International Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance: How A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Executive Compensation Regulation Shows Diverging Trends in Corporate Governance

By: Cory Howard


Due to the recent global financial crisis, shareholders, voters, and politicians in North America and Western Europe have become increasingly concerned with the issue of executive compensation. New regulations, such as say-on-pay shareholder votes, tax incentives to reduce base salary, and hard caps on bonuses have been enacted in an attempt to slow the exponential growth in the value of executive compensation packages in the both the United States and Europe. This trend is not limited to developed nations, as in other regions, most notably in Asia, executive pay has risen dramatically, oftentimes with little or no oversight by government institutions or formal regulatory bodies. This article attempts to track how nations in different regions of the world regulate executive compensation and tries to extrapolate from that sample general tendencies in order to detect broader corporate governance trends. Using this methodology, this article identifies two basic trends: (1) one hemisphere is enacting strict legal mechanisms to control executive compensation, while the other relies on self-regulation and (2) one region is using executive compensation reform to open up access to the corporate governance arena for small investors, while the other is attempting to limit shareholder democracy.


Download Article (PDF)


Back to the Bad Old Days: President Putin’s Hold on Free Speech in the Russian Federation

By: Rebecca Favret


This paper addresses new laws promulgated in Russia that restrict freedom of speech. Each implicitly reflects the Kremlin’s hostility toward political dissidence in the aftermath of serious protests following President Putin’s reelection and elections to the legislature. Disturbed by the outcry, which took place in cities across Russia but also infiltrated the Internet, the Russian legislature passed strict laws censoring Internet speech, prohibiting behavior and speech deemed “extremist,” and curbing the size and type of public gatherings. The new legislation is examined through the lens of some of the Kremlin’s most infamous and recent targets: namely, the Internet blacklist and the Pussy Riot scandal. It is critical to note that these instances are only a fraction of the free speech violations that are now legal in the Russian Federation. These incidents—and the potential for similar and more serious results under the new laws—are of grave importance. For many Western critics and Russian citizens, the laws confirm their worst fears about Putin’s autocratic leanings: that with the stifling of free speech will come a complete unraveling of Russian democracy. The effect is a grim future for the former Soviet Union eerily reminiscent of the past.


Download Article (PDF)

Deepening Confidence in the Application of CISG to the Sales Agreements Between the United States and Japanese Companies

By: Yoshimochi Taniguchi


Parties to contracts between U.S. and Japanese companies usually agree to exclude the application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) from the sales agreement due to concerns about how the CISG will be interpreted and/or incompatibility with U.S. or Japanese law or both. In this paper, the author will suggest that the more countries amend their laws in accordance with CISG standards and the more national courts develop a unified interpretation of the CISG, the more the CISG will represent harmonized law, and as such, contracting parties should not exclude it. This paper begins with the trend concerning the application of the CISG to sales agreements between U.S. and Japanese companies, and the backgrounds and reasons for such a trend. In the second part, the author introduces some laws that either are or will be amended to be in accordance with CISG standards. The author also introduces some uniform laws that are already in effect and that can resolve some problems arising from the application of the CISG. In the third part, the author introduces and analyzes some cases in which the courts made decisions referring to decisions made in other countries concerning the CISG, which in turn has led to the development of a unified interpretation of the CISG among many countries. Finally, the author concludes that the CISG will represent harmonized law in the future, which will ultimately give both contracting parties more substantive benefits, and contracting parties therefore should not exclude it.



Download Article (PDF)

Legal Stability Contracts in Colombia: An Appropriate Incentive for Investments?

By: Alvaro Pereira


Current global economic order is openly dependent on foreign direct investment (FDI). At least since the 1990’s, developing countries have competed to attract FDI because it is considered the best source of technology, employment, and financial resources. Colombian Law 963 of 2005, which is a response to said competition, allows the signature of Legal Stability Contracts (LSCs) between the State and investors for the purpose of stabilizing the rules guiding investment decisions, for up to 20 years. Legal stabilization has successfully proven to increase FDI inflows. Nevertheless, incentives for FDI have been subject to several critiques that stress the excess of benefits for foreign investors in exchange for weak commitments. Wanting to examine the suitability of Law 963 in attracting FDI to Colombia and in increasing its positive impact, I studied the “state of art” of FDI and legal stabilization, the historical causes of incentives in Colombia, and the LSCs signed in the light of said Law. The results of my study reveal that the law successfully met the expectations of increasing investments. However, there is also evidence that early reforms and a deficient application of the law prevented it from increasing the positive social impact of investments.



Download Article (PDF)

The Rule of Law, Constitutional Reform, and the Death Penalty in The Gambia

By: Andrew Novak


This article explores the murky constitutionality of the death penalty in The Gambia. This article will pay particular attention to the apparent contradiction between the legislature’s abolition of the death penalty for drug trafficking as unconstitutional and the Supreme Court’s decision in Lang Tombong Tamba upholding the death penalty for treason. Given the widespread trend toward abolition within Africa, even in other Islamic-majority countries, The Gambia is one of the few steadfast supporters of capital punishment.



Download Article (PDF)