/law/, n.
1. Andrew Bonar /bon"euhr/, 1858-1923, English statesman, born in Canada: prime minister 1922-23.
2. John, 1671-1729, Scottish financier.
3. William, 1686-1761, English clergyman and devotional writer.

* * *

Discipline and profession concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct that are recognized as binding by the community.

Enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority, such as a group of elders, a regent, a court, or a judiciary. Comparative law is the study of the differences, similarities, and interrelationships of different systems of law. Important areas in the study and practice of law include administrative law, antitrust law, business law, constitutional law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, health law, immigration law, intellectual property law, international law, labour law, maritime law, procedural law, property law, public interest law, tax law, trusts and estates, and torts. See also Anglo-Saxon law; canon law; civil law; common law; equity; Germanic law; Indian law; Islamic law (Sharīah); Israeli law; Japanese law; jurisprudence; military law; Roman law; Scottish law; Soviet law.
(as used in expressions)
Ampère's law
Anglo Saxon law
Anti Corn Law League
Avogadro's law
Bode's law
mercantile law
common law marriage
law of conservation
Coulomb's law
covering law model
diminishing returns law of
faunal succession law of
Gresham's law
Hardy Weinberg law
Law Andrew Bonar
Law John
admiralty law
mass action law of
Montgomery of Alamein Bernard Law Montgomery 1st Viscount
Newton's law of gravitation
Ohm's law
Olmsted Frederick Law
Pascal's law
right to work law
Sea Law of the
Book of the Law
Snell's law
Twelve Tables Law of the
Weber's law
Weber Fechner law
Indies Laws of the
Kirchhoff's laws
laws conflict of
Newton's laws of motion
personal liberty laws
thought laws of

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▪ 2007

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was hanged after he had been sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal, and former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic died before a verdict could be handed down in his trial. The U.S. Supreme Court grappled with issues concerning the rights of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

International Law
      Capturing the headlines in international law during 2006 were two trials of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who stood accused of having committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The trials were held before the Iraqi High Tribunal, a domestic Iraqi court established specifically to try Saddam and his former officials. The first trial, which began in October 2005, was for crimes against humanity that stemmed from a 1982 attack on Shiʿites in Dujail, Iraq. The prosecution and defense rested their cases in July 2006. The second trial, which began in August, was on charges of genocide in the treatment of ethnic Kurdish separatists in 1987–88.

 The trials, which were watched closely by human rights groups, were marked by courtroom drama and irregularities. On several occasions Saddam was ejected from the courtroom for disruptive outbursts. Near the end of his first trial, Saddam carried out a hunger strike to protest his incarceration and treatment. The defense team boycotted the court proceedings in July following the assassination of one its members—the third defense-team lawyer to be killed within a year. In January, during the first trial, Chief Judge Rizgar Amin resigned from the tribunal under pressure from Shiʿite factions in Iraq. In September, Abdullah al-Amiri, the chief judge for the second trial, was removed from the bench after accusations were made that he was biased toward Saddam. Defense lawyers protested the removal, and human rights groups worried that the replacement of the judge further damaged claims that the tribunal was impartial and fair.

      The tribunal reached a verdict in the first trial on November 5, after the second trial had begun. Saddam was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam's lawyers appealed, and in late December the appeals court upheld the sentence. The court also declared that the sentence should be carried out within 30 days, and four days later, on December 30, Saddam (Hussein, Saddam ) was hanged. (See Obituaries.) In the aftermath of the highly publicized execution, there were renewed international appeals to abolish the death penalty in all countries.

      During 2006 the United States continued to come under fire for alleged human rights abuses of suspected terrorists. Among the alleged abuses were violations of international law under the Geneva Conventions, including detention without specific charges, indefinite detention, and various interrogation methods. In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could not use military commissions to try detainees, since such commissions had not been established by the U.S. Congress. The court's ruling also held that the standards of prisoner treatment called for by the Geneva Conventions were binding on U.S. law. (See Court Decisions.) In September, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush ordered 14 prisoners who were being held in secret detention facilities run by the Central Intelligence Agency outside the U.S. to be sent to the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay to face a military trial. The Pentagon also announced changes in its interrogation methods, which would bring them more in line with the demands of human rights advocacy groups. Responding to the Supreme Court's decision, Congress passed legislation in September that affirmed the importance of the Geneva Conventions but allowed the president to determine what kinds of interrogation techniques were permissible. The legislation also authorized the establishment of military tribunals to try detainees and said that noncitizen detainees did not have the right to file appeals through the U.S. federal court system.

International Tribunals and Special Courts.
      In 2006 the UN established the Human Rights Council, composed of 47 member countries, to replace the Human Rights Commission. In June, at its first session, the council adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which stated that indigenous peoples had the right to autonomy or self-government in their internal or local matters. It also called upon states to protect the human and economic rights of indigenous groups. In late November the UN General Assembly's Third Committee voted to postpone taking action on the resolution.

      The year 2006 also saw the first judges sworn in to preside over the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. The court, based in Arusha, Tanz., was created by a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The protocol came into force in 2004 upon its ratification by 15 member states.

      The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) continued to pressure Kenya to arrest Felicien Kabuga, a Rwandan who stood accused of having financed the genocidal activities of the Hutu in Rwanda in 1994. In September the ICTR issued its fourth acquittal, this one in the case of Jean Mpambara, a Rwandan who had stood accused of genocide. There were 25 ongoing cases at the end of 2006.

      The trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic (Milosevic, Slobodan ) at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ended in March without a verdict following the death of Milosevic in his prison cell. (See Obituaries.) The trial had been delayed multiple times owing to the defendant's poor health. Two indicted former Serbian officials who remained at large, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, were believed to be in Serbia. The refusal of Serbia to cooperate in the arrest of the two fugitives was hindering its efforts to be admitted to the European Union.

      Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was indicted in April on 11 counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other violations of international humanitarian law for his role in Sierra Leone's civil war. Taylor was being tried at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which indicted him in 2003. He was surrendered to the SCSL by the Liberian government in 2005 after having been arrested in Nigeria. Taylor pleaded not guilty to all charges. The SCSL was a hybrid court, with representatives from Sierra Leone and the international legal community. In June the UN Security Council ratified a request for a change of venue. The trial moved from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to The Hague, where it would continue under the auspices of the SCSL.

