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Unsettling the Border

When scholars and lawmakers ask who should be allowed to cross borders, under what circumstances, on what ground, they often leave unexamined the historical formation of the border itself. National borders are taken for granted as the backdrop against which normative debates unfold. This Article intervenes in contemporary debates about border crossing by bringing the border itself into the frame...

Genres of Universalism: Reading Race Into International Law, With Help From Sylvia Wynter

Taking note of the relatively limited accounts of race in contemporary international legal doctrine, this Article posits a thought experiment: What would international legal theorizing look like not from the place of the metropole or the colony, but rather from the journey of the enslaved, from the barracoon to the hold of the slave ship to the plantation?

“Unwhitening the World”: Rethinking Race and International Law

International law was invented in 1789 when Jeremy Bentham introduced the term to replace the outmoded “Law of Nations.” Since then, international lawyers have spent a lot of time thinking about whether international law is in fact law, and little or no time considering how international law is international, or what international actually means. In this Article, I want to suggest that, with the...

Writing Race and Identity in a Global Context: What CRT and TWAIL Can Learn From Each Other

This Article argues that issues of race and identity have so far been underemphasized, understudied, and undertheorized in mainstream international law. To address this major gap, this Article argues that there is an opportunity for learning, sharing, and collaboration between Critical Race Theorists (CRT) and scholars of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).

Race and Empire: Legal Theory Within, Through, and Across National Borders

Mainstream and official analysis casts the international system and its hegemonic actors in the role of humanitarian responders to a Libyan crisis not of their making. Instead, we draw attention to the ways in which the racial framing of Libya—and its subordination to imperial prerogatives—proved critical to international governance regimes for managing the country—and the bodies and territory...

Human Rights on the Border: A Critical Race Analysis of Hernandez v. Mesa

Abstract This Comment presents a historical investigation of the violence that establishes nationstate borders. The analysis deconstructs the U.S.–Mexico border through the 2010 shooting of Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca, and asks how the framework of human rights may provide justice for this tragedy. In 2015, the Fifth Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals heard his parents’ legal case en banc...

The (Un)Holy Shield: Rethinking the Ministerial Exception

Abstract Does the First Amendment’s protection of religious expression mean religious organizations are free to discriminate on the basis of sex, disability, or race in hiring and firing employees? In 2012, the Supreme Court answered this question with a unanimous yes, finding that religious organizations are immune from liability for discriminating against their employees, as long as those...

Bad Characters and Desperados: Latinxs and Causal Explanations for Legal System Bias

Abstract Although there is a long history of prejudice and discrimination against Latinxs within the U.S. legal system, there is a dearth of research seeking to understand the causal underpinnings of the biased decisionmaking that works against them. While this Article discusses the experience of those who identify as Latinx broadly, in several areas it pays special attention to the experience of...

The Last Resort: Tourism Development on Garífuna Territories in Honduras Through the Lens of Structural-Dynamic Intersectionality

Abstract This Comment analyzes the gaps in protection the Garífuna have experienced both in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and the U.S. asylum system, taking two cases as case studies. It argues that, in the face of increasing tourism development, the Afroindigenous Garífuna community is positioned at an intersection between the structures of a neoliberal economic model on one...

Supremacy, Inc.!

This Article opens a new area of study at the intersection of federalism and privatization. The Supremacy Clause was designed to resolve inevitable conflicts between two sovereign powers. It was not designed for the triangulated clashes amassing in our privatized era—between states and private actors doing federal work.

Deploying Race, Employing Force: ‘African Mercenaries’ and the 2011 NATO Intervention in Libya

This Article reflects on the ongoing synergies between international law, race, and empire, as they are articulated in the regulation of mercenarism. It does so by examining the role of the racialized and gendered narratives about “African mercenaries” in the context of the UN Security Council authorization of the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya.