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
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A Private Cause of Action

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A Private Cause of Action

Date: October 29, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: This report discusses the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the purpose of which is to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense by protecting service members, enabling them to "devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation." This report also discusses related legislation, such as the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which clarifies certain SCRA protections.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: Report concerning multilateral and bilateral Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). Topics include the common traits of SOFAs, historical examples, and current examples.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A Private Cause of Action

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A Private Cause of Action

Date: January 24, 2011
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: This report discusses the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and related legislation, such as the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which clarifies certain SCRA protections.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Date: June 18, 2009
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: Multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). SOFAs establish the framework under which military personnel operate in a foreign country. The United States is currently party to more than 100 agreements that may be considered SOFAs. A list of current agreements included at the end of this report is categorized in tables according to the underlying source of authority, if any, for each of the SOFAs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: This report discusses the provisions of multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad, which are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFA), and provides a survey of current SOFAs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Transfer and Disposal of Military Property

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Transfer and Disposal of Military Property

Date: February 28, 2013
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: This report provides an overview of the various authorities available under the current law and describes the planning process for the redevelopment of base realignment and closure (BRAC) properties.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Military

Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Military

Date: February 25, 2013
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: This report provides background information regarding military assistance in securing America's borders. The report discusses the role of Armed Forces that provide support to law enforcement and immigration authorities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues

Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues

Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report provides an overview of the requirements of the First Amendment related to military personnel's religious exercise. It analyzes current constitutional and statutory requirements regarding religious exercise, and provides a framework for how Congress and the courts might consider future issues that arise related to service members' religious exercise. Specifically, the report examines the limitations placed on service members in uniform in the exercise of their religious beliefs. It also examines the role of military chaplains and the legal challenges associated with publicly funding religious personnel. The report analyzes efforts by Congress and the Department of Defense to address the constitutional concerns that are raised by these issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning the Prospective Security Agreement Between the United States and Iraq

Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning the Prospective Security Agreement Between the United States and Iraq

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael John; Mason, R. Chuck & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report begins by discussing the current legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken, with specific attention paid to past agreements entered with Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. The report then discusses the oversight role that Congress plays with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States. Finally, the report describes legislation proposed in the 110th Congress to ensure congressional participation in the conclusion of a security agreement between the United States and Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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