Law of the Sea

[Rob McLaughlin is a Professor of Military Security Law and Director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW Canberra.This post is part of our New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace Symposium.] As Bill Boothby has observed in New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace, ‘It is…difficult to determine what the future seems...

[Kobi Leins is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne. This post is part of our New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace Symposium.] The machine itself makes no demands and holds out no promises: it is the human spirit that makes demands and keeps promises. In order to reconquer the machine and subdue it to human...

[William Boothby is an Adjunct Professor of Law at La Trobe University, Melbourne. This post is part of our New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace Symposium.] That the pace of technological advance has quickened markedly in recent years is well recognised.  That the law struggles to keep up is frequently pointed out.  Rather than wring one’s hands and...

This week, we are hosting another book symposium on Opinio Juris. This time, we feature a discussion of William Boothby’s new book, New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace, published by Cambridge University Press. In addition to comments from William himself, we have the honor to hear from a list of renowned scholars and practitioners: Kobi Leins, Robert...

During colonial times, the Spanish empire lost around 1500 warships carrying priceless riches from the gold and silver mines of the Andes and the Sierra Madre. Under international law, these sunken warships are immune from state jurisdiction and generally remain state property even after sinking. In the past decade, international law has sought to regulate their preservation and salvaging, both...

[Lieutenant Commander Yusuke Saito is a legal advisor in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and a military professor at Stockton Center for International Law, United States Naval War College. The views expressed in this article are of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the stance of the U.S. Naval War College and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.] Introduction The U.S.–North...

At Lawfare yesterday, two law professors at West Point defended the US's right to attack North Korea if it tests another nuclear weapon or fires another missile into Japanese waters: North Korea is extraordinarily close to becoming a global nuclear power. This very real possibility has reportedly resulted in the United States debating a limited military strike dubbed the “bloody nose” strategy. In...

[Xuechan Ma, PhD candidate at Grotius Center for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, the Netherlands, researching on the topic of international cooperation in disputed marine areas; L.L.M. & L.L.B. at Peking University, China. Email: maxuechan@gmail.com.] The Special Chamber of the ITLOS delivered its judgement of the Ghana v. Côte d'Ivoire case on 23 September 2017, which pertained to unilateral oil...

I have just posted on SSRN a draft of a (very) long article entitled "Specially-Affected States and the Formation of Custom." It represents my first real foray into both "classic" public international law and postcolonial critique. Here is the abstract: Although the US has consistently relied on the ICJ’s doctrine of specially-affected states to claim that it and other powerful states...

Longtime readers of this blog may have noticed that one of my pet peeves is the incorrect usage of international legal terms in public and diplomatic discourse.  Hence, Israel did NOT commit "piracy" during the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid despite lots of governments claiming otherwise.  Cuba is not under a "blockade" despite tons of Cuban government propaganda otherwise. So you can imagine my...