Recent Posts

According to reports, Japan has agreed to modify its U.S. security alliance to include Taiwan as a "common strategic objective." This may sound innocuous enough, but it means that for the first time, Japan will publicly commit itself to support the U.S. in the event of a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan. What kind of support it will provide is...

A new poll shows that the number of Americans who view the U.N. favorably has fallen from 44% to 37% since November, suggesting that the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal is having a negative effect (via Instapundit). Of course, only 54% of those polled were actually following the story but of those, 62% believe Kofi Annan should resign. These poll results are...

Not surprisingly, some environmentalists are unhappy with Gregg Easterbrook's op-ed piece in yesterday's NY Times about the Bush administration's so-called "Clear Skies" initiative. (Julian posted earlier on Easterbrook's discussion of Methane-to-Markets in the TNR here, which Easterbrook views as complementary to Kyoto in terms of reducing greenhouse gases.) While we try to remain focused on international law here at Opinio...

I saw Hotel Rwanda the other day with students from my Human Rights class. (Yes, it finally has been released in the Midwest.) If you haven't yet seen it, go. And take your students. Talk about it in class. It is rare when a Hollywood film addresses issues central to international law and human rights; rarer still when it goes...

According to this report from Agence France Press, Iraq's interim government has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. There is no confirmation of this news from the ICC itself. This could be big news because depending on the nature of Iraq's acceptance, U.S. soldiers operating in Iraq could become subject to the ICC's jurisdiction (assuming that Iraq and...

A group of Rwandans has filed a suit in France accusing French soldiers of complicity with the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. The French government probably bears the greatest responsibility (other than the Hutus themselves, obviously) for what happened in Rwanda given France's longtime support for the Hutu government there and its relatively large military presence in the region. ...

The EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana may be conceding defeat on Europe's effort to win a Security Council referral for Darfur. Apparently, winning U.S. support for a referral is a lost cause, although there is still some hope that the U.S. will abstain from vetoing the referral. Still, the UK government has suggested its position on an ICC referral...

Peggy’s post on ethical lawyering and the torture memos brings up some excellent points concerning the ethical responsibilities of all lawyers and government lawyers in particular. As she and David Luban point out, lawyers do not act in an ethical vacuum, but have certain responsibilities (most clearly exemplified in the ABA’s Model Rules) concerning how they act and the advice...

Professor Stephen Krasner, of Stanford's Poli-Sci Dept, has been appointed the new Director of Policy Planning for the State Department. Prof. Krasner is a well-respected scholar of international relations (his most recent book is Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy and an excerpt is published here) who will bring even more academic credibility to the post than usual, which has traditionally been held...

Today marks the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, one of the most ambitious international environmental treaties in world history. Whatever I might think of the merits of this project, the creation of a worldwide system of greenhouse gas emission regulation certainly is worthy of my interest as a scholar...

In a brief essay on Slate, David Luban argues that the OLC lawyers who drafted the infamous "torture memos" (discussed in earlier posts, here, here and here) have something in common with Lynne Stewart, who was convicted last week of material support for her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian cleric serving a life sentence for his role in...

The General Assembly and Security Council approved the selection of Ronny Abraham to become a member of the International Court of Justice today. M. Abraham replaces Justice and former President of the Court Gilbert Guillaume, who resigned last Friday, and will serve out the rest of Guilliame's term, which expires in 2009. M. Abraham, a widely-respected French international lawyer, takes...