International Human Rights Law

Douglas Burgess, Jr., has an editorial in today's New York Times arguing that piracy should be considered terrorism in order to facilitate its prosecution.  It's an interesting piece, but I have to take issue with the basic premise of his argument: Are pirates a species of terrorist? In short, yes. The same definition of pirates as hostis humani generis could also...

Not according to Stephen Zunes, a Middle East expert at the University of San Francisco.  He recently posted an essay on Alternet that should give progressive international lawyers and scholars pause.  Here is the introduction: For those hoping for a dramatic change in U.S. foreign policy under an Obama administration -- particularly regarding human rights, international law, and respect for international...

An association of 15 human-rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and the Save Darfur Coalition, released a devastating report today on the Sudanese government's cynical -- and mendacious -- PR campaign to convince the international community that it is committed to bringing peace to Darfur.  Here is a snippet of the executive summary: This report focuses on four...

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting has a must-read article today about how ordinary Darfuris view the OTP's decision to seek arrest warrants for the rebel leaders allegedly responsible for killing 12 peacekeepers in 2007.  According to the article -- and all the usual caveats about anecdotal evidence apply -- the response is uniformly negative: Yasir, an IDP (internally displaced...

Remarkable story in today's Wall Street Journal, front page, December 1, 2008, about a Latvian economist arrested and held for several days - not finally charged - for expressing pessimistic sentiment about the stability of the Latvian financial system: How to Combat a Banking Crisis: First, Round Up the Pessimists   Latvian Agents Detain a Gloomy Economist; 'It Is a Form of Deterrence' I have stuck...

I thank Professor Bartow for taking the time to respond to my article, but I am deeply disappointed that she has chosen to misrepresent many of its principal arguments, attacking me for statements I did not make and for opinions I do not hold. My article is a comparative study of constitutional obscenity jurisprudence in the United States and Canada....

I was asked to respond to Bret Boyce’s recent article, published in the Yale Journal of International Law and entitled “Obscenity and Community Standards.” My one sentence summary of his thesis is this: Pornography is private sexual expression with which legislatures and courts should not interfere. Although this article was published in a forum dedicated to international law, it doesn’t...

  In this article, I present a comparative study of constitutional obscenity doctrine in the United States and Canada, and argue that the community standards test that has long been the touchstone of this jurisprudence cannot be reconciled with fundamental principles of freedom of expression and conscience.    In the United States, the imposition of community standards of morality is at odds...

Thanks to Matt for his very thoughtful comments. I agree with almost all of them, so will take this opportunity to amplify on some of the issues he raises. First, Matt “wonder[s] whether administrative detention is so underdeveloped, or so expansive a concept, that it doesn’t make sense to think of it as a single model at all.” I agree with...