Gay Marriage

Background

Gay marriage is the union between two people of the same sex, either as a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Worldwide, gay marriage is more illegal than it is legal. As of the 28th of April, 2016, fifteen countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay and certain sub-jurisdictions such as parts of Denmark, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States allow same sex couples to marry. In more than 78 countries same sex marriage is illegal and even punishable by death. Continue reading “Gay Marriage”

Human Trafficking

Background

  • Defined: trade of humans, most commonly for sex slavery and forced labor for trafficker or others; does not have to involve the movement of person from one place to another
  • At risk persons are typically socially or economically disadvantaged à Aboriginal women, youth and children, immigrants, etc.
  • Encompasses: sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery (or practices similar to it), removal, manipulation, or implantation of organs
  • A person traffics humans through coercion (threaten or force), abduction, fraudulence, deception, or giving/receiving of benefits to gain consent of person having control of another person for purpose of exploitation

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Space Law

Background

Space Law refers to the rules, standards, principles regarding international laws in outer space

  • Over the course of decades, space law is over watched, developed and amended by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful use of Outer Space
  • There are 5 international treaties and 5 sets of principles governing space law
  • The 5 treaties are…
    1. The Outer Space Treaty (Established in 1967)
      1. The treat is about governing the activity, usage, and exploration of space
    2. The Rescue Agreement (Established in 1968)
      1. An agreement set to rescue any astronaut, object, that are launched into space
    3. The Liability Convention (Established in 1972)
      1. Convention on the international liability of damage regarding space objects
    4. The registration Convention (Established in 1976)
      1. Convention of the registration of any object launched into space
    5. The Moon Agreement (Established in 1984)
      1. Agreement set to govern the activity, usage, on the moon/other celestial bodies
  • These 5 treaties are made with the goal of giving all countries freedom of exploration and carry out activities that are beneficial to mankind in general, therefore enforces cooperation between countries
  • The 5 Principles are:
    1. Declaration of Legal Principles (Established in 1963)
      1. This principle governs the activities of states in outer space exploration
    2. Broadcasting Principles (Established in 1982)
      1. This principle governs the use of man-made satellite regarding international television broadcasting
    3. Remote Sensing Principles (Established in 1986)
      1. This principle is in regards to the remote sensing of the earth from outer space
    4. Nuclear Power Sources Principle (Established in 1992)
      1. This principle is related to the usage of nuclear power in outer space
    5. Benefits Declaration
      1. A declaration to cooperate on an international scale to benefit any resource/information from outer space for the good of mankind, and countries that are in developing state

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Tobacco Control (Health Care)

Background

The use of tobacco is one of the major public health disasters in the 20th century. There are over 1.25 Billion smokers in the world today. Cigarette consumption is one of the largest causes of preventable death worldwide. Today, consumption of tobacco product/cigarette smoking kill 4 million people per year, with the majority of these deaths taking place in developing nations.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the 1st international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. It was adopted by the World Heath Assembly on May 21st 2003 and began to take action on February 27th 2005. The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of tobacco, and is an evidence based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The Convention represents a step forward for the promotion of public heath and provides new lineal dimensions for international health corporation. Continue reading “Tobacco Control (Health Care)”

Singapore

The Republic of Singapore is renowned for its strict and disciplined criminal code. Offences such as spitting or chewing gum can result in a heavy fine and in extreme cases, jail time. Unlike Canada, Singapore places a large emphasis on the harshness of their criminal punishment in hopes to deter the public from committing similar crimes. A major difference between the Singaporean criminal code and the Canadian criminal code is the practice of capital punishment in Singapore. The Singaporean government believes that in order to deter future crimes from being committed, a serious penalty such as the death sentence is essential. Singapore follows the Penal code that was established in 1873 which outlines crimes that can result in capital punishment. Such crimes include:

  • Treason
  • Murder
  • Euthanasia for minors
  • Kidnapping in order to murder
  • Drug offences
  • Armed offences under the Arms Offences Act

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Ancient Chinese Law

Background

  • Ancient Chinese law = any Chinese laws used up until 1911 when the last -imperial dynasty ended.
  • Differs greatly from common and civil law of western countries.
  • Incorporates Legalist and Confucian aspects of governing and social structure/ order.
  • The word law is translated loosely into two terms: The first, lü (律), means primarily “norm” or “model”. The second, fa (法), is usually rendered as “statute”.
  • Ancient Chinese law was made principally maintain ranks and orders amongst nobles.
  • Was also used to control society.
  • First ever record of Chinese law is the Kang Gao (康誥), a set of instructions issued by King Wu of Zhou.
  • Laws were coded and inscribed on bronze cauldrons and bamboo.

