Weekend Roundup: June 9 – 15, 2012

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we launched our first Readers’ Survey. Your input is valued so we hope you will find a spare ten minutes to complete yours if you have not yet done so. If you want, you can enter your e-mail address in the draw to win a $100 Amazon gift voucher.

In our regular posts this week, Kevin Jon Heller asked about publishing etiquette when reviewing a journal essay that has already been published as a substantial blog post. Many readers offered their views in the comments. Kevin also discussed Moreno-Ocampo’s heated exchange with the Sudanese Ambassador at the UN and argued that diplomatic immunity should extend to lawyers with the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defence based on para. 5 of SC Res. 1970.

Deborah Pearlstein discussed two commentaries on the NY Times reports on targeted killings and argued that what is necessary to advance the debate is a stable definition of what it means to be at war, and Duncan Hollis discussed a debate addressing whether there should be an international treaty on cyberwarfare.

Julian Ku asked whether the equality guarantee under the ECHR requires the Church of England to perform same sex marriages and noted how Public Citizen’s objections to the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement are similar to those traditionally made by right-wing sovereigntists. He also discussed a change in stance by the US government in the Kiobel case, as it now argues that the complaints lack a sufficient nexus to the US.

Two guest posts discussed the Charles Taylor sentencing judgment, published last week. Mark Drumbl remarked how the judgment reflected traditional international law by taking into account as aggravating factors the extra-territoriality of Taylor’s acts and his status as a head of state. Dov Jacobs focused on the limits of international criminal law in addressing mass atrocities.

Another focus this week was the debate in the US on accession to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Julian Ku discussed an op-ed by Donald Rumsfeld announcing his opposition. Julian then introduced the Opinio Juris discussion here. Favoring accession, Craig Allen criticized the argument that the US has nothing to gain from accession since the most of the Convention reflects customary international law; James Kraska argued that UNCLOS is a force multiplier for American power; and John Noyes defended the Convention’s regimes on fisheries, oil and gas, and seabed minerals, as promoting US interests. On the second day of our debate, introduced here by Julian, Jeremy Rabkin cautioned against accession because of the risk that compulsory arbitration might interpret treaty rules in ways contrary to US interests. Steven Groves partially agreed with the arguments in favor of accession but argued that the overall benefits are outweighed by the costs.

As always, we also had our two regular features: the overview of upcoming events and the weekday news wraps.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!


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