North America

Over at Just Security, my friend Adil Haque has written a fantastic post on self-defense and non-state actors. Adil’s main point is that Article 51 of the UN Charter does not apply to armed attacks by non-state actors given its “Latin American origin”. He explains how it should be read in accordance with the Act of Chapultepec, which referred only to inter-state uses of force. I highly...

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...

"It is of utmost importance to the victims' families, as a matter of record, history, justice, and closure that the full truth be revealed and discovered." ---Mohamed Chande Othman On Monday the 7th of October the UN published its report, compiled by former Chief Justice of Tanzania, Mohamed Chande Othman, on the investigation into the mysterious circumstances resulting in tragic...

I sat down with Stephen Rapp, (formerly Chief of Prosecutions at the ICTR, Prosecutor at the SCSL, and US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice; now a Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide and Oxford University’s Blavatnik School) to talk about some of the burning issues in international criminal justice today.  There are very clear challenges...

[Anthony J. Colangelo, Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law.] The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Gamble v. United States explicitly raised the question of double jeopardy in international cases by positing scenarios in which the United States may wish to successively prosecute after a prior prosecution in a foreign country for crimes occurring abroad. These cases...

[Catherine Savard is a LL.M. student at Université Laval and assistant coordinator of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice. While she collaborated to the legal analysis on genocide of Canada's National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the present post is written in a personal capacity and entirely independent of the Inquiry’s works.] Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) delivered its Final Report...

Ernesto J. Sanchez is an attorney in Miami, Florida who concentrates his practice on appellate and international dispute resolution matters. He is also the author of The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Deskbook, published by the American Bar Association. As tensions between Iran and the United States continue, Opinio Juris readers will most likely consult the numerous superb legal commentaries on whether the United...

Recently, there’s been many a discussion in the Global North on the semiotics of law. What does it mean to say there was a genocide in Canada or that ICE runs concentration camps. In general, these debates follow a similar pattern: specific groups of people are outraged that scholars and experts would use the correct terminology to describe a policy they support, because it sounds...

You have heard the news and know what might happen. Your President may pardon a war criminal. You, certainly, disapprove. You believe in international justice and you are convinced war criminals need to be punished for their crimes. You want to do something about it, but you have read the blog posts and newspapers. Judging by recent experience, the ICC will likely not help. Yours...

In my previous post, I defended the right of the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to review  the OTP's assessment of whether there were, to quote Art. 53(1)(c) of the Rome Statute, "substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice." In this post, I want to explain why I think the PTC got that review completely,...