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Taiwan

Background

Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, is located in East Asia. Many Taiwanese citizens clearly define themselves as Taiwanese, not Chinese. Mainly speaking Mandarin, Taiwan uses two official calendars: the Gregorian calendar and the Minguo calendar. The former is commonly used around the world, and the latter numbers the years starting from 1911, which makes 2016 the 105th year.

Contrary to common belief, Taiwan and mainland China have had its own distinct legal system. It is mainly based on the civil law system, which is codified into the six codes: the Constitution, the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Administrative laws. The first is essentially the Three Principles of the People, which are Minzu (nationalism), Minquan (democracy), and Minsheng (livelihood of the people). The remainder are civil and commercial matters that involve relations among private parties, such as torts, property, family law, and contracts. Continue reading “Taiwan”

Justinian Code

Background

  • The Romans considered laws to be an issue of societal custom as they evolved through time rather than absolutes
  • The Justinian Code was collected under the authority of Byzantine emperor Justinian I during the years between BCE 529 to 565; these were the first laws to be codified in Rome- this made them more accessible and comprehensible to laypeople
  • Laws applied only to citizens of the Roman Empire and were thus referred to as “ius civile” (civil law)
  • The Justinian Code (Corpus Juris Civilis) or “Body of Civil Law”, is a civil law code
    • provided basis for law in after the 11th century
    • was by later edited by Napoleon to form the basis of his laws
    • reflected past law and the opinions of esteemed Roman jurists, also contained new laws dictated by Justinian
  • The Code was compiled into four works; The Codex Constitutionum, Pandectae, and Institutiones were published in Latin; the Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem was published in Greek
  • The Codex Constitutionum consisted of all past  “constitutions” declared by previous emperors as decided by a committee of ten men
  • the Pandectae was a revised selection of the Codex
  • The Institutiones, was essentially an outline of Roman law intended for first year law students
  • The Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem contained outlines of Justininian’s new rulings made between BCE 534 and 565

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Napoleonic Code

Background

  • The Napoleonic Code was the French civil code established under Napoleon Bonaparte I in France, 1804.
  • The Napoleonic Code influenced the civil codes of most continental European countries in the 19th century.
  • After the French Revolution (1789-1799), France needed a consistent legal code.
  • Before the Napoleonic Code, Roman law had governed the south of France while the northern provinces were ruled by customary law, which was based on feudal Frankish and German foundations.
  • The Roman Catholic church still controlled marital and family issues before this code.
  • 1804— Code Civil des Français formally enacted.
  • 1807— Title changed to Code Napoléon (The Napoleonic Code).
  • The Napoleonic Code is the basis of many modern day legal systems including Quebec’s civil law, although this has been revised.

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Women’s Rights in Iraq

Background and Key Legal Issues

  • There are no laws in Iraq focusing on domestic violence against women
  • With power growing from religions, women have been forced to put on veils and abaya
  • Article 79 of this Jaafari Personal Status Law, for example, would make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine
  • Women organizations such as OWFI are fighting the laws and are committed to the defence of women’s rights in Iraq
  • Authorities are illegally detaining women and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including sexual abuse
  • The Iraqi Constitution of 2005 syas that Islam laws must not contradict Islamic provisions
  • Although there are many loop holes in the law because of this such as “pleasure marriages”, founded on Islamic law, authorizes a man to marry a woman, through a money gift, OWFI says it provides a legal cover for prostitution
  • The United Nations and NGOs are implementing projects to improve women’s situation and to create the conditions where women can empower themselves
  • The 1993 General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, contained “a clear and comprehensive definition of violence against women [and] a clear statement of the rights to be applied to ensure the elimination of violence against women in all its forms”.
  • Last October, Iraq’s justice minister introduced a draft law to its Council of Ministers which would legalize child marriage and severely affect women’s rights in matters of divorce and child custody

Case

  • In March 2008 an Iraqi 17-year-old girl was violently murdered by her father and two older brothers for becoming friendly with a British soldier. The father was released after two hours of questioning from the Iraqi police force and was neither charged nor tried with the murder of his own daughter, although he had confessed to killing her