International Journal of Public Law and Policy (5 papers in press)
Filling the Legal Vacuum in Combatting Maritime Crimes: A Law Reform Strategy for Malaysia
by Abdul Ghafur Hamid
Abstract: Maritime security is a major concern for Malaysia as a maritime nation. The crucial question nevertheless is whether there are adequate laws to deal with key maritime crimes that need effective law enforcement measures. The paper finds that no maritime offences are criminalized in the Penal Code, the principal criminal law of Malaysia and that there is neither an anti-piracy law nor any other special criminal law available in Malaysia to combat maritime crimes. A regretful failure to apply a more appropriate law to prosecute Somali pirates demonstrates well an urgent need in Malaysia for a law reform that can effectively combat maritime crimes. On the basis of an analysis of the laws of selected common law countries, the paper concludes with suggestions on proposed maritime crimes law to be recommended to the Government of Malaysia.
Keywords: Maritime security threats; maritime crimes in Malaysia; lack of anti-piracy law; proposed maritime crimes law.
Digital Privacy in a Media Orientated World
by Rolf H. Weber, Dominic Staiger
Abstract: The article introduces the key challenges in a media oriented world focusing on the surveillance capabilities as well as potential risk mitigating strategies. Furthermore, the key legal provisions governing media devices in the US, the EU as well as Australia are assessed.
Keywords: surveillance; media; privacy; data protection.
Immunity or Exemption: What are the consequences for sovereign wealth funds with respect to sovereign immunity vis-
by Sally-Ann Joseph
Abstract: Sovereign wealth funds are generally afforded tax relief either via immunity or tax exemption. Often considered synonyms, these terms are disparate in a taxation context. While differences in definition are subtle, they are more marked when one considers their basis, legal system, institutional process and how they are derived. Notwithstanding the outcome of granting immunity and total exemption is identical, in that no tax liability arises, their impacts and effects on institutions, processes and policies differ. Assessing the effects of immunity and exemptions against tax principles has mixed results. Neither immunity nor exemption is manifestly superior with respect to efficiency and simplicity whereas an exemption is clearly preferable when equity and certainty are considered. A balanced assessment therefore favors the provision of a tax exemption over the granting of immunity. However, if immunity is to be granted, it is recommended that government interference be minimized and the process is transparent.
Keywords: Sovereign wealth funds; tax policy; sovereign immunity; immunity; tax exemptions; tax principles; tax relief; investment income.
A Visible Theme in The History of International Law: International or Global?
by Shadi Alshdaifat
Abstract: It is widely recognized that international law is a Western construct. It is connected to the history, politics, and political domination of Western colonialism and imperialism which has created a form of order. As such, the paper will discuss the works of such scholars as Bluntschli, Lorimer, and Westlake, and will then trace the development of international law into the 20th century. Nineteenth-century international law was forged entirely in Europe; it was the expression of a shared European consciousness and culture, and was geographically located within a community of Europeans, which meant a community of Christians, and hence so called civilized people. Despite this self-proclaimed superiority of European international law, the paper will also discuss the Asian contributions, the African efforts, and the Latin American developments of international law in a chronological statement through the centuries. In particular, the17th Century, 1815, 1918, and 1945 as international law changed in the post-World War II era when a larger community of nations developed Contemporary International Law.
Keywords: International Law; History; Global; Contemporary; Regional.
EXPERIENCES OF THE EBOLA VICTIMS IN THE WEST AFRICAN NATIONS: A HUMAN RIGHTS IMPERATIVE
by Gloria Nwafor, Anthony Nwafor
Abstract: The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the West African sub-region has thrown up issues of human rights challenges. Inadequate information on the causes of the disease and the status of the surviving victims have led to ostracisation of the victims and their relatives in the society. The paper recounts the experiences of the victims through anecdotal evidence and examines the human rights implications. A conclusion is drawn that the exclusion of the victims of Ebola from benefits enjoyed by other members of the society amounts to discrimination. The continued of stigmatization of the surviving persons and their relatives has the tendency of deterring victims of Ebola and others upon the occurrence of issues of public health emergency from voluntarily disclosing their health status. This will result in an unpleasant consequence of aggravating, rather than mitigating, the spread of viral diseases in the society.
Keywords: Ebola; Victims; Discrimination; Stigmatisation; Human rights.