The International Criminal Court.
      In late 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for the rebel leaders accused of being responsible for Uganda's 20-year civil war and accompanying atrocities. A cease-fire was signed in Uganda on Aug. 29, 2006, but Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army, said he would not agree to a full peace agreement unless he was granted amnesty from prosecution by the ICC or any other tribunal. The Ugandan government said it would ensure that amnesty was granted if the rebels surrendered, but Kony and his commanders wanted the amnesty to be granted first. The UN promised not to arrest the rebel leaders if they came to the peace negotiations; however, the ICC had not agreed to grant amnesty to the rebel leaders.

      Investigations by the ICC continued into allegations of human rights abuses in the Darfur region in The Sudan's west, although conditions there made it impossible for the ICC to conduct investigations on-site. The ICC also continued looking into allegations of human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In what seemed likely to become the first case to reach trial at the ICC, Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was surrendered to the court by Congolese authorities in March and was indicted in August. Lubanga was accused of war crimes for his use of child soldiers in the eastern DRC between 2002 and 2004. Hearings were held in November, and the pretrial judges were expected to render their decision whether to proceed to trial in 2007.

Universal Jurisdiction.
      The legal principal of universal jurisdiction—that is, jurisdiction over crimes committed in another country regardless of the nationality of the accused—was under examination in Spain. In January, Spain's National Court said that it would investigate whether Chinese crimes against Tibetans rose to the level of genocide and were therefore eligible, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, for trial in Spain. In June a judge on the court opened proceedings in the case.

      In July Senegal decided to prosecute exiled former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré after the African Union (AU) requested that it assume jurisdiction in the case. Senegalese jurisdiction was justified, according to the AU, by Senegal's signatory status to the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture. Senegal had sought the advice of the AU after Senegal's Court of Appeals stated in 2005 that it could not rule on an extradition request by Belgium for Habré to stand trial in that country.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
 On Jan. 31, 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Samuel A. Alito (Alito, Samuel ) (see Biographies), a judge from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to succeed retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court of the United States. Alito was the second justice to join the court during the 2005–06 term. Following the death in September 2005 of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the U.S. Senate confirmed John G. Roberts, a judge from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, as his successor. Both nominations were controversial; Roberts was confirmed by a vote of 65–33 and Alito by a margin of 58–42.

      During the portion of the term when Roberts and Alito were both on the court, they generally were aligned with the more conservative wing of the court. Of the 21 nonunanimous cases decided in this period, Roberts and Alito were in agreement with one another in 19 cases. In 17 of those 19 cases, Roberts and Alito took the same position as Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the court's most conservative members. With the retirement of O'Connor, Justice Anthony Kennedy emerged as the pivotal swing vote in many important cases.

      The most celebrated decision of this term was in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, regarding the status and treatment of detainees at the United States military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Hamdan, a Yemeni national, had been captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and held at Guantánamo since 2002. At the same time, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush had established special military commissions to hear charges against individuals, including Hamdan, alleged to have violated the laws of war. In Hamdan the court by a vote of 5–3 held that those military commissions were unlawful both because they were inconsistent with the American Uniform Code of Military Justice and because they were not “regularly constituted” courts required by the Geneva Conventions. The majority in Hamdan identified as a critical defect in the pre-2006 military commissions a rule permitting a commission to consider secret evidence that was not disclosed to the defendant.

      Congress responded to this decision by enacting the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which gave the military commissions the express statutory basis that the Supreme Court had found was lacking. The Military Commissions Act, however, guaranteed the right of defendants to be present at commission proceedings.

      In Gonzales v. Oregon, the court struck down an effort by the Bush administration to prevent a physician from providing a terminally ill patient with a lethal dose of drugs. In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide when voters approved a ballot measure enacting the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. In 2001 the U.S. attorney general announced that the government interpreted federal law to forbid physicians to provide drugs to patients under the Oregon statute. The Supreme Court concluded that the federal law at issue, the Controlled Substances Act, did not authorize the attorney general to regulate in this way the practice of medicine.

      The court largely rejected a challenge to a controversial Texas law that redrew the boundaries of the districts from which that state elected members of the federal House of Representatives. In 2003, at the urging of Republican congressional leaders, Texas had altered the boundaries in a manner that increased the number of districts with Republican majorities. As a result, Republican candidates in the 2004 elections won several seats that had previously been held by Democrats. In LULAC v. Perry, the court reiterated that in some exceptional circumstances redistricting for political purposes could be unconstitutional. The Texas plan was not deemed so exceptional as to be invalid. At the same time, the LULAC decision held that Texas had violated federal law by redrawing one district to remove a large number of Hispanic voters; when that district was redrawn to comply with the court's decision, it was won by a Democratic candidate supported by Hispanic voters.

      The court rejected two important free-speech claims. In previous decisions the court had ruled that government workers would often be protected from dismissal or other retaliation for expressing their views on matter of public importance. In Garcetti v. Ceballos, however, the court held that government employees had no such protection for statements made pursuant to an employee's official responsibilities. Thus, a government attorney who worked as a prosecutor could be disciplined because of the contents of a memo written to his supervisors about the handling of a particular criminal case. In Rumsfeld v. FAIR, the court unanimously upheld a federal law requiring that colleges and universities that received federal funds provide military recruiters the same assistance and access accorded to other employers. Many such schools forbade on-campus recruiting by employers, such as the armed forces of the United States, that discriminate against homosexuals. The court concluded that the impact of the law on the free-speech rights of the schools themselves was too small to violate the Constitution.

      The court resolved two significant issues regarding unlawful police searches. Georgia v. Randolph held that when police do not have a search warrant, they cannot enter and search a home if one occupant agrees to the search but another occupant objects. In Hudson v. Michigan, the police executing a search warrant had entered without first knocking and announcing who they were, as required by the Constitution. The court ruled that the prosecution could use evidence found in the ensuing search, at least in a case in which the constitutional violation had not caused the discovery of that evidence.

