Courts & Tribunals

Professor Thomas M. Franck of NYU passed away on Wednesday afternoon.  (NYU has a page in memoriam, here.) I assume his name is well-known to most, if not all, of the regular readers of Opinio Juris. Suffice it to say that his contributions to the field of international law are staggering, as can be glimpsed from his bio on his faculty page. But a faculty...

No sooner had I read Peter's thought-provoking post about transparency in arbitration than I received a link to a complete webcast of this month's arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army over the Abyei region.  This appears to be the first videotape/webcast of an arbitration between a state and...

Following-up on my post on Harold Koh's nomination, in the first part of this post I round-up some links to new stories and blog posts on Koh's nomination. Moreover, after the "continue reading" jump there is a guest post from Prof. Anupam Chander of the University of California, Davis (currently visiting at the University of Chicago). In the last day or so,...

Two genocide bloggers at Change.org, Michelle F. and Michael Bear Kleinman, have been engaged for the past couple of weeks in an impassioned debate over the ICC's arrest warrant for Bashir.  (See here and here, for the most recent installments.)  Michelle, though certainly not unaware of its dangers, supports the warrant.  Kleinman opposes it, blaming the ICC -- like many...

Sometimes reporters and their editors get caught up in a narrative, and forget to check facts.  In the case of Obama and Bush, every Obama pronouncement is presumed to represent a reversal of Bush policy. But this is simply not true (see, e.g., the predictable and apparently uncontroversial Obama retention of Bush policies on  "extraordinary rendition" and airstrikes in Pakistan).   And so it...

The ICJ has issued a judgment in the case Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine). At first glance the issue may seem relatively dry: whether Serpents' Island in the Black Sea is an inhabited island or just a rocky outcropping. But the answer to this question affects maritime delimitation lines, which in turn resolves which country has the right to...

Although prospects of a marriage remain somewhat fanciful, if the ASIL Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the International Criminal Court has its way, the Obama Administration will take steps to engage with the ICC in a much more positive way than the Bush Administration.  The Task Force issued a press release today, proposing several significant shifts in U.S. policy. ...

It’s an absurd question, of course, to ask why the environment is more important than human rights. But it’s actually true: protecting, say, endangered sea turtles is far more important than protecting against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of individuals. At least that is the conclusion if one is examining the question from an international trade perspective. The...

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Monday in the terrorism victim asset attachment case of Iran v. Elahi. (Transcript here). The case is extraordinarily complicated but it boils down to a question of statutory construction. Elahi was one of a handful of terrorism victims who received payment from the United States government under the 2000 Victims...

I have not been following the work of the Cambodia special chambers, which is probably why I found these views by James Bair (blogger, loyal OJ reader and soon-to-be JD from Northeastern Law School) all the more informative and interesting.  Bair is a former legal intern at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and has followed the...

[Susan Benesch is a Fellow at the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown Law Center and a former guest blogger here at Opinio Juris.] Simon Bikindi, the Rwandan pop star whose two-year trial at the ICTR was apparently the first attempt to criminalize music in international law, was just convicted of incitement to genocide but not, after all, for his...

Deborah has already mentioned the bill introduced this week by Rep. John Conyers for a National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties, which has been likened in the popular press to a truth and reconciliation commission. (A draft version of the bill is available here.)  I think this is a somewhat inaccurate description.  Truth commissions are often focused  on understanding...