Europe

On November 7, 2016 I was privileged to organize a conference at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway on the topic of UK trade and Brexit. The conference had three sessions: (1) UK trade negotiations with the EU; (2) UK trade negotiations outside the EU; and (3) UK’s post-Brexit status within the WTO. The participants were...

Urbanization is our present and it is our future. Between the recently completed UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, and Iraqi Special Operations entering Mosul, starting what may be a complex urban battle, we face constant reminders that  much of the world’s population now lives in cities. How we protect rights, foster development, interact with the environment, organize politically,...

Early in my international law education here in the U.S, I learned that dualism was an unfortunate concept that led to the U.S. violating international law obligations by failing to enforce those obligations (usually treaties) domestically.  But today's blockbuster decision from a UK court in Miller v. Secretary of State on Brexit should remind us that dualism can also work to...

I want to call readers' attention to Oxford University Press's publication of my friend Kim Priemel's new book, The Betrayal: The Nuremberg Trials and German Divergence. Here is the publisher's description: At the end of World War II the Allies faced a threefold challenge: how to punish perpetrators of appalling crimes for which the categories of 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity'...

[Laurence R. Helfer is the Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law at Duke University and a permanent visiting professor at iCourts: Center of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen.] As the world reacts to the shock of the Brexit referendum, international lawyers are turning their attention to the mechanics of Britain’s departure from the EU.  Article 50 of...

As the news of the Brexit vote sinks in, commentators are considering the various longer-term effects. I want to highlight the how this may look to the EU’s neighbors to the east, especially countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia that have recently signed Association Agreements with the EU. Ukraine and Moldova, in particular, have electorates that are divided over...

I know Opinio Juris is probably not where you come for sports updates but this is the result of the ConIFA World Football Cup, a tournament among unrecognized regimes, minorities, and stateless peoples. For more on ConIFA, statehood, and nationalism, see my post from last week.  In short, the ConIFA competition may be an attempt not only to boost morale within...

States and nations are not the same thing.  A nation is a "people," itself a difficult concept to define under international law. A state is a recognized political entity that meets certain criteria. International lawyers will tell you that the characteristics of statehood include a defined territory, a government, a permanent population, and the ability to enter into foreign relations. State...

Just when I thought I was beyond being genuinely horrified, Roving Bandit called my attention to a story in Der Spiegel that almost defies words: The ambassadors of the 28 European Union member states had agreed to secrecy. "Under no circumstances" should the public learn what was said at the talks that took place on March 23rd, the European Commission warned...

Russia scored a huge victory today when the Hague District Court in the Netherlands court set aside a $50 billion arbitral award in favor of former shareholders of Yukos.  The $50 billion Yukos award (that's BILLION, with a "B"),  is the largest arbitration award ever issued, was issued under the authority of the Energy Charter Treaty.  The arbitral tribunal (hosted at...

Along with more than 200 other lawyers and academics, I have signed an open letter to the UK government criticising the UK's investigatory powers bill -- aka the "Snooper's Charter." Here is the text of the letter: The UK’s investigatory powers bill receives its second reading on Tuesday. At present the draft law fails to meet international standards for surveillance powers....

It's been a rough U.S. presidential campaign season for free traders.  Very few of the candidates are willing to voice broad support for free trade and free trade agreements.  Populist candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have made some pretty ugly noises about either violating or withdrawing from existing trade agreements. Although Donald Trump's proposal for 45% tariffs on China...