      The court decided several capital punishment cases that reflected the increasing judicial and public debate about the risk of executing an innocent defendant. Those decisions framed a number of important innocence-related questions likely to be addressed by the court at some point in the future. In House v. Bell, the court permitted a death-row defendant to challenge his 20-year-old conviction, despite an otherwise impermissible delay in attacking that conviction, because there was substantial evidence of actual innocence. The circumstances of the case illustrated a number of recurring concerns about capital convictions, including the contamination of critical evidence, the subsequent availability of exculpatory DNA evidence, and a confession by a different individual with a history of violent behaviour. The court expressly left unresolved whether a defendant had a constitutional right to challenge his or her conviction on the ground of actual innocence. In Oregon v. Guzek, the court identified, and declined to reject, a related innocence issue: whether a capital defendant who had been convicted of murder was entitled at sentencing to introduce or rely on evidence raising residual doubts about his or her guilt. In Kansas v. Marsh, Justice David Souter (and three other justices) in a dissenting opinion marshaled some of the evidence suggesting that a significant number of innocent defendants had been sentenced to death, with which Justice Scalia disagreed at great, and pointed, length. The majority opinion in Marsh, aptly characterizing the debate as “incendiary,” held that the risk of wrongful convictions could not be the basis for resolving all legal disputes in capital cases, but it did not undertake to catalog the legal disputes to which that risk might be relevant.

      The court issued a number of opinions regarding the boundaries between the authority of the federal government and the powers of the individual states. In a series of earlier cases, the court had in a variety of circumstances held that federal courts could not hear certain lawsuits brought by private individuals against states or state agencies. This line of decisions had significantly diminished the enforceability of federal laws that apply to actions by state officials. In three cases during the 2005–06 term, however, the court permitted such suits. United States v. Georgia held that states could be sued in federal court for violating federal statutes if the conduct of the state officials also violated the United States Constitution. Central Virginia Community College v. Katz concluded that federal bankruptcy courts could determine the rights and liabilities of a state agency. In Northern Insurance Company v. Chatham County, the court, rejecting several arguments to the contrary, held that cities and counties could be sued in federal court even when a state itself could not be.

      In Rapanos v. United States, the court faced the recurring question regarding what bodies of water were covered by the federal Clean Water Act. In Rapanos no majority was able to agree on a standard for determining when or whether the Clean Water Act would apply to wetlands lying near ditches that eventually emptied into navigable waterways. Four conservative members of the court favoured a narrow reading of what bodies of water were covered by the act, while four liberal members preferred a broader interpretation of the statute. Justice Kennedy, who cast the deciding vote and whose view thus represented the existing law governing the lower courts, concluded that wetlands were covered by the Clean Water Act where they had a significant impact, such as because of pollutant trapping or flood control, on larger downstream bodies of water.

Eric Schnapper

▪ 1995


International Agreements.
      No clear pattern in regard to international law emerged during 1994. Instead, the significant events were scattered over a wide range of topics. One development, however, became so prominent as to constitute a trend: the proliferation of new international courts and the confirmation and extension of existing ones. It was as if the new world order, so uncertainly celebrated in the previous year or two by the development of the United Nations' peacemaking or peacekeeping role, had now matured enough to be crystallized in that ultimate symbol of civil society, the judges.

      The most dramatic innovation was in the field of criminal law. Basing its action on the Nürnberg tribunal after World War II and on ideas for an international criminal court that had circulated in the early years of the United Nations, the UN Security Council had in 1993 set up an international tribunal to prosecute war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of international humanitarian law that had occurred in former Yugoslavia since 1991. The tribunal, with its seat at The Hague, comprised two judicial levels (trial and appellate) as well as a prosecutor.

      At its second session in January and February 1994, the tribunal adopted its rules of procedure and evidence, and at its third session (April and May), it adopted rules governing the detention of accused persons. In August a South African judge, Richard Goldstone, took up his duties as the first prosecutor. The tribunal held its first public hearing on November 8, having the previous day issued its first formal indictment (and an arrest warrant), against a suspected Bosnian Serb prison camp commander, Dragan Nikolic. At the same time, the prosecutor was preparing to bring formal charges against Dusan Tadic, who, unlike Nikolic, was already in custody in Germany and would be transferred from the German penal system to the tribunal to become probably the first to be actually tried. A number of trials for war crimes in former Yugoslavia were also in preparation in the national court system of Germany, Denmark, and Austria. By the end of 1994 the Serb authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia had not recognized the authority of the tribunal but had begun their own proceedings against alleged war criminals there.

      On the same day that the tribunal held its first public meeting, the UN Security Council voted to establish a second such tribunal to deal with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Rwanda. It would have the same prosecutor as the Yugoslav tribunal, Richard Goldstone. Later in November the European Parliament urged that the UN prepare a convention setting up a permanent International Criminal Court. In this it was reinforcing the July report of the International Law Commission (ILC), which contained a draft statute for just such a court; it would comprise 18 judges divided into trial and appellate levels and would have its own prosecutor. It would cover not only war crimes and genocide but also hijacking, hostage taking, and apartheid.

      The main event at the International Court of Justice, apart from acquiring in February a new president (Judge Muhammad Bedjaoui) and vice president (Judge Stephen Schwebel), was its judgment in the Libya-Chad boundary dispute over the Aouzou Strip. The court held that the 1955 treaty between Libya and France, combined with the 1919 treaty between France and the United Kingdom, was completely determinative of the issue. It was thus unnecessary to consider Libyan arguments of uti possedetis (effectiveness of occupation in the past), terra nullius (spheres of influence), the hinterland doctrine, or any others. The Libyan claim that would have changed the treaty boundary between the two nations was totally rejected. This judgment (in February) was followed by an agreement between Libya and Chad (April) for the withdrawal from the disputed territory of Libyan administration and forces and the establishment of joint teams both to delimit the boundary and to supervise the removal of antipersonnel mines on the main roads to Aouzou and around the Ermi wells. This was completed by the end of May.

      The inclusion in the Libya-Chad treaty of a provision on removal of antipersonnel mines was consistent with a growing campaign to prohibit their use generally because of the destructive effect they have on civilians. It was estimated that there were some 100 million such mines lying around unmarked in about 60 countries worldwide. The concern expressed in the press and by welfare agencies pinpointed the ineffectiveness in this respect of the 1980 Geneva Convention on Inhumane Weapons, and some went so far as to propose that the use of such mines be treated as a crime against humanity. An expert group was set up pursuant to a UN General Assembly resolution in December 1993 to examine the question and report by the end of 1994. Many countries, including France, The Netherlands, the United States, and South Africa, had imposed export bans; the U.K.'s regulations did not apply to so-called self-destruct mines. There was, however, resistance among the arms-manufacturing countries to an absolute ban on the use or manufacture of antipersonnel mines.

