I Am a Victim Too: Applying the “Dual Victim-Offender” Framework to Reform New York’s Family Court System

Nikki Whetstone*

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Introduction

New York has two separate judicial systems within Family Court: one for children who are considered “victims,” and another for those who are considered “offenders.” Children whose parents are suspected of abuse/neglect are placed in dependency court, under the guise that the state must step in as parens patriae to protect the well-being of the child.[1] On the other hand, children who are accused of committing a crime are placed in delinquency court, with the purpose of protecting society and holding the youth accountable for their actions, while also attempting to rehabilitate them.[2] However, often the same social and familial circumstances lead children to become involved in both systems, simultaneously yet separately becoming both the “victim” and the “offender” in the eyes of the court. Despite recent efforts to reform the family court system, New York fails to address the needs of youth who are involved in both delinquency and dependency court.

This paper first examines the separate theoretical and historical foundations of both New York dependency and delinquency court, including their differing rationales and treatment of children. Part II of this paper evaluates the correlation between victimization and offending, and the connection between dependent youth and their subsequent involvement in the delinquency system (“dual-status youth”). Finally, part III explores the “dual victim-offender” framework and offers this as a lens to be used by Family Court to inform their view of children and, in turn, reform the way children are treated in the system.

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LABOUR STANDARDS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: ALL STATES SHOULD HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO PUNISH MISCONDUCTS OF MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES UNDER INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMARY LAW

Andrea Scozzaro*

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Introduction

This article addresses the issues of unethical employment practices and lack of fair labor standards in developing countries. The discussion on such problems, although ongoing since the 1970s, is still of primary importance both within the scholarly community and the wider public. The fact that big, multinational enterprises of developed countries still engage in violations of workers’ rights is certainly stunning, yet not so surprising given the connections between such violations and the current structure of the global economy. In the wake of a nearly fifty-years-old process of globalization, the worldwide implementation of competition rules in the labor market stimulates “race to the bottom” outcomes, with millions of workers in developing countries suffering from slavery-like working conditions, wages below subsistence level, and inhumane treatments.

Despite the progress made in the field of labor protection thanks to private and governmental initiatives in the last several decades, the current legal tools used to avoid massive workers’ rights violations have been proven ineffective. This is due to the apparently unsolvable friction that exists between the huge economic power of enterprises and the desperate need for economic support of developing countries.

 

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A FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO CARRY LUGGAGE: SOUTH KOREA’S RISE IN GLOBAL PROMINENCE AND ITS ENSUING EFFORT TO DETER DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

Lindsay Lee Cowen*

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Introduction

These days, the world knows South Korea (“Korea”) as the land of Samsung,[1] kimchi,[2] and k-pop,[3] for which its upsurge in popularity owes “Gangnam Style” much thanks.[4] Below the surface of this most recent hallyu, or “Korean wave”[5] of popular culture ascendency across the globe, lies the darker side of Korea. Numerous articles have scrutinized its colossal plastic surgery industry, questioning the motives behind such procedures and crowning Seoul the new plastic surgery capital of the world.[6] A generation of transnational adoptees has renewed attention in what, during the 1988 Summer Olympics,[7] was labeled the country’s greatest shame: mass exportation of unwanted babies.[8] Media outlets have exposed a “remote island where the enslavement of disabled salt farm workers is an open secret.”[9]

Nonetheless, the hallyu surges forward. Tourism rates in 2015 nearly tripled those from only a decade prior.[10] College student study of foreign languages has declined nearly 7% since 2009, yet enrollment in Korean-language classes increased 45% from 2009 to 2013.[11] In 2014, The Huffington Post launched “Huffpost Korea” and published an article proclaiming what the country can teach “the rest of the world about living well,”[12] while ignoring its low happiness index and high suicide rate.[13]

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JUSTICE IN AMERICA: DIVERTING THE MENTALLY ILL

Matthew J. D’Emic[1]

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Introduction

It has been a rough year for the criminal justice system in America. Racially charged confrontations in various jurisdictions have caused citizens to question both the substantive and procedural fairness of our justice system. Calls for reform of the grand jury process, court transparency, and other facets of the criminal justice system sound far and wide. Protestations of “no justice, no peace”—an accusation of systemic injustice—echo across the country.[2]

Legal scholars decry the shortcomings of judges and judging. One claims “misjudging is more common, more systematic, and more harmful than the legal system has fully realized.”[3] Yet another presumes “judges generally are prone to error because of . . . informational, cognitive, and attitudinal blinders,” concluding, “I do not think that the vast majority of trial judges are good . . . .”[4]

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THE ISSUE IS NOT THE ISSUE

Sara AbiBoutros[1]

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The use of public space to peacefully assemble is essential to the success of any social movement fighting for social justice. Without a space for people to come together, it would be impossible to engage with one another, to plan, and to make our civil disobedience visible to the public. The convergence of public and private institutions to curtail the use of space to quash free speech is evident through the repression of the Free Speech Movement (“FSM”) in the 1960s and Occupy Wall Street (“OWS”) in 2011. At their core, the FSM and OWS were both protesting the socio-political landscape and the power structure. Both movements used symptoms of this larger issue, such as limiting free speech and the use of public space, to create such tension that society could no longer ignore injustice. Through this approach they were able to gain political concessions; but more importantly, they radicalized previously non-politically active individuals and changed the way people think.

