Weekend Roundup: October 20-26, 2012
This week on Opinio Juris, we welcomed Kristen Boon as our newest permanent blogger. In her opening post, she examined why the Security Council’s work on Children and Armed Conflict has turned out to be controversial. She also asked readers’ opinion on a recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture claiming that there is an emerging customary norm that the death penalty is a form of torture or cruel and degrading treatment. Finally, she discussed a trail blazing class action against the UN over a cholera outbreak in Haiti. The claim was filed by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, but the UN has yet to respond. Kristen discussed possible reasons for the delay in the response and also analysed whether the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations could provide a basis for liability.
The foreign policy debate in the US Presidential election provided inspiration for our bloggers. Peter Spiro noted how international law was generally ignored during the debate, but at least it wasn’t reviled as during the time of George W. Bush. Julian Ku and Kevin Jon Heller both discussed Gov. Romney’s claim that Iranian President Ahmadinejad should be indicted under the Genocide Convention for incitement to genocide. Julian argued that the ICJ would be the most likely forum or otherwise the ICC if a Security Council referral could be obtained. Kevin disagreed with Julian’s assessment that the US courts would not have jurisdiction. Further on the upcoming US elections, Julian called the threats by Texas officials to arrest OSCE election officials a kerfuffle about nothing.
Julian followed up on earlier posts, arguing that the US could legally engage in military action against the attackers of its embassy in Benghazi, even if the attackers are not linked to al Qaeda.
We also drew your attention to some new and old scholarship. Kevin plugged a new article by James Stewart on “Overdetermined Atrocities” and the release of a paperback edition of his book on the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Peter Spiro revisited Abram Chayes’ book on the legal aspects of the crisis. Finally, Duncan Hollis posted about the ALI’s announcement to start work on a 4th Restatement on the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, to be co-ordinated by Sarah Cleveland and Paul Stephan.
Have a nice weekend!