OZY on Global Courts - OZY | A Modern Media Company
The Failure of International Law
SourceJahi Chikwendiu/TWP


Every day, justice is being worked somewhere in the world. These are a few of the heavy-hitting cases and issues to know about now.

By OZY Editors

Well-Intentioned International Law Ideas Doomed to Fail

International law enforcement is an enticing idea. There are real villains and real victims. But sometimes an international legal solution is worse than no solution. This is true of a number of popular proposals on the table today for supposedly bolstering our international legal order. Here’s what proponents of those ideas get wrong about international law when it comes to regulating abusive monetary and fiscal policies, a world human rights court, addressing corruption and punishing terrorism.

Key Cases to Watch in Global High Courts

For those of us who are U.S. Supreme Court watchers, last month served up another key decision on America’s campaign finance laws. But the highest appellate court in the states is not the only one that has been busy lately. Here’s a quick glance at some of the recent decisions and pending cases before some of the world’s other supreme courts involving decriminalizing prostitution, freedom of speech for terrorist-affiliated media and compensation for rape victims. Plus, protections for whistle-blowers, recognizing the third sex and more. 

Mario Joseph: A Hero in Haiti

Joseph, managing attorney at the NGO Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, is the best human rights lawyer in Haiti, a country where human rights are honored mostly in the breach. From dawn till dusk, clients gather on his office’s bougainvillea-laced terrace: brave women going after rapists, homeless Haitians evicted from post-quake tent camps, cholera victims seeking reparations. If fate had its way, Joseph would have been like the millions of Haitians who never attend school, never see a doctor and live on less than $2 per day. Instead, he’s fighting two of Haiti’s most compelling human rights battles and the behemoths behind them.

Julian Assange’s Consigliere: Jennifer Robinson

Roving human rights defender Jennifer Robinson has probably had more experience on WikiLeaks’ legal defense team than any other lawyer. She lives in London, where she visits with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy regularly. But her formative experience took place in West Papua in the early 2000s. It was there that Robinson started standing up for dissidents, whistle-blowers and activists who’ve suffered for challenging power. Robinson also works for the Bertha Foundation, where she meets with established human-rights lawyers around the world and connects them with ambitious potential protégés. At 32, Robinson has a long career ahead of her. Whatever happens, OZY thinks she might just be the new face of human rights law. 

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