      Other major judicial developments included the adoption of the 11th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in May. When it came into force, it would abolish the European Commission of Human Rights and transfer some of its functions to the European Court of Human Rights. The Ninth Protocol, which allows complainants to have standing before the court, came into force in October. The change was necessitated by the growing caseload of the commission and the consequent need to alter the Convention's judicial structure from a part-time basis to a full-time professional court.

      The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court of Justice, formed as part of the European Economic Area (EEA), moved into its premises in Geneva in January and began work using a structure and rules of procedure based on those of the European Court of Justice. It delivered its first judgment in the autumn, rejecting a complaint by a Slovenian couple resident in Austria that the refusal of a work permit was contrary to the rules on free movement of the EEA treaty.

      By the end of the year, however, three EFTA members (Austria, Finland, and Sweden) had been accepted as new members of the European Union and would leave EFTA early in 1995. The EFTA court would then be reduced to only two judges (Iceland and Norway, with the possibility of Liechtenstein joining in). Thought was being given during December to the future viability of the EEA (including the EFTA court) and indeed even of EFTA itself, which would be reduced to four members (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein; Slovenia had initiated a membership application).

      Two other Geneva-based organizations also developed judicial sides to their activity. The World Intellectual Property Organization, which had been the driving force behind international harmonization of copyright, patent, and trademark laws for more than a century, opened its new Arbitration Centre (International Centre for the Resolution of Intellectual Disputes) in October. It would administer four dispute-settlement procedures—mediation, arbitration, expedited arbitration, and combined mediation and arbitration—and might be compared with the commercial arbitration service provided by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

      The judicial system of the new World Trade Organization, which forms Annex 2 (Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay round package agreed upon at the end of 1993, was formally adopted at Marrakech, Morocco, in April 1994. It would replace the existing GATT panel system, which had depended on the voluntary cooperation of the "defendant" nation, with a more imperative procedure operated by the permanent Dispute Settlements Body. This had not yet been set up by the end of 1994.

      Finally, mention should be made of the continuing work of the ILC on a far-reaching proposal. This stated that unilateral countermeasures by one nation allegedly wronged by another were prohibited if there were dispute-settlement procedures available. It arose in connection with the work on codification of the law on state responsibility and raised basic issues of international law and the rights of states that required careful examination.

      The march toward regionalization of the world continued during the year. Although the European Union (EU) was experiencing increased nationalism in major member nations, the accession of Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Norway to the organization was successfully negotiated. The first three obtained positive votes in their popular referenda, but the vote in Norway was negative and, consequently, that country withdrew from the accession altogether. Ratification on the EU side was delayed by Spain, which made its consent to the expansion conditional on its receiving satisfactory arrangements for its fishing fleet in U.K. waters from January 1996, when the transitional period was to end. A compromise was worked out in late December, and the EU agreed (with the U.K. abstaining in the vote) that some Spanish vessels could fish in British waters. The way was clear for the three European nations in January 1995.

      In the Western Hemisphere, at Buenos Aires, Arg., Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) signed an agreement in August to institute a common customs tariff except, temporarily, for high-technology goods. That paved the way for the signing on December 17 at Miami, Fla., of the Mercosur Customs Union Treaty, to create a common market as of 1995. In May the Andean Pact also agreed to a common external tariff to come into force in 1995.

      U.S. implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began under Executive Order 12889. Chile indicated its desire to join NAFTA and was invited to do so in December; others were seeking closer links. This culminated in a meeting in December of all nations in North and South America except Cuba. There it was agreed to establish a Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would embrace them all, hold biennial summit meetings, and aim to complete negotiations by the year 2005. Meanwhile, closer links were to be developed between NAFTA and the other regional groups: Mercosur, the Andean Pact, the Central American Common Market, and the Caribbean Community and Common Market.

      Parallel with this, Mexico signed an agreement with Colombia and Venezuela to set up an economic area, signed a separate agreement with Costa Rica for a free-trade area, and cooperated with 24 other Caribbean nations (including Cuba) to form a new Association of Caribbean States. (See Latin America's New Economic Strategy (Spotlight: Latin America's New Economic Strategy ) and The New Caribbean Basin Identity (Spotlight: The New Caribbean Basin Identity ).) Earlier, as a result of a U.S. initiative, the leaders of 18 Pacific nations met in a summit in Indonesia in November and agreed on the creation of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation area, to be negotiated over the next 25 years.

      The other major event of 1994 was the coming into force in November of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea after having received its 60th ratification a year earlier. That, and the adoption by the UN General Assembly of an agreement on implementing the seabed provisions in Part XI of the Convention (those relating particularly to exploitation of mineral deposits, described originally as "manganese nodules"), cleared the way for the establishment of the International Seabed Authority and for ratification of the Convention by the major industrialized countries, particularly the U.S. and the U.K. As a result, maritime affairs were likely once more to figure more prominently in future international law developments.


Court Decisions.
      A number of important decisions were handed down by courts throughout the world in 1994. They ranged in subject matter from gender and sexual issues to drugs, the death penalty and other serious criminal sanctions, and the environment.

      There was considerable concern in legal and business circles in the U.S. as to what kinds of conduct constitute sexual harassment so as to be actionable under civil or criminal law. During the year the U.S. Supreme Court did much to clarify the matter by handing down a sweeping decision establishing standards for sexual harassment. In Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., the court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment, is violated when the workplace is permeated with discriminatory behaviour that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile or abusive working environment. This standard, said the court, objectively requires an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive as well as the victim's subjective perception that the environment is abusive. Determination can be made only through investigation of all the circumstances, which may include the frequency of the discriminatory conduct, its severity—whether it is physically threatening or humiliating or a mere offensive utterance, and its unreasonable interference with an employee's work performance. The effect on the employee's psychological well-being is relevant in determining whether the employee actually found the environment abusive, but while psychological harm, like any other factor, may be taken into account, no single factor is required.

