Preliminary Reference

Land Grabbing in Cambodia: Redress Found in UK Courts?

Elaine Sun J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 In recent years, land grabbing has become increasingly prevalent in Cambodia. The most extensive instances are economic land concessions (ELCs), whereby up to 10,000 hectares of government land per concession can be granted to private companies for agro-industrial exploitation for some fixed period of years, capped at 99 years. The 2001 Land Law of Cambodia also allows the government to expropriate private land from citizens for ELCs “in accordance with the provisions of the law,” and the Cambodian Constitution governs that expropriation “shall require fair and just compensation in advance.” In reality, […]

Land Grab

Circuit Lock

Communicating Terror: The Role of Gaming Consoles and Backdoors

Ethan McMahon J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 Three days prior to the Paris attacks, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon warned of the growing use of gaming consoles by terror networks at a debate organized by POLITICO. “[T]he most difficult communication between these terrorists is via PlayStation 4 (PS4),” he stated, adding that, the communications through the gaming console’s network are “even more difficult to monitor than WhatsApp” and other networks. Mr. Jambon was likely referring to the PS4 Network’s (PSN) Party Chat feature, which creates a medium for gamers to exchange text messages and voice communications in individual […]

Ecocide: A Brief History of an Explosive Concept

Hannibal Travis Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law Book Review: Climate Change and Genocide: Environmental Violence in the 21st Century, edited and with an introduction by Jurgen Zimmerer (Routledge, 2015). A remarkable confluence of events is refocusing our attention to the connection between violence and the environment. From the environmental precursors to the Arab Spring, to the worsening conflicts in Equatorial Africa and Nigeria, to the string of damaging tropical cyclones, to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, politicians and the press are talking about “the planet” again. A new book presents a typology of environmental […]


Malta passport

Citizenship by Investment: A Comparative Discussion

Angelo Tannuzzo J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017   Citizenship status determines the rights and obligations that exist between citizen and State. For example, a citizen must pay taxes, but also has the right to vote and enjoy government-maintained infrastructure and services. Citizenship also entails a mutual duty of loyalty: the State is to act in the collective interest of its citizenry, while a citizen owes allegiance to the State. Because the citizenry and the State form an interdependent political and social entity, the mechanism and selection process by which the State confers or withholds citizenship directly influences the composition, […]

Shifting Seas: Migration, Integration, and Germany

Hannah Weichbrodt J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 The two largest crises presently facing Germany are the influx of migrants—a 19% increase between 2013 and 2014, most notably from Syria—and a belligerent Russian next-door neighbor. In assessing how Germany should respond to these emergency situations, Thomas Bagger, the Head of Policy Planning for the German Foreign Ministry, notes the historic context in which Germany understands its role within Europe and its evolving self-conception as a world power. After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany was surrounded by friends and recognized itself as occupying a space in a “sea of tranquility,” […]

Germany Flag

Catalonia driving plate

Will Catalonians Be the First Successful Separatists to Join the EU on Their Own?

Brandon Short J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 A white star against a blue background stands atop narrow red and yellow stripes. This is a slightly tweaked version of Catalonia’s flag: the added white star and blue triangle stand for Catalonian independence. On September 11th, all that commands more attention than the myriad flags are crowds roaring “In-! Inde-! Independencia!” But, one should query whether the Catalonian flag—adorned with the independence star or not—could ever hang in Brussels among EU Member State flags. There’s no bullfighting in Catalonia, and announcements in Barcelona’s metro typically sound in Catalan, not Spanish. Some […]

TPP: What Can the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and News Coverage Predict for TTIP?

Rasheed Ahmed J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017   The Obama administration released the long awaited full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on November 5, 2015. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a 12-nation deal that makes up 40% of world GDP. It has been heralded as the ‘gold standard’ of trade negotiations and the ‘docking station’ that will ultimately be open to all countries. The announcement marks the largest trade-liberalization pact in a generation. Specifically, the TPP agreement has been described as an “ambitious” and “challenging” negotiation that will set common international trade and investment standards and […]


Euro Notes

Quantitative Easing by the European Central Bank

Stacy Kim J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.”[1] —Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank Quantitative Easing (QE) is one method that central banks may use to simulate the economy, especially when other monetary policies have been ineffective. A central bank can “create” new money by buying up bonds and other securities on the market. This increases the prices of government bonds, effectively decreasing their effective yield and lowering interest rates. Lower interest rates, combined with […]

Strained Solidarity: The Challenge of EU Cohesion in the Implementation and Execution of the Union’s Resettlement Plan

Juli Brauer J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 “If ever European solidarity needed to manifest itself, it is on the question of the refugee crisis. It is time to show collective courage and deliver this European response now.”[1] —Jean Paul Juncker, President of the European Commission Europe is currently in the process of implementing a new deal for EU-wide relocation of the refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece in droves seeking asylum, primarily from a civil war in Syria. First proposed by the European Commission in Strasbourg on September 9, 2015, the plan aims to ease the burden weighing […]



Crowdfunding Venture Capital in Europe

Joanna Diane Caytas J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 Modern venture capital, at first invested by way of private equity, is a Swedish-American creation that started around WWI by ultra-high net worth families such as the Wallenbergs, Whitneys, Rockefellers, and Warburgs. Europe has always lagged significantly behind countries such as the United States[1] and Israel[2] with regards to transparent public markets. It has also never mustered commercial funding sources and government as well as legislative support for large-scale innovation finance, not to mention developed a comparable size and quality of market for risk capital. A recent EU initiative aims to […]

“All Included”: The ECJ Clarifies the Notion of ‘Implementing Measures’ Within the Meaning of Article 263(4) TFEU

Dr. Agne Limante Research Fellow, Law Institute of Lithuania This case comment will provide a short analysis of the T&L Sugars case, a decision presented by a Grand Chamber of the CJEU on 28 April, 2015, that clarified the concept of ‘implementing measures’ under Article 263(4) TFEU. It will also look at the preceding Telefónica case which is important for the formation of a fuller understanding of the said concept.

