Weekend Roundup: April 14-20, 2012
Continuing on last week’s discussion of the CIA’s General Counsel Speech, Ken Anderson posted about Daniel Klaidman’s guest post on Lawfare discussing the genesis of this speech. Another speech attracting attention was Deborah Pearlstein’s discussion of a dinner talk by General Michael Haydn, CIA Director under George W. Bush, on interrogation and common article 3. If you’re losing track of the various speeches on national security law, you may find Ken’s link to his compilation on Lawfare useful.
Our main event this week was a symposium on Social Activism and International Law, inspired by Kony2012’s launch. Charli Carpenter started the symposium with seven critical questions about social media campaigns and international law. Sarah Kendzior discussed the power of celebrity compared to the power of law in Kony2012. Roger Alford discussed how social media activists differ from earlier norm entrepreneurs, while Beth Karlin discussed how social media were not the only factor in the success of Kony 2012 and described other contributing factors, not in the least more conventional forms of political activity. Mark Kersten argued for “multi-media scholarship” in his discussion of how social media force IL and IR scholars to repackage their message. The ability to reach a broader audience was also raised by Jay Milbrandt who argued that we should embrace “slacktivism” rather than giving it the negative connotation it has. Mark Drumbl was more sceptical about “clicktivism” and contrasted the image of child soldiers in Kony2012 with the reality on the ground. Anne Herzberg asked whether social media can be useful in the monitoring and enforcement of international humanitarian law and Julie McBride questioned whether the video will help or hinder child soldiers. Michael Newton’s concluding post discussed how the legal situation in Uganda is far more complex than the Kony2012 video revealed because Kony could still receive full amnesty even when captured rather than voluntarily surrendering. As a bonus, Ken Anderson added this cartoon about social media activism.
In other posts this week, Duncan Hollis posted a link to this year’s Federalist Society Symposium on National Security held in DC on April 5, and linked to the materials of a recent conference in Toronto on Stewardship in Cyberspace.
Julian Ku posted about the new evidence in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ International Criminal Court complaint against the Catholic Church, and was amazed by recent poll figures suggesting that Britons hold a negative view of the European Convention on Human Rights. He also discussed that the Philippines are unlikely to get China to ITLOS over the South China Sea dispute because China frames its claims as territorial sovereignty rather than as an issue of the boundaries of a state’s EEZ under UNCLOS.
Kevin Heller discussed a BBC news report about a possible deal between Libya and the ICC to try Saif Gaddafi in Libya.
Ken Anderson tried to apply to Coase Theorem to the Sudan-South Sudan conflict.
Peter Spiro built on last week’s post in another post about the end of “-isms” in International Relations theory, recommending a recent article in AJIL. If you’re looking for further weekend reading, Roger Alford recommended Dean Berman’s new book on Global Legal Pluralism. Deborah Pearlstein posted about Michigan Law Review’s latest Annual Survey of books in the law, featuring her book review of Ben Wittes’ latest book Detention and Denial.
Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!