2012 U.S. Digest on International Law Now Available
Today, the U.S. Department of State released the 2012 edition of its Digest of U.S. practice in international law (for a brief history of these Digests see the accompanying press release here). Under the editorship of CarrieLyn D. Guymon, the Digest addresses a number of key international legal developments from 2012, including the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and the (failed) attempt to get Senate Advice and Consent to the Disabilities Convention and UNCLOS among other treaty action. In addition, there was plenty of activity on the litigation and arbitration front:
U.S. government involvement in litigation and arbitration also contributed to the development of international law in 2012. In U.S. courts, the United States filed amicus briefs in two Hague Abduction Convention cases; opposed petitions for certiorari in two extradition cases; participated in litigation challenging the constitutionality of statutes implementing treaty obligations; and filed statements of interest and suggestions of immunity in several cases involving foreign sovereigns and heads of state. State and federal courts issued important decisions with international law implications, including: the Nevada Supreme Court’s remand of the death penalty case of Carlos Gutierrez due to the lack of consular assistance; the Fourth Circuit’s opinion that the definition of piracy under the law of nations is the definition contained in Article 15 of UNCLOS; and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that most of Arizona’s state immigration law provisions are preempted by federal law, and that only individuals—not corporations—can be liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act. The United States also made submissions to arbitral bodies, including a voluminous submission to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in Case B/1, several submissions to NAFTA and CAFTA tribunals, and submissions in arbitral proceedings initiated by the Republic of Ecuador against the United States which resulted in dismissal of Ecuador’s claims for lack of jurisdiction.