for transactions conducted over the Internet unless the company has a “physical presence” in its customer’s state. This ruling created a huge burden for brick-and-mortar retailers because it became increasingly more difficult to compete in the marketplace since the online retailers can undercut brick-and-mortar stores by 5 to 10 percent because they are required by law to charge consumers sales tax. The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA), championed by senators Dick Durbin (D., Illinois) and Mike Enzi (R., Wyoming) will allow states to collect sales tax from E-tailers with annual sales exceeding $1 million. The MITFA, which is highly touted by the brick-and-mortar retail community would create fair competition in today’s marketplace and give brick-and-mortar retailers a flailing chance at increasing sales to respectable numbers. The bad news for brick-and-mortar shops is that this is second go-around for MITFA. The first failed attempt did pass the Senate but was rejected by the House. This second attempt includes a new stipulation that the original did not – annual sales must exceed $1 million. Congress is set to take a month-long recess in August, so for now MITFA has...

The Middle East Dilema

On July 25th top Palestinian officials filed a complaint before the International Criminal Court, the complaint accused Israel of war crimes committed against Gaza. There have been several legal proceedings over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel, a regional war that has killed over 800 people. Said complaint accuses Israel of severe crimes such as: attacks against civilians, excessive loss of human life, and apartheid amongst many others. The next step this complaint will follow is to see whether the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in the Palestinian Authority. The main concern for this is that this territory is not a member of the United Nations, although the territory became an observer a couple of years ago. Earlier in the week, the United Nations Human Rights Council announced its intention to create an international commission of inquiry whose main focus would be to investigate all alleged violations of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law in the aforementioned territory, specifically during Israel’s latest offensive military strike in Gaza. It should be noted that last month, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, urged Israel to release any and all Palestinian administrative detainees over fears of failing health in a hunger strike. Also since April another undisclosed United Nations human rights expert asked Israel to prevent settlers from taking over a building in the West Bank city of Hebron. This building was strategically located between the Israeli Settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Ibrahami Mosque, any settlement of such kind has the potential to increase violence and harassment against not only Palestinians but agains a...