Legal Studies Undergraduate Journal <p>The Legal Studies Undergraduate Journal (LSUJ) is a peer-reviewed undergraduate project hosted by the University of Waterloo Legal Studies Society. LSUJ is created and managed by undergraduate students, with assistance from graduate students and faculty, and is published annually. It is intended to showcase exemplary works completed by undergraduate students. We aim to promote the field of Critical Legal Studies while celebrating undergraduate work. The essays that have been selected highlight the vast areas of study within the Legal Studies realm with a variety of topics being covered.</p> University of Waterloo Legal Studies Society en-US Legal Studies Undergraduate Journal 2371-5731 <p>All authors have referenced and footnoted all ideas, words, and/or other intellectual property from other sources used in the completion of the essays. All authors have included a proper reference list, which includes acknowledgement of all sources used to complete the paper. The essays within this journal shall not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher or the author, and shall also not be resubmitted in any way for use in any academic setting. </p> Legal Studies Undergraduate Journal Volume 3 Srdan Durica Supriya Sethi Mallory Yung Midori Matthew ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-04 2019-03-04 3 10.15353/lsuj.v3i0.430 Rights, Authority, and Workability: An Examination of Universal Jurisdiction <div class="page" title="Page 7"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>In this paper, I conceptualize ‘universal jurisdiction’ along three axes: rights, authority, and workability to reduce the compendium of scholarly work on the subject into three prominent focus areas. I then review the longstanding debates between critics and supports, and ultimately show the vitality of this debate and persuasiveness of each side’s sets of arguments. By using these three axes as a sort of methodological filter, one can develop a richer understanding of universal jurisdiction, its theoretical pillars, practical barriers, and the core areas of contention that form the contemporary state of knowledge.</p> </div> </div> </div> Srdan Durica ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-04 2019-03-04 3 7 17 10.15353/lsuj.v3i0.431 Redefining “Family” and Reconstructing Child Custody in Canada <div class="page" title="Page 18"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This paper examines the historical revolution of custody regimes in Canada, with an emphasis on the twentieth century to custody practices in courts today. The law has undergone numerous critical reforms to restructure what it means to be a ‘political family’ from a socio-legal perspective. The last decade we have seen a shift in the framework that is used to define the concept of family that has paralleled changes in cultural values, gender roles and parental responsibilities. The family model now largely focuses on the child as the centerpiece of the framework, which has been reflected in recent legal reform and ongoing revisions. The shared responsibility of raising a child as a married couple reflects both the slight shift in the gender roles defined by society and the changing configuration of family dynamic from the nuclear family norm (traditional) towards a “political family”. In the political family, whether the family is “traditional” or “alternative”, each family is understood as a product of collective decisions and values. As a result of the shift towards the understanding of intersectionality within families, and acceptance of the complexity of families, legal activism in family law studies are pushing for legislation that can provide an all- encompassing framework to better aid judges within the family courts to reduce the potential for bias in judicial review. Family law studies are challenging the language around rights and obligations within a family and pushing for a “responsibility framework”. Further, the field is emphasizing a child-centered approach to divorce cases, to assess what is ultimately in the best interest of the child. As we understand the role of the family in society, we need to emphasize the responsibility of a parent and what it means to be a parent to better understand what ‘custody’ of a child entails in today’s society.</p> </div> </div> </div> Supriya Sethi ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-04 2019-03-04 3 18 29 10.15353/lsuj.v3i0.432 The Racialization of the African-American and Asian-American Citizen: A Comparative Legal Analysis <div class="page" title="Page 30"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The perception of racial tensions in North American settler countries has historically been focused on the Black/White relationship, as has much of the theoretical legal discourse surrounding the concept of “race”. Accordingly, the scope of much critical race scholarship has been restricted such that it rarely acknowledges the racial tensions that persist between different racially-excluded minorities. This paper hopes to expand and integrate the examination of Black and Asian-American racialization that critical race scholars have previously revealed. It will do this by historicizing the respective contours of Black and Asian-American racialization processes through legislation and landmark court cases in a neo-colonial context. The defining features of racialization which have culminated in the ultimate divergence of each group’s racialization will be compared and contrasted. This divergence sees the differential labeling of Asian-Americans as the ‘model minority’ while Blacks continue to be subjugated by modern modalities of exclusionary systems of control. The consequences of this divergence in relation to preserving existing racial and social hierarchies will be discussed in the final sections of this paper.</p> </div> </div> </div> Mallory Yung ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-04 2019-03-04 3 30 41 10.15353/lsuj.v3i0.433 The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: The Good, the Bad, and the Useless <div class="page" title="Page 42"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), put forth in 1989, has generated a global movement in the direction of protecting and promoting children’s rights, resulting in a paradigm change in how children are perceived under the law. While the UNCRC is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in human history, children’s fundamental right to protection continues to be violated through actions instigated by adults, such as neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or being coerced into marriage, wartime activities, or slavery. This is largely a result of international law having no empirical legal binding; since countries are sovereign upon themselves, without domestic enforcement by each individual signatory country, there is no obligation to abide by the terms of international treaties. Applying both a philosophical and legal framework, this paper seeks to provide a critical analysis of whether or not treaties of international law, such as the Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), have an unyielded potential to spark a tangible, beneficial change in the promotion of children’s rights, or if such doctrines are nothing more than glorified pieces of lip service paid to bolster the signatory country’s face value on a global level.</p> </div> </div> </div> Midori Matthew ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-04 2019-03-04 3 42 57 10.15353/lsuj.v3i0.434