      In J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B., the Supreme Court held that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution forbade peremptory challenges by the state of Alabama to potential jurors on the basis of gender. This case was said to be an exemplification of the principle decided in 1986 in Batson v. Kentucky, which held that African-Americans could not be systematically excluded from juries by way of peremptory challenges. Prior to Batson it had been thought that each party to a lawsuit, including a criminal trial, could use its peremptory challenges to exclude a potential juror for any reason or for no reason at all. In the state and federal courts, each party has a specified number of peremptory challenges. After they are used, a party is required to furnish a reason why he or she thinks a particular person should not be allowed to serve on the jury. As a result of the Alabama decision, it was now often necessary for the state, in criminal cases at least, to give reasons why a black or a woman should not be seated on the jury.

      The European Court of Justice held in Office National de l'emploi that national legislation providing exceptions to night work that were different for women and men infringed the European Community Treaty, which mandates equal treatment for men and women with respect to employment. Similarly, the European Court of Human Rights held that a German law requiring male residents to serve without pay in a fire brigade or, in lieu thereof, to pay a tax to support this service violated the European Convention on Human Rights because the same requirements were not imposed on women.

      In France the Court of Appeal ruled that a contract under which a woman agreed to conceive and carry a child in order to give it up on birth to the other contracting party was invalid and unenforceable. The court viewed such a contract as a violation of the principle of the inalienability of the human body as well as of principles pertaining to the status of persons.

      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two abortion-related cases during the year. In National Organization for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, the women's organization, commonly known as NOW, won a significant victory when the court ruled that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law (RICO) could be used to prosecute members of a conspiracy to shut down an abortion clinic. It had been thought by some legal scholars that RICO could be used only when economic interests were involved, but the court said that no economic motives were necessary in order for RICO to be applied.

      NOW's victory was less conclusive in Madsen v. Women's Health Center. In that case a Florida state court had permanently prohibited protests from being made inside an 11-m (36-ft) buffer zone around an abortion clinic. This zone was necessary at the front of the clinic in order to permit access to it and was established at the rear of the clinic to curtail noise. The Supreme Court affirmed the Florida court with respect to the front of the clinic but reversed its ruling as to the rear. The court emphasized the privilege of the protesters to exercise their rights of free speech and assembly and stated that these rights could be suppressed only where absolutely necessary to permit traffic into and out of the clinic.

      The Constitutional Court in Italy rendered an opinion on June 2 that no person who works in a health service and who deals with the care of others can refuse to be tested for AIDS. Homosexuals and others had succeeded in getting a statute enacted that excluded compulsory tests for the AIDS virus. The court held that this statute was unconstitutional because it abridged the fundamental right to health. This right, said the court, includes "the duty for the person (with the virus) not to put at risk, by his behaviour, the health of other persons."

      Due process under the U.S. Constitution generally requires that individuals receive notice and an opportunity to be heard before they are deprived of property by government action. The federal government, however, contended that this principle does not apply to civil forfeiture action, which authorizes a civil taking of property that is used to commit or facilitate the commission of a drug offense. In U.S. v. Good Real Property, the Supreme Court disagreed with this contention and held that the federal government could not seize property pursuant to a drug forfeiture without prior notice and hearing.

      Under California law, in order to sentence a defendant to death for first-degree murder, the jury must find the defendant guilty and then find one or more special circumstances to be true. The case then proceeds to the penalty phase, in which the jury must consider some factors specified in the statute. In Tuilaepa v. California the U.S. Supreme Court held this statute constitutional. The statute had been extensively reviewed by the news media in conjunction with the O.J. Simpson case, which involved the allegation that the famous football player and actor murdered his wife and another person. Simpson pleaded not guilty, and at the year's end the case had not yet been tried. Many seemed to feel that the statute was too vague to stand constitutional scrutiny. The matter became moot when the prosecution announced that it would not seek the death penalty if Simpson was convicted.

      Italy and the U.K. apparently took different positions regarding the possibility of imposing severe criminal sanctions on minors. The Constitutional Court of Italy ruled that it is unconstitutional to sentence minors to life imprisonment. In the Italian system it is possible for a person sentenced to life to be released from prison if he or she has been rehabilitated, but this possibility did not deter the court from decreeing that a life sentence can never be imposed on a minor.

      In the U.K., on the other hand, the Divisional Court abolished the rule that a child between the ages of 10 and 14 is presumed not to know that he or she has committed a crime. Under that rule the Crown was required to rebut the presumption by proving that the child, in fact, knew what he or she did was criminal. The court held that the old rule was necessary in earlier times because then the criminal law was much more severe. The court said that the old rule now had no utility in view of the complete change in the philosophy of crime and punishment. This change in the law, of course, did not mean that the U.K. would necessarily impose a heavy sentence on a minor convicted of a serious crime, nor did it mean that the Crown would necessarily, or even usually, prosecute a minor. It meant only that the Crown no longer had to overcome a presumption to be able to maintain such a prosecution if in its discretion it was indicated.

      During the year the U.S. Supreme Court decided two important cases regarding environmental laws. The first, City of Chicago v. Environmental Defense Fund, denied a municipality an exemption from the operation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). The RCRA is a comprehensive environmental statute that empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate hazardous waste in accordance with rigorous safeguards and waste-management procedures. The city of Chicago owned and operated an incinerator that burned solid waste. The burning resulted in the creation of energy that was used by the city. It also left a residue of ash. The EPA filed an action claiming that the city had violated the RCRA in burning the solid waste and in handling the ash residue. The city contended that it was exempt from this law. Many legal scholars believed that such an exemption was provided for in the RCRA, and the federal district court found that to be the case. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that no such exemption exists. The case was believed to be important for many communities that considered themselves exempt from the RCRA.

      Some cities in the U.S. adopted laws, often called "community development codes" or some similar title, that require an individual or entity seeking a building permit to dedicate portions of the land on which the building will be erected to the city for greenways, pedestrian walks, bicycle pathways, or the like. The city of Tigard, Ore., has such a law. A woman who owned a lot on which she operated a retail store applied to the city for a building permit to enlarge the store and its parking lot. The city granted the application subject to the conditions that she dedicate part of the lot for a greenway and another part for a pedestrian/bicycle pathway. The owner appealed this decision, claiming that the conditions, if enforced, would amount to a taking of her property without due process of law. The case finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and it agreed with the owner. The court acknowledged that governments must be able to engage in land-use planning and that "government could hardly go on if to some extent values incident to property could not be diminished without paying for every such change in general law." On the other hand, the Constitution bars the government "from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole." The task of the court is to strike a balance between these competing policies. (WILLIAM D. HAWKLAND)

      See also Crime, Law Enforcement, and Penology ; Multilateral Regional Organizations (Multinational and Regional Organizations ); United Nations .

