Author: Kevin Jon Heller

My colleagues and I really like the name of our blog. And so, apparently, do others! A new Italian blog has just started that also calls itself Opinio Juris. It appears to cover issues of international law and politics as well, which makes its name more than a little frustrating. You'd think the blog could have chosen a different name,...

Last Thursday, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued its decision concerning which states, individuals ,and organizations will be permitted to submit observations on the OTP's request for a jurisdictional ruling in the Palestine situation. The PTC granted leave to 43 of the 45 potential amicus curiae. It denied one request (para. 52) because the individual who submitted it did so on behalf...

A couple of years ago, I helped GLAN and the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic prepare a 115-page communication to the OTP regarding Australia's unconscionable treatment of refugees and asylum seekers detained on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Here is the key paragraph from the Executive Summary: The communication finds that there is a reasonable basis...

I just opened twitter to learn that federal prosecutors in Brazil have charged Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes: RIO DE JANEIRO — Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his role in the spreading of cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the image of an anti-corruption task force.In a criminal complaint made public on...

On Friday, the Assembly of States Parties unanimously adopted a Swiss proposal to extend the war crime of starvation to non-international armed conflict (NIAC). Previously, for reasons that seem to be largely accidental, the war crime only applied in international armed conflict (IAC). The new war crime is, of course, a welcome development. There is no justification for ever using starvation...

As readers are no doubt aware, the OTP has once again declined -- now for a third time -- to open an investigation into Israel's violent attack on the MV Mavi Marmara. That decision was wholly expected; the only question was how the OTP would deal with the Appeals Chamber's recent decision in the Comoros situation, in which the Chamber...

I have posted the first draft on SSRN. The article is entitled, intending to be provocative, "Genuine" Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention -- Another Ticking Time-Bomb Scenario. Here is the abstract: The activation of the crime of aggression at the ICC has renewed interest in one of the oldest and most fraught questions of the jus ad bellum: whether a state is entitled...

I've been meaning to write for a while now about Stefan Talmon's brilliant new article for the Chinese Journal of International Law, which is entitled "The United States under President Trump: Gravedigger of International Law." It's rare you see an international lawyer of Talmon's eminence and care give an article such a provocative title, so you know he must be...

On October 22, Jay Sekulow -- best known as one of Trump's lawyers -- filed a request to submit observations concerning the Afghanistan appeal on behalf of the European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ), the European branch of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), an ultra-right NGO. The Appeals Chamber granted the request on October 24, despite...