Monday, January 23, 2006

International Law Guarantees University Financial Aid

Or so the plaintiffs in Ficken v. Rice (D.D.C. Jan. 17, 2006) argue. Interesting strategy. If a university committee denies your child's application for financial aid, just make a federal case out of it. And for good measure, include Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as a defendant and claim a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.
In Ficken, plaintiff's son applied for and was denied financial aid at the American International School of Bucharest in Romania. So he sued and claimed an international law violation. Judge Urbina wasn't buying it. "Though the U.N. Declaration may be considered evidence of customary international law, it is not legally binding or self-executing... [and] the U.N. Convention offers no support for the plaintiffs because it has not been ratified by the United States."
The decision is not yet available online, but you are not missing much.

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