      This updates the articles constitutional law; international law.

▪ 1994


International Agreements.
      In a dramatic close to the year, the seven-year negotiations in the Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came to a successful conclusion on December 15, just in time to meet the deadline firmly set by GATT Director-General Peter Sutherland and needed for "fast track" ratification by the U.S. Congress. Agreement was reached after an intense final round of negotiations involving the U.S. and the European Community (EC, from November 1 the European Union). The text was to be presented for formal signature by April 15, 1994, and would come into force (ratifications permitting) on July 1, 1995.

      The treaty was exceptional in several ways and did not merely extend the existing system of tariff reductions, antidumping measures, and dispute settlement—although it did do all that as well. First, it created a new international body, the World Trade Organization (WTO), some 40-odd years after the proposal to create an International Trade Organization (ITO) as part of the UN specialized agency system, which was never accepted. GATT, a substitute for the ITO, in fact developed into an organization in its own right, and so organizationally there was unlikely to be any dramatic change. However, the WTO would have stronger powers than GATT, particularly in determining disputes and enforcement procedures, and subtle changes of power balance were likely to emerge.

      Second, the treaty extended the GATT system to cover, for the first time, agriculture, textiles, and some services. Negotiation of various services had always been a problem, and some important sectors of the agreement (telecommunications, shipping, and audiovisual and financial services) were in the end excluded altogether. Services had never been subject to customs duties, and their inclusion in the new treaty marked a radical extension of GATT rules into unknown legal territory.

      Third, an important legislative text was included, setting basic principles and rules for intellectual property rights. These rules went farther, albeit less deep, than the great world conventions on patents, trademarks, and copyright administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization and contained controversial provisions that had not been agreed to at those specialized levels. Also, because they were part of the GATT package, they would be binding on many less developed countries that were not party to the great conventions. This, then, was the fourth aspect of the agreement; it contained legislation on substantive private law, which formed part of the domestic legal system of nearly every state in the world. It marked, in a particularly acute manner, the increasing globalization of private law. Again, the legal and constitutional implications had not been examined, in particular the practical impossibility of amending or repealing the rules once adopted.

      Against that background most other events in international law in 1993 seemed pallid even though some of them were fully as complex and pregnant with significance for the future. In Europe integration through the EC reached a new stage of complexity. Three treaties that were concluded the previous year or earlier finally completed their ratification processes. The Maastricht Treaty on European Union (1992) finally came into force on November 1 after a second, positive Danish referendum, a year-long ratification battle in the U.K. Parliament followed by an unsuccessful constitutional challenge in the English High Court in July (Ex parte Lord Rees-Mogg), and an extremely thorough analysis in October by the German federal Constitutional Court in Brunner v. The European Union Treaty.

      At the same, time the European Economic Area (EEA) Treaty (1992) also completed its reratification following the amendments necessitated by the Swiss withdrawal after its negative referendum on Dec. 6, 1992, in time to come into force on Jan. 1, 1994. The Schengen Treaty (1990), in spite of last-minute threats by France to abstain from ratifying because of Dutch liberalism with regard to drug imports, was finally ratified by its nine member states and came into force on December 1, with a delay to Feb. 1, 1994, for the full freeing of border crossing.

      The result of these three treaties was that, from the end of the year, the old common market would extend to 17 Western European states (the 12 EC members and 5 European Free Trade Association [EFTA] states, excluding Switzerland and Liechtenstein), with the whole corpus of existing EC law (including antitrust and free movement of both goods and people) now applying also to Austria and the four Nordic EFTA states and internal border controls between nine of the EC member states (all except the U.K., Ireland, and Denmark) being abolished.

      The European Union Treaty itself was full of innovations, including terminology. The European Economic Community (EEC) lost the "Economic" and was changed to the European Community (EC) and the old term EC (European Communities [later Community]) now became EU (European Union). The European Court of Justice could for the first time award damages against a recalcitrant member state, but in return the member states regained some of their powers from the Community through the principle of subsidiarity. New legislative procedures were introduced to increase the involvement of the European Parliament. In 1996 a new revision conference was to be held, at which further developments would be negotiated.

      By then the context would be very different—and not only because of the EEA, which toward the end of the year had set up the EFTA Surveillance Authority in Brussels to enforce the Community antitrust rules in the EFTA countries and also its separate EFTA Court in Geneva. The negotiations for full EC membership of Austria, Sweden, Finland, and Norway reached an advanced stage. Extension of the main principles of EC law to the Central and Eastern European states began under the association agreements. Poland had already begun the task of adapting its laws to fit with EC law.

      On the regional level, in January Latvia and Lithuania signed an agreement on economic cooperation intended to lead to a free-trade agreement, and all three Baltic states also signed a defense cooperation agreement establishing a permanent Baltic defense council. In August a free-trade agreement was duly reached between the three Baltic states, and throughout the year the Swedish government fought hard in its EC membership negotiations to keep the free-trade agreement that it already had with the Baltic states. In February Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine signed a regional cooperation agreement establishing a Carpathian-Euroregion Council, while Bulgaria signed a partial free-trade agreement with EFTA.

      New movements were hinted at in the Vienna Declaration of October 8-9, concluding the first-ever Council of Europe summit, which seemed to position the Council of Europe to take a more active role in European integration in the future. The Vienna Declaration of June 25, on the other hand, followed a less-than-successful world conference on human rights, which failed to reach agreement on such matters as the appointment of a UN commissioner for human rights and revealed serious divergences of view on human rights between the developed and less developed nations.

      In North America a similar culmination and expectancy occurred as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) obtained ratification from all three countries (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico) to come into force on Jan. 1, 1994. It, too, had judicial problems when in July a U.S. district court ordered that the agreement not be ratified until an environmental-impact assessment of its effects had been made and submitted to Congress. This ruling, which would have caused a serious delay, was reversed on appeal, however. The new system built upon the preexisting U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which itself had begun to produce litigation under its dispute-resolution procedure. One joint panel set up under that procedure ruled in May that U.S. import duties to counteract alleged low stumpage fees borne by Canadian loggers had been wrongly levied.

