In This Issue

Private Defense

Information Asymmetry in Private Prison Management: Monitoring and Oversight as the Basis for Private Prison Legitimacy

The most pressing concerns about outsourcing governmental functions can be resolved through more robust and innovative systems to monitor and oversee government contractors. While this argument applies to all governmental functions, the author uses private prisons as a test case. We can articulate the central problem with outsourcing governmental functions by placing greater emphasis on how monitoring and oversight could allow for the legitimacy of delegating a core government function to a private company.

Human Rights

The World Trade Organization's Missed Opportunity: How the Agreement on Government Procurement Can Be Transformed from a Vehicle of Trade to One of Human Rights

Refugees flee their homelands each day to escape the fear and violence of war, persecution, and even natural disasters.1 By seeking asylum in a foreign land, refugees leave behind many, if not all, belongings in hopes of rebuilding their lives and protecting their families.2 However, not all countries will ingly open their borders to those fleeing, and not all corporations working within those countries actively seek to uphold refugees’ basic human rights.3 In Australia, refugees arriving by boat automatically become a part of an “offshore processing” regime as he Australian government forcibly sends asylum seekers to a “Refugee Processing Centre” on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea or the Pacific Island of Nauru.4 In these remote locations, refugees and asylum seekers who sought the safety of Australian shores are instead subjected to cruel and inhumane conditions.5

Federal Government

Using Energy Savings Performance Contracts to Improve Utility Security and Resilience at Department of Defense Installations that Experience Frequent Utility Disruptions

In 2015, an official at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Trenton, New Jersey) disclosed to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the base recently experienced a disruption in its electrical power system.1 A power line had exploded, effectively shutting down the base’s power supply for an entire week.2 In describing the reason for the explosion, he explained that the power line was first installed in 1945 and was “past its expected service life.”3 The explosion—in addition to shutting down a “major Army facility” for a full week—forced the base to rely on generators for the next three weeks.4


Ensuring No Safe Haven for Government Contractors Committing Human Rights Violations Overseas

On September 16, 2007, a group of security guards opened fire on a crowd in Nisour Square in Baghdad.1 The guards killed seventeen civilians.2 Blackwater USA — a private security firm under contract with the U.S. Department of State (DoS) to provide security for U.S. diplomats in Iraq — employed the guards at the time.3 This incident triggered controversy regarding which laws should apply to Blackwater’s employees for their actions.4 It was determined that private security contractors working overseas do not operate in a legal void — they are subject to both regulations and legal enforcement under the international and domestic laws of the countries in which they are stationed.5 Remarkably, had Blackwater been a commercial corporation rather than a private security firm, the issue of liability would have yet to be determined.6


Striving for Consistency: Implied False Certification Theory after Escobar

Yarushka Rivera died after experiencing an adverse reaction to a medication for bipolar disorder.1 Prior to her death, Ms. Rivera received treatment from Arbour Counseling Services (Arbour), a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.2 Arbour employees diagnosed Ms. Rivera with bipolar disorder and prescribed the medication that ultimately led to her death.3 Remarkably, an unlicensed psychologist diagnosed Ms. Rivera, and a nurse lacking authority to independently issue prescriptions prescribed the medication.4 Not only did Arbour permit unqualified practitioners to treat Ms. Rivera, but Arbour also submitted her treatment claims to the Massachusetts Medicaid program for payment.5

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