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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2010
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Piracy: A Legal Definition

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. ยง 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Date: June 2, 2010
Creator: Nichols, James E.
Description: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Date: August 25, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: This report discusses the rebanding plan announced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2004 to consolidate public safety frequencies and those used by some other operators, such as utilities. The plan was announce in an attempt to eliminate interference caused by the close proximity and interleaving of commercial and public safety channels.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: March 26, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report provides a brief summary of the Supreme Court's patent law jurisprudence in the following nine cases that have been decided since 2005: Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift-Eckrich, Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, eBay v. MercExchange, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., MedImmune v. Genentech, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., Microsoft v. AT&T, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., and Bilski v. Kappos.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department