The International Law and Practice Section Is Now the International Practice Section

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We are pleased to announce that the International Law and Practice Section has a new name. The NCBA Board of Governors has approved our changing our name from the International Law and Practice Section to the International Practice Section. Being lawyers, much thought — and discussion — went into this name change.  Essentially, our new name is more accurate, incorporating diverse areas of legal practice such as immigration law. It also accurately reflects that many legal practices contain cross-border issues without being engaged in the practice of public international law. By changing our name, we position ourselves as a more inclusive Section that recognizes and provides value added to the diverse practices of our current and future Section members.

 

From Russia With New Evidentiary Rules

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By Thomas McCall and Emily Doll

Originally published 24 October 2018 by Law360. Updated by the authors March 2019.

In May 2010, the International Bar Association (“IBA”) adopted the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration—a revised version of the original 1999 IBA Rules which, in turn, had replaced the IBA Supplementary Rules of 1983.  The IBA Rules serve as a resource to parties and arbitrators setting forth the procedures by which evidence is gathered and presented in international arbitration proceedings.  The IBA Rules were drafted in an effort to bridge the gap between “the procedures in use in many different legal systems,” which is “particularly useful when the parties come from different legal cultures” (IBA Rules, Forward).  By all accounts, that effort has been hugely successful.  Since their inception, countless arbitral tribunals—both commercial and investment—formed by members from different legal cultures—both civil and common law—have relied upon and applied the IBA Rules.  However, that success has not come without criticism, the loudest of which is the perceived dominance of the common law tradition over the IBA Rules.

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The State of US Immigration Law From I to V (ICE to Visas)

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By Jennifer Parser

The state of US immigration law is in the throes of tremendous change, under unprecedented stresses as an old system struggles to deal with today’s reality.  Mass migration is common and will only increase, the World Bank attributing 140 million alone due to climate change by 2050, seen today both by the professional seeking better career opportunities and the refugee grasping for personal security.  This article will parse through recent news and, due to article length constraints, focus on topics most relevant to employers and their counsel.

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Agrees To Pay Nearly $1 Million To Settle Apparent Violations Of U.S. Sanctions Against North Korea

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By Christine Savage, John C. Richter, J. Michael Taylor, Shaswat K. Das, Patrick J. Togni and Clinton R. Long

This enforcement action underscores the risks of sourcing products without comprehensive supply chain due diligence.

On January 31, 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that e.l.f. Cosmetics, Inc. (“ELF”) agreed to pay a $996,080 settlement arising from 156 apparent violations of OFAC’s North Korea Sanctions Regulations (“NKSR”).  According to OFAC, between 2012 and 2017, ELF imported 156 shipments of false eyelash kits worth a combined total of over $4.4 million into the United States from two Chinese suppliers – importantly, however, those Chinese suppliers sourced materials for the kits from North Korea.  Upon discovering the apparent violations, ELF voluntarily disclosed them to OFAC.  The statutory maximum civil penalty amount for the apparent violations was $40,833,633, but OFAC agreed to settle with ELF for $996,080 as a result of ELF’s immediate disclosure and cooperation, among other mitigating factors.

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Wake Tech Hosts Workshop on the Legal Aspects of International Trade

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David Garrett spoke at the workshop.

On Feb. 12, Wake Technical Community College hosted a workshop on the Legal Aspects of International Trade at its Research Triangle Park campus. The workshop aimed to educate small businesses that wish to expand globally. The North Carolina Bar Association served as a sponsor of the event, and several NCBA members attended the event or presented on various topics.

It included sessions on intellectual property, government assistance, contracting, dispute resolution, and export control in the international realm. Fifty people registered to attend the event. The workshop was well-received, and Wake Tech hopes to make this workshop an annual event.

 

 

No Protection Under Law: The Unchecked Prevalence Of Violence Against Women In North Korea

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By Miranda Tarlton

The government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, has found itself under international scrutiny and condemnation once again as the subject of a recent Human Rights Watch report. The report, entitled “You Cry at Night but Don’t Know Why,”documents the sad reality faced by many women in North Korea. Women are routinely raped, abused, and mistreated by men—many of whom are government officials—with impunity. The crimes all too frequently go unpunished and unreported, as rape is typically not investigated or prosecuted unless significant injury or death have also occurred. In North Korea, there are no services, safe houses, clinics, resources, or other forms of aid for victims. As a result, sexual violence and abuse is a widely tolerated and unaddressed part of daily life.

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The 60th Anniversary of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: A Middle Eastern Retrospect and Emirati Prospect

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By Sara Koleilat-Aranjo and Issey Park

This year, 2018, marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention”). Last June, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) hosted a special event, understandably in New York, to commemorate the diamond jubilee of what one late Swedish arbitration lawyer, Dr. J Gillis Wetter, referred to as early as 1990 as “the single most important pillar on which the edifice of international arbitration rests”.

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The Consequences Of A Trade War With China

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By Sophie Allen

Last spring, Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro responded to a question about the risk of imposing unilateral tariffs saying, “I don’t believe any country is going to retaliate for the simple reason that we are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world. They know they’re cheating us, and all we’re doing is standing up for ourselves.”

Eight months and several rounds of tariffs later, the U.S. and China have failed to come to an agreement on trade between the two nations. While U.S. and Chinese leaders have expressed their interest in reaching a deal at the G20 Summit in Argentina on November 30, a lack of progress on key issues makes a cease-fire increasingly unlikely.

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EU Commission Forces Google to Change Its Business Model in Android Operating System

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By Kemal Su

On July 18, 2018, the EU Commission released a Press Statement,[1] announcing that it had fined Google €4.34 billion (approximately $5.1 billion) for illegal practices concerning Google’s Android mobile operating system. This is a record fine imposed by the EU Commission, and probably a milestone in a series of antitrust fines against U.S.-based technology companies.[2] The Commission also ordered Google to alter its practices within 90 days to comply with EU antitrust law and announced that the company’s failure to do so would result in penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide revenue of its parent company, Alphabet.

The Commission concluded, “Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search, since 2011.” This is similar to a Section 2 violation of the Sherman Act.

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Time Is Money

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By Jennifer Cory

On Aug. 28, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is extending and expanding suspension of its premium processing service for cap-subject H-1B petitions as well as all H-1B petitions filed at the California and Vermont Service Centers. The original suspension applied only to cap-subject H-1B petitions and was set to expire on Sept. 11, 2018. The suspension is now set to expire on Feb. 19, 2019.

 So what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, employers will be unable to request premium processing for H-1B change of employer or amended petitions for a change in job or location. This is particularly problematic for those H-1B workers who are hesitant to change employers before having an approval in place or for those who must travel internationally and require a petition approval for visa issuance. With regular processing times averaging five (5) to seven (7) months, H-1B workers are in a Catch-22. They want the security of an approval before moving to a new employer, but it is impractical to think that a new employer will be able to keep a position open for that length of time. To add insult to injury, USCIS only provided two weeks’ notice concerning the extended and expanded suspension. The announcement afforded little time for employers to file or to convert a case to premium processing before the deadline.

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