      Even while NAFTA was thus progressing, a possible extension was under consideration. Chile, which entered into a free-trade agreement with Mexico in 1992, was promised negotiations toward a free-trade agreement with the U.S., although they would not start until after NAFTA was in force. A new free-trade agreement was concluded in December between Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia, and another one the same month between Colombia and Chile. These followed another agreement signed in February between Venezuela, Colombia, and the Central American Common Market. In March Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia agreed to establish a free-trade zone from January 1994. In April the Managua Agreement on Economic Unity was signed by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua with the aim of improving their existing free-trade zone, increasing institutional links, and moving toward political and economic unity. The older and more political Organization of American States agreed to amend its charter to include among its aims the elimination of extreme poverty and also to allow suspension of a member whose democratic government was overthrown by force.

      On the other side of the ocean, in March the Association of Southeast Asian Nations instituted a joint cooperation committee with India, and in January it brought into force the Asian Free Trade Association (AFTA) comprising Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

International Courts.
      International adjudication systems became more prominent during the year as well, with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) continuing its recent busy trend. New cases included the dispute between Hungary and Slovakia over the Hungarian rescission, on environmental grounds, of an agreement to divert and dam the Danube River to provide hydroelectric power and an action by Bosnia and Herzegovina alleging genocide against the rump Yugoslavia. In the latter case, filed with the court in March, an interim order was issued in April under the Genocide Convention of 1948 requiring Yugoslavia to take all measures to prevent genocide and in particular to ensure that any military, paramilitary, or irregular armed units directed or supported by it and any organizations and persons subject to its control did not commit acts of genocide. The court held that for the purposes of an interim order it would recognize (as had the UN) the legitimate status of Pres. Alija Izetbegovic as Bosnian head of state. It was interesting that, in view of the awkwardness in nomenclature concerning the remaining parts of the former Yugoslavia, the defendant was described, and accepted, as the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)." A second application was filed in July against the use of genocide to procure the dismemberment, annexation, and incorporation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The court issued a further order in September reaffirming its April order, denying the additional remedies sought in July, and refusing a Yugoslav counterclaim.

      The dispute between Nauru and Australia over preindependence phosphate extraction on the island was settled in August with Australia agreeing to pay $75 million in compensation. A more traditional ICJ case was that between Denmark and Norway over fishery limits in the North Atlantic—between Greenland (Danish) and Jan Mayen Island (Norwegian). Greenland's 200-mi limit was closer to Jan Mayen than the median line, and the disputed area (the overlapping part) was divided by the court so that each party obtained half the fishing grounds, with the nonfishery parts going to Norway in a rough proportion of 2 to 1.

      The court's new activity was signaled by its setting up, for the first time, of a special chamber—for environmental cases. The regular partial renewal of the court's membership took place in November with, in particular, Judge Shigeru Oda of Japan being reelected. January saw the death of Manfred Lachs (see OBITUARIES (Lachs, Manfred )), the longest-serving judge (26 years) on either of the world courts, ICJ president in 1973-76, and a highly influential figure in international law.

      The other two great international courts were both suffering from serious growing pains. The Court of Justice of the EC was becoming more and more worried at the incessant delays in delivering judgment and reporting of its judgments (more than two years) and the continual problem of multilingualism and language equality. In a further attempt to reduce response time, the EC Council agreed to its request to transfer to the Court of First Instance all direct action brought by private parties (except antidumping cases, which some member states opposed transferring for protectionist reasons).

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had also recorded a marked increase in caseload such that it, and its "filter," the European Commission of Human Rights, had in practice become full-time courts. In October the member states of the Council of Europe at the Vienna summit agreed at last to reform the whole apparatus and to replace it with a single court sitting in chambers and applying its own screening procedure. The Council of Europe was mandated to prepare a protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights to that effect for signature in May 1994.

      Perhaps the most important decision handed down by the ECHR during the year was Castells v. Spain. A Spanish court had convicted an opposition member of the parliament of the criminal offense of "insulting parliament" on the basis of a newspaper article he had written. The government defended this action as "necessary in a democratic society," as permitted by the European Convention on Human Rights. In a relatively strongly worded opinion, the ECHR held that this defense could not stand. It restated its view that freedom of expression is an essential foundation of a democratic society and that freedom of the press and freedom of political debate must be protected.

      Other significant ECHR cases included Megyeri v. Germany, holding that failure to appoint a lawyer to assist a mental patient in proceedings relating to his detention violated the Convention; Olson v. Sweden, holding that restrictions on parents with regard to access to their children placed in foster homes, particularly their denial of the right to have these prohibitions judicially reviewed, violated the Convention; and Ludi v. Switzerland, holding that, while Swiss law permitting the tapping of a telephone of a person suspected of illegally dealing in drugs interfered with the accused's private life, it did not violate the Convention because it was necessary in a democratic society for the prevention of crime.

      Finally, apart from the setting up by EFTA of the new EFTA Court of Justice in Geneva, due to begin operating in January 1994, the other Vienna Conference in June rejected the idea of a new UN court of human rights and instead recommended that the International Law Commission be asked to examine the possibility of creating a permanent international criminal court. In May the UN Security Council did in fact resolve to establish an ad hoc war crimes tribunal under chapter VII of the UN Charter to deal with events in Bosnia and Herzegovina and based on a report by the UN secretary-general.

      Although newsworthy cases seldom make a lasting contribution to the development of law as an institution, they often have political and social consequences that are immediate and sometimes far-reaching. Such was the acquittal on war-crime charges of John Demjanjuk by the Supreme Court of Israel, which made news throughout the world. The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk immigrated to the U.S. in 1951 and was employed as an autoworker in Cleveland, Ohio. He first started making news in 1977 when he was charged with having lied on his immigration papers. The U.S. Department of Justice charged that in reality he was a Soviet soldier who had defected to join the Nazis and who had run the gas chambers at the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland. He admitted lying but denied that he was a Nazi or involved in any way at Treblinka. During a five-week trial in Cleveland in 1981, five Treblinka survivors identified him as "Ivan the Terrible," a brutal guard at that camp who was personally responsible for many deaths. Demjanjuk was convicted of lying and was about to be ordered deported to Ukraine when the Israeli government intervened and requested that he be extradited to Israel to stand trial for war crimes. After a 14-month trial, he was convicted in April 1988 and sentenced to death. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal, information was supplied by the former Soviet Union to the effect that 32 Nazis who had been captured by the Soviets after the war had identified the real Ivan the Terrible as another man named Ivan Marchenko. Meanwhile, the federal appellate court in Ohio ordered the case reopened when it learned that the U.S. Justice Department had some knowledge concerning Marchenko and the possibility that his identity had been confused with that of Demjanjuk but had withheld this evidence from the defense and the court. Because of these developments, the Supreme Court of Israel released Demjanjuk, stating that there was reasonable doubt as to whether he, or someone else, had committed the alleged war crimes. It declined to order him tried on other charges.

