Throughout its history, the sport of boxing has been known as much for its corruption and scandals as its courageous fighters and memorable bouts. Indeed, it has been referred to by some as the “red light district of sport[s].” Even today, boxing is plagued by fixed fights, exploitative promoters, greedy sanctioning organizations, unnecessary health risks to boxers, incompetent state athletic commissions, and a confusing array of weight divisions with a multitude of world champions. In fact, some of these issues were so rampant that Congress, in 1996 and 2000, passed federal legislation attempting to address them.
“Ring-fencing” is often touted as a regulatory solution to problems in banking, finance, public utilities, and insurance. However, both the precise meaning of ring-fencing, as well as the nature of the problems that ring-fencing regulation purports to solve, are ill-defined. This Article examines the functions and conceptual foundations of ring-fencing. In a regulatory context, the term can best be understood as legally deconstructing a firm in order to more optimally reallocate and reduce risk. So utilized, ring-fencing can help to protect certain publicly beneficial activities performed by private-sector firms, as well as to mitigate systemic risk and the too-big-to-fail problem inherent in large financial institutions. If not structured carefully, however, ring-fencing can inadvertently undermine efficiency and externalize costs.
Voluntary, altruistic bone marrow donation is currently the only way for a patient to receive a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, bone marrow supply from altruism falls far short of demand, making our current system insufficient. Although scholars have proposed numerous avenues for change in the organ donation system, no change has occurred. One popular proposal is to remove the ban on compensation for organ donors, a proposition that implicates many ethical and moral concerns. These moral concerns include the commodification of the human body, the exploitation of poor and ethnic minority populations, and the general repugnance that some feel toward the idea of selling one’s body. If compensation for bone marrow donation were allowed, we may be able to overcome these moral and ethical concerns both conceptually and constitutionally. For example, the ethical dilemmas that surround bone marrow donation are somewhat abated by the rise of new technologies that have made bone marrow donation much less intrusive.
The law, when enforced, can be used to punish. It can be used to articulate social norms and standards, or to define and impose responsibilities. The law can also, however, be used to change incentives. When designed and implemented properly, a good law establishes an incentive structure to align legal responsibility with the actors most able to change a set of results–actors who possess the information, the institutional capacity, and the practical ability to make a difference in a situation our society seeks to improve. In the 111th Congress, Representative Jim McDermott proposed just such a law. The Conflict Minerals Trade Act took note of America’s role in the devastating humanitarian crisis it may be inadvertently fueling: the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC” or “DR Congo”), home to the minerals used in nearly every electronic product known to man. Indeed, as the conflict in DR Congo reaches catastrophic proportions, the interests of a broad range of actors have become affected–and not just those in the human rights sector. Mineral wealth extracted from DR Congo is likely inside of your cell phone, your laptop, and your iPod–raising issues of personal responsibility as well as corporate ethics. As individuals confront their consciences and investors contemplate their stock portfolios, issues once relegated to the realm of international human rights law have now entered many of our homes and purses without us realizing. The Conflict Minerals Trade Act, by altering an incentive structure, aimed to change that unawareness by bringing our trade legislation in line with both our best interests and our ethical responsibilities.
The dawn of the twenty-first century has proven to be one of the most tumultuous times for the U.S. airline industry. Industry losses have soared past a staggering $40 billion since 2001, sending four of the top seven airlines—United, Northwest, Delta, and USAirways—into bankruptcy protection with others, such as American, narrowly averting the same fate. One estimate put half of all seats on U.S. airlines as belonging to bankrupt carriers. At a time of relative economic growth for the economy as a whole, the airline industry has weathered massive layoffs and pension fund defaults, including United’s record $9.8 billion pension default in 2005. As several airlines are seeking new sources of capital as one way to help regain the posture of the aviation industry as a global leader, a law restricting foreign sources of capital continues to hamper their ability to do so. This law requires that U.S. airlines be controlled and owned by U.S. citizens and prohibits foreign investors from owning 25 percent or more of the voting stock of any such airline. Tracing its roots back to when Calvin Coolidge was president, and strengthened during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the law, which was originally designed to protect an infant industry, has now hamstrung an ailing industry from seeking vital sources of capital. A rethinking of this restriction seems particularly ripe for discussion.