The FSM was able to galvanize support through confrontations with a university’s administration,[2] while OWS attempted to create the world in which it envisioned. Different ideologies of civil disobedience played a part in shaping the movements and the tactics they chose to utilize. Off-shoots of OWS, such as Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt, show that the principles of the movement could be used as a model to achieve tangible successes in multiple arenas.

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THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS OF THE 2003 IRAQ WAR: A MORAL OBLIGATION OR A MANDATORY MEASURE UNDER INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

Ramy A. Ibrahim[1]

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The 2003 Iraq War has left a long-lasting detrimental impact on the lives of Iraqis. Aside from the highly destructive sectarian divide, political instability, and stunted economic development, both the United States and the Iraqi Governments have failed to address the environmental contamination that resulted from the military munitions used during the war.[2] This article focuses on the effects of that contamination, the reaction both governmental systems have taken, how these actions constitute violations of various international treaties, and also calls for action.

Studies have linked the highly radioactive environmental contaminates left behind by the war to dramatically increasing rates of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses—including respiratory and neurological ones—in all affected areas.[3] Iraqi women and children continue to live in these hazardous conditions and are constantly exposed to these left-over toxic munitions and carcinogenic waste.[4] The failure of the U.S. and Iraqi Governments to take sufficient measures to decontaminate the affected areas, and to provide healthcare services for affected persons constitutes a blatant violation of a number of international treaties, including, but not limited to: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),[5] the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),[6] and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[7]

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E-DISCOVERY IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE: CHALLENGES OF PRETRIAL DETAINEE ACCESS

Emilee A. Sahli*

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Introduction

Imagine that you are a criminal defense attorney and your client is being charged with a felony, denied bail, and held in pretrial detention on federal drug charges. It could be years before your client has an opportunity for trial. In the rare event that your client decides to hold out against pressures to accept a plea agreement, your client’s ability to participate in their own defense is extremely limited by the conditions of their confinement. Any reasonable penological explanation for restricting their access to calls or meeting with you to review evidence in the law library and otherwise participate in the investigation process will be constructively unchallengeable in court.

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THESE PARKS ARE OUR PARKS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC PARKS IN NEW YORK CITY AND THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE’S PROTECTIONS

Thomas Honan[1]

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Introduction

The Great GoogaMooga, advertised as “an amusement park of Food, Drink, & Music” was a music, artisan food, and drink festival in Prospect Park.[2] GoogaMooga lasted two days during the summer of 2012 and three days during the summer 2013,[3] and demonstrates the negative impact of private use on public space.[4] The Prospect Park Alliance, a non-profit organization founded to raise private funds to supplement the financing of Prospect Park,[5] and Superfly, a privately owned music festival company, organized GoogaMooga.[6] The festival was strategically placed in Nethermead Meadow, a lovely tree-lined meadow located in the center of the park.[7] Nethermead Meadow is traditionally used by the public for dog walking, tossing a football, and gathering with friends for a picnic, the leisure activities one would expect to take place in a park meadow. Over the three-day event, Nethermead Meadows played host to approximately 120,000 people, and accommodated approximately 75 restaurant stands, 65 drink stations, and two stages where 20 bands performed.[8] As one Prospect Park local aptly put it, “It’s like bringing a boombox into a library – it doesn’t belong there.”[9]

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THE SEWARD PARK URBAN RENEWAL AREA, FORTY-FIVE YEARS LATER: AFFORDABLE TO WHOM?

Eugene Chen

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Introduction

From the 1950s through the 1960s, two thousand families with low incomes were displaced from their homes when the City of New York embarked on an urban renewal plan targeting the area east along Delancey Street at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, otherwise known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).[1] Forty-five years later, the “Seward Park Slum Clearance Project” left 165 million square feet of parking lot space, devoid of any signs of human occupation aside from the coming and going of vehicles. After a contentious community debate, the City Council passed a resolution (the “Resolution”) on October 11, 2012, for a mixed-use plan to develop SPURA.[2] Proposals were due to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) on May 6, 2013, and on September 18, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Delancey Street Associates LLC, a joint venture composed of L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners, had been selected to develop the site.[3] The plan calls for 60/40 residential and commercial development, with 500 units of permanently affordable housing, out of the 1000 units of housing being built.[4] In all likelihood, the developer chosen to develop SPURA will apply for the 421-a tax exemption, an incentive intended to encourage the construction of market-rate and affordable housing in New York City (the “City”).

 

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WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? SERIOUSLY, LET ME SEE YOUR GPS.

CASE COMMENT: UNITED STATES V. ALVAREZ (2014)

Rajendra Persaud[1]

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Technological advances continue to confound already dense fourth amendment jurisprudence. As modern devices become more powerful, the information stored and accessed within raises new issues that did not exist only a few decades ago. As such, new technological devices have the potential to create cases of first impression upon the courts. Recently, in U.S. v. Alvarez, Judge McAvoy ruled warrantless searches of cell phones unconstitutional in the absence of exigent circumstances or a need to protect officer safety.[2] The opinion compared cell phones to modern computers[3] that house a wealth of private information within[4] (akin to personal residences[5]). Thus, the smart phones were granted protection similar to computer hard drives[6] and all information obtained from the seized phones was suppressed.[7]

The court declined to extend this reasoning to the seized GPS device, instead comparing it to a paper map[8] despite the latter’s primitive nature. The court distinguished the GPS device by reasoning that the device’s function was designed to guide a person on a trip, the information contained was easily available to the public, and the seizure was connected to the officer’s reasonable suspicion about the defendants’ presence in the area.[9] This comment addresses the oversight regarding the technological capability of the GPS device and considers implications in light of future litigation.

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