U.S. Court Decisions.
      The trials for those accused of the crimes committed against Rodney King and Reginald Denny in Los Angeles also made headlines. Both crimes had been video recorded and played out many times on television screens everywhere. King, a black motorist, had been brutally beaten by four white police officers, who claimed that their action was necessary because he was resisting arrest. They were subsequently charged with aggravated assault. Because of the publicity that attended the case, owing to repeated showings on TV of an account of the beating filmed by an amateur photographer near the scene, the case was transferred from Los Angeles to one of its suburbs, where the four officers were acquitted by a jury with no black members. This decision sparked a serious riot in April 1992 resulting in a number of deaths and injuries as well as major property damage. One person injured in the riot was Denny, a white truck driver who happened to be passing through the riot area when he was assaulted by two black men who kicked, beat, and stomped on him and smashed his head with a brick. The assault had been videotaped from news helicopters hovering above.

      The U.S. Constitution prohibits "double jeopardy," but a little-used and little-known exception to the principle exists, permitting a federal prosecution of a defendant who has been acquitted in a state court when the facts create both a state and a federal crime. Apparently yielding to great political pressure, the U.S. Department of Justice invoked this exceptional rule and indicted in federal court the police officers who had been acquitted in state court of assaulting King. The case was tried in Los Angeles, where a year after the riots a racially mixed jury found two of the defendants guilty on April 17. Meanwhile, another racially mixed jury in a state court in Los Angeles found the defendants in the Denny case guilty of six less-serious charges, acquitting them of attempted murder.

      Another newsworthy case involved "Baby Jessica," who was called Anna Schmidt by her natural parents, who were not married at the time of her birth. Her mother gave her up for adoption, and later her natural parents married and sought to recover their daughter from the adoptive parents. The case was complicated by the fact that the natural parents lived in Iowa and the adoptive parents in Michigan. The adoptive parents won in the Michigan district court but lost on an appeal. Ultimately, they were bound by an Iowa Supreme Court ruling ordering the child to be returned to her natural parents.

      Along similar but more bizarre lines, another case ended in a loss by the natural parents. Kimberly Mays and Arlena Twigg were born on the same day at Hardee Memorial Hospital in Wauchula, Fla., in 1978. The circumstances were unclear, but somehow the two babies were handed over to the wrong mothers. This mixup was not discovered until 10 years later, when Arlena died and tests showed that she was the Mayses' daughter, not the Twiggs'. The Twiggs then sought custody of their biological daughter but were defeated in a Florida state court, which, nevertheless, gave them visitation rights. Unhappy with the visitation aspect of the decree, Kimberly, now a teenager, brought a successful action against her natural parents to "divorce" herself from them in every way.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.
      Probably the most important decision handed down by the high court in 1993 was Shaw v. Reno, which was concerned with racial gerrymandering. The 1990 census showed that North Carolina had enjoyed a growth in population and was, therefore, entitled to an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was necessary, as a result, to reapportion the state and establish 12 congressional districts to replace the 11 that had existed previously. North Carolina's new plan included one majority-black congressional district, but the Department of Justice rejected it because blacks constituted about 20% of the state's population and proportionately, therefore, should be represented by two blacks. The General Assembly of North Carolina then redrew the district lines to establish two districts that had black majorities. Because the black population was relatively dispersed, the General Assembly established two black-majority districts that, when drawn on a map, were very irregular in shape. Although the Justice Department approved this reapportionment plan, numerous North Carolinians did not, and they and the Republican Party brought an action alleging that the plan constituted an unconstitutional political gerrymander in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In a 5-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with this contention.

      Other Supreme Court cases of importance handed down in 1993 included: TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp., holding that a $10 million jury award for punitive damages was not excessive even though the injury amounted to only $19,000; Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, holding that a public school board violated the First Amendment's free-speech provision by denying access to school premises outside of school hours to a church seeking to exhibit a film dealing with family issues; Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, holding that a city ordinance that prohibited animal sacrifice in a religious ceremony was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment's free-exercise-of-religion clause; Wisconsin v. Mitchell, holding that a state, without violating the Constitution, may increase the length of a prison sentence when the accused has committed a racial "hate crime"; and Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, holding that obstructing access to an abortion clinic did not constitute a cause of action for conspiracy to deprive a person of his or her civil rights under the Civil Rights Act.


      This updates the articles constitutional law; international law.

* * *

      the discipline and profession concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. Enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority.

      The law is treated in a number of articles. For a description of legal training and a general background, see legal profession. Articles that delineate the relationship of law to political structures are constitution; ideology; political party; political system. For articles that discuss the importance of law regarding social justice and other social issues, see human rights; land reform; social service. For an examination of comparative legal systems and the relationship of the law to the social sciences, see comparative law. For a description of canon law, see canon law. For a description of Islamic law, see Sharīʿah. For a description of Jewish law, see Talmud and Midrash. For an analysis of the role of law in the administration of government, see administrative law. For an exposition of social restrictions and their enforcement, see censorship; crime and punishment (crime); police. For a description of the legal aspects of war and the military, see war, law of. For a discussion of legal philosophy, see law, philosophy of. For an exposition of various types of legal systems, see civil-law (civil law); common law; court; Germanic law; Roman law; Scandinavian law; Scottish law. For international aspects of law, see international law; United Nations. For an examination of the laws covering specific fields, see agency; air law; bankruptcy; carriage of goods; commercial transaction; contract; constitutional law; criminal law; family law; inheritance; labour law; maritime law; medical jurisprudence (health law); procedural law; property law; tax law; tort.

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Universalium. 2010.

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