Stock exchanges around the world have recently discarded their traditional mutual membership structure in favor of a for-profit corporate format. This development increased fears of conflicts of interest, as for-profit exchanges are more sensitive to pressures from their constituents and more likely to abuse their regulatory powers. In this Article, we explore the allocation of regulatory responsibilities to market infrastructure institutions, administrative agencies, and central government entities in the eight most influential jurisdictions for securities regulation in the world. Examining how different jurisdictions answer this question is particularly pressing given the December 2006 transatlantic stock exchange merger activity. After discussing the role of self-regulatory organizations in the oversight of modern stock exchanges, we report the results of a survey of the allocation of regulatory powers in a sample of eight key jurisdictions. In that survey, we examine the allocation of such powers at three levels: rulemaking, monitoring of compliance with these rules, and enforcement of rules violations. Based on our findings, we categorize these jurisdictions in three distinct models of allocation of regulatory powers: a Government-led Model that preserves significant authority for central government control over securities markets regulation, albeit with a relatively limited enforcement apparatus (France, Germany, and Japan); a Flexibility Model that grants significant leeway to market participants in performing their regulatory obligations, but relies on government agencies to set general policies and maintain some enforcement capacity (United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia); and a Cooperation Model that assigns a broad range of power to market participants in almost all aspects of securities regulation, but also maintains strong and overlapping oversight of market activity through well-endowed governmental agencies with more robust enforcement traditions (United States and Canada).
With these words, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings expressed her belief that the progress of state public educational systems can only be trusted when supported by objective data. While the age-old adage, “numbers do not lie,” may hold true in other contexts, the results of recent investigations along with teacher and student allegations suggest that in the educational context, sometimes they do. In an effort to feign educational progress on state assessment tests in reading and mathematics, educators at state and local levels are targeting low performing students by excluding these students from state testing, providing them with the correct answers to test questions during their exams, and doctoring their answer sheets before submitting them for scoring.
What is driving educators to cheat? The answer: federal legislation known by four words that are striking fear into educators throughout the nation – “No Child Left Behind.” Few can argue with the Act’s admirable goals: (1) ensuring that all children, including those historically left behind, are held to the same academic achievement standards; (2) narrowing the achievement gap between our nation’s highest and lowest performing students; and (3) ensuring that all students reach grade-level proficiency by 2014. However, under No Child Left Behind (“NCLB”), states, school districts, and public schools are exposed to an escalating series of harsh sanctions when student test scores on state assessment tests in reading and mathematics do not reflect “adequate yearly progress.” Since NCLB’s inception, many of our nation’s school districts and public elementary and secondary schools have failed to make adequate yearly progress. These failures have coincided with reports indicating that teachers and administrators, whose jobs and professional reputations are at risk, are doing whatever it takes to portray progress.
Smokers who plan to smoke in public probably should avoid doing so in Calabasas, California. On March 17, 2006, the city’s smoking ban – the most restrictive in the nation – went into effect, prohibiting smoking virtually anywhere that another person could be exposed to secondhand smoke. The designated nonsmoking areas include bars, restaurants, stadiums, parks, and even streets and sidewalks. The Calabasas ordinance is enforceable by the city attorney or, alternatively, by “private enforcers,” private individuals filing civil suits on behalf of themselves or the general public. To avoid the various penalties that the ordinance imposes, smokers must seek out special smokers’ outposts or light up at least twenty feet away from nonsmokers or others who might potentially be offended by secondhand smoke.
This Article develops a novel analytic framework for the evaluation of regulatory policy in cyberspace, flowing from a reconceptualization of cyberlaw’s central premise: software code as complementary to law rather than its substitute. This approach emphasizes the linkage between law and software; for every quantum of legal-regulatory impact, there is a corresponding equilibrium of regulation-by-software. The absence of a legal right will stimulate a technological response – and such incentives will moderate with increased rights. Rather than “code is law,” this is “code meets law.”
Every year the Army Corps of Engineers receives over 74,500 applications for permits under section 404(a) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), the provision regulating the discharge of fill or dredged material into the nation’s waters. Consequently, when the Supreme Court granted certiorari for Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“SWANCC”) – a case potentially affecting the status of millions of acres of American wetlands – property owners, developers, and environmentalists alike were wise to stand up and take notice.
The SWANCC case involved a Chicago-area consortium of municipalities that sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for denying them a permit to develop a landfill on an abandoned mining site because the Corps had determined the land in question was inhabited by migratory birds. The central issue presented in SWANCC was whether this “Migratory Bird Rule” – a regulation promulgated in 1986 giving the Corps authority over wetlands populated by migrating birds – was a proper exercise of jurisdiction under the CWA. The municipalities argued that the rule exceeded the Corps’ authority because the CWA was meant to only regulate waters that are navigable or that adjoin navigable waterways. On the other hand, the Corps argued that its jurisdiction is not limited by traditional notions of navigability; rather it has authority over the nation’s waters to the fullest extent of the Commerce Clause.