Weekend Roundup: March 24-30, 2012

by An Hertogen

This week many of our readers will have attended ASIL’s 106th Annual Meeting. If you weren’t in Washington DC, we brought you Harold Hongju Koh’s statement regarding Syria (with the possibility to comment here). Deborah Pearlstein drew conclusions for further research from the panel on international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Via ASIL Cables, you could also read Joanne Mariner’s summary of the 2012 Grotius Lecture and Tai-Heng Cheng’s interview with James Crawford.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel to reopen the argument on the issue of extraterritoriality, we had a series of guest posts on the ATS and extraterritoriality. Eugene Kontorovich noticed how the ATS arguments make for strange bedfellows. He also pointed out how the real issue in Kiobel is universality, rather than extraterritoriality. Universality, he then argued, is a constitutional question. Anthony Colangelo built on a previous post and addressed three related questions on universal civil jurisdiction and choice of law. On the topic of universal civil jurisdiction, Eugene Kontorovich also posted about a Dutch decision awarding damages to a Palestinian, residing in the Netherlands, against Libyan officials for torture that took place in Libya. Thomas Lee’s guest post examined the ATS’ history and argued that the ATS has nothing to do with universal jurisdiction, but “provides a right of action and original jurisdiction in federal district court to aliens injured under circumstances implicating U.S. sovereign responsibility”. The passage of the Canadian Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act prompted Julian Ku to argue that this Act is better than and different from the ATS.

Doug Cassel and Kevin Jon Heller continued last week’s debate on the legal tactics of Chevron and its opponents in Ecuador. Kevin also posted about other legal and environmental problems facing Chevron.

Ken Anderson announced his book Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order and explained why he chose to publish it with the Hoover Institution PressKen also drew our attention to Matthew Waxman’s recent article “National Security in the Age of Terror”. Via Lawfare, he brought us a quote from a Washington Post article on the CIA’s enigmatic “Roger”.

Kevin Jon Heller quoted from a Guardian article on the destruction of solar panels in the West Bank. He also discussed Thravalos’ guest post on Lawfare on the question whether conspiracy is a war crime, and referred to Dawood Ismail Ahmed’s article in Foreign Policy questioning why successive Pakistani governments have not taken any legal steps to challenge the legality of drone attacks within Pakistani territory under international law.

Peter Spiro discussed how the “political question” doctrine took a hit in the Supreme Court’s decision to send the Jerusalem passport case back to the lower court for resolution on the merits. Peter also considered whether the UK could legally strip Asma al-Assad from her British citizenship.

Julian Ku argued that Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s claim of diplomatic immunity based on customary international law to dismiss the civil lawsuit by the Sofitel hotel maid against him has little chance of success.

In a follow-up to the symposium earlier this month on the latest issue of the NYU Journal of International Law and Policy, four comments were posted to Ryan Goodman’s article Asylum and the Concealment of Sexual Orientation.

Readers in New York City might be interested in an event on The ACLU in American life, on Tuesday, April 3 at Cardozo, featuring Opinio Juris’ own Deborah Pearlstein. And, if you are in the UK on May 19-20, you may be interested in attending the inaugural conference of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Have a nice weekend!


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