Courts & Tribunals

I hope this statement by Assange's legal team is just seeking leverage for negotiations, because I think their claim would be blown out of the water by the ICJ. It would be an international embarrassment for Ecuador. Actually, it would be a further international embarrassment for Ecuador, which is already beginning to seem a little ridiculous in its involvement in this...

While I am at it, I might as well flog my most recent piece on China's relationship with international tribunals and international adjudication more generally.  This study, which attempts to document all of China's treaties that include compulsory dispute resolution clauses (excepting bilateral investment treaties), concludes that China is unlikely to become a strong supporter and participant in mechanisms of...

I've been trapped in an August blogging-slump. But I am roused to my keyboard by the surge of territorial disputes in Asia.  China has aggressively asserted ever stronger and more expansive claims in the South China Sea, sparking dissension amongst the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and serious protests in Vietnam and the Philippine.  China, Taiwan, and Japan are...

[Annie Gell is the Leonard H. Sandler fellow in the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch] report coverYesterday, Human Rights Watch released the report “Even a ‘Big Man’ Must Face Justice”: Lessons from the Trial of Charles Taylor. It examines the conduct of Taylor’s trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (“SCSL”), the court’s efforts to make its proceedings accessible to affected communities, and perceptions and initial impact of the trial in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The aim of the report is to draw lessons to promote the best possible trials of high-level suspects who are implicated in genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It is based on interviews in The Hague, London, Washington, DC, New York, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, as well as review of expert commentary, trial transcripts, and daily reports produced by trial observers. This post focuses on Human Rights Watch’s analysis of the trial’s conduct and lessons learned for future proceedings.

[John E. Noyes is the Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at California Western School of Law.] I do not share Professor Rabkin’s pessimistic view of the prospect of international arbitration of law of the sea disputes under the Law of the Sea Convention.  LOS Convention tribunals and the law of the sea experts who serve as judges and arbitrators have helped...

[Editors Note: We inadvertently posted the incomplete version of this post by Jeremy Rabkin this morning. This post has his response to Prof. Noyes earlier post today. Sorry for the confusion.] [Jeremy Rabkin is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.] Craig Allen has performed a valuable service by reporting the range of sea-related treaties where we have already committed to...

[John E. Noyes is the Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at California Western School of Law.] My thanks again to Julian Ku for organizing this series on U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea Convention.  I write to respond to Mr. Groves’s contention, based on U.S. experience in the Gulf of Mexico, that U.S. accession is not needed to further...

The Lotus Case is a pillar of international legal education.  Generations of international law students have studied the PCIJ's opinion that Turkey had not acted in conflict with principles of international law in prosecuting a French national -- Lieutenant Demons -- for his role in the collision of a French steamer -- the S.S. Lotus -- with a Turkish vessel --...

[Steven Groves is a Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C.] Many thanks to Julian Ku for inviting me to participate in this UNCLOS debate on one of my favorite websites. There is much I agree with in the posts of Professors Kraska, Noyes, and Allen. Professor Kraska correctly emphasizes the victory achieved by U.S. negotiators at UNCLOS...

 [Jeremy Rabkin is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.] I entirely accept what James Kraska says about the benefits of the navigation rules in UNCLOS.  But when Kraska and others say these rules are favorable, they mean the UNCLOS rules – as American officials would interpret them.  Unfortunately, UNCLOS doesn’t leave it up to American officials to interpret...

OK, that is a little overdramatic.  Still, the U.S. government has effectively switched sides in the upcoming Supreme Court case: Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell.  In the first incarnation of this case, the U.S. government had filed a brief supporting the petitioners and rejecting the lower court's holding that corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute. But in a...