Thursday, April 13, 2017

HARVARD LAW REVIEW

Chapter 2
APRIL 10, 2017
"Puerto Rico has, for over a decade now, faced deep crisis. Sustained levels of emigration to the continental United States have resulted in millions in “forced exile" the territory’s debt has ballooned to $72 billion and its relationship to the United States remains unsettled."

"This Chapter offers an internationalist explanation of Puerto Rico’s troubled position, demonstrating through recent developments that Puerto Rico is in fact non-self-governing under international law, and explores the implications of this finding pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations and other applicable instruments."

"This Chapter proceeds in three sections.
Section A examines the 1953 adoption of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 748 removing Puerto Rico from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. It argues that the decision was ultimately mistaken — the United Nations misjudged the level of internal autonomy enjoyed by Puerto Rico — and that the gap between the label thrust upon the island and the facts on the ground has only grown, as measured by U.N. criteria"

This Chapter extends and updates the argument, incorporating recent developments to make a more forceful case for a lack of internal governance.

Section B uses case studies to demonstrate that Puerto Rico does not meet U.N. standards for self-governance.
  • First, it argues that the extensive powers of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Oversight Board are fundamentally incompatible with U.N. standards for self-government.
  • Second, it explains that the federal government’s apparent power to impose capital punishment for federal crimes committed on the island is further evidence of significant interference in internal matters.
Section C analyzes Puerto Rico’s potential remedies at the United Nations, as well as under other international legal instruments.

MUST READ:  (>25 pages)

The International Place of Puerto Rico