By Nikhil Mahadeva
Nikhil Mahadeva is a fourth year B.A./LL.B. (Hons.) student at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.
Sovereignty, in its simplest understanding, implies an ultimate authority over something, usually some form of polity. Nowadays, it is a term used to describe the independence and autonomy of states, i.e. the right of each state to decide its own affairs. This ultimate authority is said to derive from the people that form that state. In this regard, international law forbids nations from interfering with the sovereign matters of other nations . This concept is complemented by the principle of self-determination, which is the right of people to choose who or what governs them. However, this element of choice does not always lend itself to the recognition of sovereignty. So how does one determine its sovereignty?
Sovereignty can be legitimately acquired by accretion, cession, conquest, effective occupation and prescription. This list excludes less legitimate methods, such as outright annexation. When considering ‘occupation’ as a prerequisite, two of these methods come to mind.
By Natalie Behrends
Natalie Behrends is a rising senior majoring in History at New York University.
In a news cycle that seems to be characterized by the unthinkable and the unexpected, it comes as a surprise how consistently immigration comes up as a topic for debate and legislation. Recent months have seen immigration and immigration law crop up in debates over DACA, the DREAM Act, refugee bans, border walls, the isolation and detention of migrant children, and countless discussions over American identity in an age of uncertainty. Often, these stories throw into stark relief the vulnerable positions of those outside the US’s definition of citizenship.
In his 1958 dissent from Perez v. Brownell, former Chief Justice Earl Warren famously summed up citizenship as “man’s basic right, for it is nothing less than the right to have rights .” Warren was, perhaps unintentionally, borrowing a phrase from philosopher Hannah Arendt, who coined the term “right to have rights” in relation to citizenship in her 1949 article, “The Rights of Man: What Are They?” Arendt and others would go on to explore this idea of citizenship as the “right to have rights” in more depth throughout the next half-century, expanding our understanding of what citizenship is, and how it operates .
By Kirsten Mullin
Kirsten Mullin is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Economics at Haverford College.
In a landslide victory for women’s reproductive rights, the Republic of Ireland voted in a country-wide referendum on May 26th, 2018 to overturn the country’s restrictive abortion ban. Before the vote, Irish abortion law - legislated in the 8th amendment to the constitution and the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act - was among the most restrictive in the world. The law allowed for abortion only in cases where there was a clear threat to the life of the mother and barred even cases of incest or rape . The Irish electorate’s decision to repeal country’s the abortion ban leaves Malta as the only country in Europe where women are unable to access safe and legal abortions within the country’s borders .
Throughout its history, the Republic of Ireland has been viewed as a conservative state rooted in the values of the Catholic Church. However, the influence of the church has been waning in recent years largely as a result of a string of highly publicized sex scandals. Accompanying the decline in influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland has been a string of legislative reforms reflecting an increasingly liberal society; contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and now abortion have all been legalized in the past 30 years .
By Sheerene Mohamed
Sheerene Mohamed is a B.A./LL.B. (Hons.) student at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) in Kochi, India.
An Indian regional magazine, Grihalakshmi, published their March 2018 issue, featuring an actress suckling a baby with her breast uncovered and nipple concealed by the baby’s mouth . The headline reads “Mothers tell Kerala [the Indian state where the magazine circulated], ‘please don’t stare, we need to breastfeed’”.