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Last week's Economist has this excellent article (sub. req'd) summarizing some important empirical studies being done on failed states and post-conflict state building. The conclusions of a raft of recent studies give grounds for optimism: failed states and those on the brink of failure (sometimes called "Low-income countries under stress" or LICUS) can be saved with relatively low investments in...

After a ten-year process, ICRC published this week its report on the rules of customary international humanitarian law ("CIHL), i.e., customary law governing conduct during war. The full report can be downloaded here. Advance warning: I' ve been told from a reliable source in Geneva that the bound version weighs in at 300 pounds! State practice takes up one volume;...

This and other reports indicate that the oil industry is jumping on board the Law of the Sea Treaty bandwagon, setting up a battle between two key Republican constituencies: the energy industry and conservative intellectuals. According to this report, oil development companies will not invest in risky undersea oil exploration efforts until property rights over such ventures are settled....

As I sip my half pint of Weiznenbier "Edelweiss" here at Cafe Leopold in Vienna, I thought I would blog a few short posts using the cafe's free WLAN:Representatives from North Uganda visited the Hague last week to ask the ICC to hold off on arrest warrants for leaders of the Lords’ Resistance Army. As I have noted before, the...

George Kennan, one of the architects of “containment” policy during the Cold War, passed away yesterday in Princeton at the age of 101. See the Washington Post story and the NY Times story. Kennan’s writing was erudite, stylish, prolific, and influential; his “Long Telegram” written as a foreign service officer shaped the views of government policymakers on the Soviet Union...

Various blogpundits are warning that China’s new anti secession law is just a prelude to a pending invasion of Taiwan. As a descendant of a Taiwanese mother and Chinese father, with friends and relatives on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, I’ve been worried about such a conflict breaking out for years. On the other hand, since people have been...

I will be accompanying Hofstra's team to Vienna over the next week to compete in the Willem de Vis International Moot Arbitration Competition. This competition is actually a remarkable competition that draws 140 plus teams from around the world. My blogging will therefore be light or perhaps non-existent during that time, but I may break in periodically with dispatches from...

We here at Opinio Juris are planning to compile a list of what we consider to be “must reads” for anyone interested in international law. Until we build that part of the site, and because we have received some recent questions from readers as to what we would put in that category, I wanted to post an incomplete and somewhat...

Two South Korean protesters, one an elderly woman, cut off their fingers in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to protest Japan's claim to an obscure rocky uninhabited island off the Korean and Japanese coasts.In fact, there is a bit more at stake in the territorial dispute than it seems because, apparently, control of the uninhabited rocks will also...

Reuters reports that Nigeria is proposing an African court to try war crimes arising out of the Darfur crisis in Sudan. This may break the continuing deadlock (which I first discussed here)between the EU and the U.S. over whether the Security Council should refer Darfur to the ICC. Nigeria's proposal is exactly what the U.S. has been looking for. Whether...