EU Flag

Large Investors, Small Obligations: How to Engage EU Shareholders

Targeted development of the EU corporate governance framework is a timely and necessary move. Aleksandra Pajic, Ph.D., LL.M. Lecturer in Securities Regulation, University of Saskatchewan The past few years have shown some serious shortcomings in corporate governance of EU companies. The lack of effective control mechanisms has contributed to excessive risk taking, and subsequently to failures of many financial and non-financial institutions. Those failures are associated with a set of factors: The lengthening of the investment chain; The increasing “short-termism” of the capital markets;[1] The remuneration of institutional investors based on the volume of assets they manage; The costs associated […]

Driving While Non-European: Reaching a European Consensus on the Exchange of Driver’s Licenses

Megan Elise Griffith J.D., Columbia Law School, 2016 For newcomers to any country, mundane issues, such as obtaining a new driver’s license, can become a time drain. Immigrants may find that they only need to bring documents to a local agency to exchange their “old” license for a new one. Unlucky immigrants, however, may need to take written and practical tests, or even fulfill a classroom requirement, to obtain the new host country license. The fundamental freedom of movement and mutual recognition have mitigated this issue for individuals moving between EU member states. However, member states’ regulations still vary considerably […]

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Financial Markets

The Use of Collateral in Financial Transactions

Saso Kraner LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2015  Where collateral secures a contractual claim, a right in rem is created. This means it is not only enforceable between the parties to the loan agreement, but also against third parties. The purpose of a collateral arrangement is to protect the collateral taker against default risk relating to the collateral giver. In the event of default, the collateral taker can satisfy her claims using the delivered collateral. Collateral is used in different kinds of transactions. This post focuses on its use in financial transactions.

Unexpected Visitors: European Security Politics and the Passenger Name Record Directive

Mark Goldberg J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2015 Introduction Over the last two years, a vicious terror organization called Daesh (sometimes known as “Islamic State,” “ISIS,” or “ISIL”) arose amidst societal collapses in Iraq and Syria. Originally an al-Qaeda splinter group, Daesh has proven its resiliency and tenacity in many strategic campaigns. Daesh infamously uses social media to an unprecedented extent for a terror group. Daesh relies on the Internet to propagandize and recruit new jihadis. Its tactics continue to succeed: Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, estimates that at least 3,000 European nationals, swayed by recruiters, left the […]



Shopping for a Case: Initial Reactions to the Commission’s Google Announcement

Alex Weaver J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2016 Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journal of European Law After five years of formal investigation, the European Commission announced today that it has sent a Statement of Objections to Google concerning its means of promoting Google Shopping results. The allegation derives from Google’s giant footprint in general online search, boasting a more than 90% market share.[1] By using this position to systemically favor its own comparison shopping service, Google, says the Commission, may be in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This Article prohibits the abuse of […]

Taking Takeover Struggles to the Courts

Julian Beach J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2016 Traditionally, hostile takeovers between publicly traded companies weren’t viewed as the European way of doing business.[1] Recognized as a common form of corporate practice in the United States since the enactment of broad Federal legislation in the 1960’s, European regulators and business leaders did not turn their full attention to hostile takeovers until the late 1980s.[2] Since the 1990s, mergers and public tender offers specifically have become increasingly frequent, leading the European Commission in 2004 to enact both updated merger regulation and a Takeover Directive to tackle hostile activity.[3] However, substantive differences […]



European Union Merger Control: The End of Member State Industrial Policy?

Géraldine Babin LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2015  The 2014 Alstom controversy again brought to light the tension between EU merger control rules[1] and the desires of Member States to pursue their own industrial policy objectives. The French government, wanting to protect its national security interests, maneuvered to obtain significant changes to the deal between ailing French company Alstom and GE, after having clearly voiced its preference for a deal with the German company Siemens.[2] Former Competition Commissioner Kroes herself pointed out the “great ideological divide” that exists between industrial[3] and competition policies. The former stems from an interventionist approach justifying […]

Between ICSID and a Hard Place

Alex Weaver J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2016 Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journal of European Law In the first issue of its 22nd volume, the Columbia Journal of European Law will publish a series of essays on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and surrounding negotiations. Here, the Editor-in-Chief frames the intra-European debate over investor-state dispute settlement. Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has been at the center of a political debate which has threatened to derail negotiations of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU. Proponents see this procedure, and the investment protection scheme behind it, as a […]


The Financial Assistance Granted by Member States to Undertakings Entrusted With the Operation of a Service of General Economic Interest: The Implications of the Forthcoming Altmark Judgment for Future State Aid Control Policy

9 Colum. J. Eur. L. 429 (2003) Cesare Rizza. The Author is an associate of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, resident in the Rome office, and a former référendaire at the Court of Justice of the EC. The interplay between the Treaty rules on State aid and Article 86(2) EC lies at the heart of the stimulating debate which has been developing following the judgments delivered by the EC courts of law in the FFSA and “CELF” cases. This debate involves the regulated industries in which incumbent operators are granted financial advantages by public authorities in order to compensate for […]