Columbia University

Posts by authors affiliated with Columbia University

12 October 2023

Ruling by Bullying?

On September 8th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States partially upheld a decision that found several public officials had coerced social media companies into censoring speech protected by the First Amendment. Americans call this area of the law jawboning, in reference to the jawbone that is moved when we talk, which is the mechanism through which pressures of these sorts are exerted. It is an extremely complex area of law, in part because distinguishing when public officials cross that fuzzy legal line depends on assessing the nature actions that happen in private settings in light of vague and ambiguous criteria. In this piece, I explain why the occurrence of jawboning might be an inevitable feature of modern administrative governance, and outline both the unique challenge that underpins any attempt to legally regulate it as well as the urgency of doing so.  

Continue reading >>
0
06 September 2023

Europe’s Digital Constitution

In the United States, European reforms of the digital economy are often met with criticism. Repeatedely, eminent American voices called for an end to Europe’s “techno-nationalism.” However, this common argument focusing on digital protectionism is plausible, yet overly simplistic. Instead, this blog post argues that European digital regulations reflect a host of values that are consistent with the broader European economic and political project. The EU’s digital agenda reflects its manifest commitment to fundamental rights, democracy, fairness, and redistribution, as well as its respect for the rule of law. These normative commitments, and the laws implementing those commitments, can be viewed in aggregate as Europe’s digital constitution.

Continue reading >>
0
13 May 2023

The Local Case Against Climate Deception

Over the last five years, cities, counties, and states across the country have sued fossil fuel companies alleging that the companies violated state law in marketing their products as safe. Collectively, these cases are known as climate liability cases or climate deception cases. On April 24, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a petition on whether the climate liability cases should be heard in state or federal court. As a result, 11 cases will be remanded to state court to move towards motions to dismiss, discovery, and trial. The Supreme Court’s decision also helps plaintiffs in more than a dozen other cases argue that their cases against fossil fuel companies should be heard in state court, rather than federal court, and it may help spur more state court filings. This is a big win for the city, county, and state plaintiffs, after they engaged in a five-year fight to keep the cases in state court.

Continue reading >>
0
22 March 2022
, ,

What the ECtHR Could Learn from Courts in the Global South 

Climate change is increasingly recognized as an issue of justice. In response to climate injustice, climate litigation in domestic and regional tribunals – pursued primarily by non-state actors such as non-governmental organisations and youth movements – has emerged as a global phenomenon. In this article, we explore two potential lessons for the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) when adjudicating climate cases. These lessons arise from the expansive understanding of standing under South Africa’s transformative constitutional regime, and the recognition of extraterritorial jurisdiction in the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR).

Continue reading >>
0
23 August 2021

Call it by its right name

The former High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina has imposed a law, which bans genocide denial and the glorification of convicted war criminals and represents the first concrete attempt to fight against the culture of denial regarding the mass atrocities committed in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. It is, however, unlikely that an internationally imposed memory law can contribute to reconciliation in a deeply divided society.

Continue reading >>
0