General

[Sam Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists.] Prof Harold Hongju Koh in his new book, Trump vs. International Law, has issued an explicit call to arms to American lawyers and bureaucrats to resist Donald Trump’s egregious attempts at dismantling the ‘postwar system of global governance’ and replacing it with ‘a far nastier, more brutish world, less respectful...

In 2004, three friends and legal scholars – Peggy McGuiness, Chris Borgen, and Julian Ku – started Opinio Juris, the first blog dedicated to the informed discussion of international law. In 2006, the blog took on its first two non-founding members, Roger Alford and Kevin Jon Heller. Over the past 14 years new voices came and (to a much lesser...

The start of a new school year is a time for transitions and it is no different for Opinio Juris.  Since  founding the website fourteen years ago with Peggy and Julian, Opinio Juris has surpassed all of our original hopes with the additions of Roger, Kevin, Duncan, Peter, Ken, Deborah, Kristen and Jens. Each new member brought a unique perspective...

[Kate Vigneswaran is Senior Legal Advisor for Middle East and North Africa for the International Commission of Jurists and Sam Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists.] Can the International Criminal Court now exercise jurisdiction over the deportation of Syrians into Jordan? This question was raised by a Syrian lawyer last week at a discussion on the sidelines...

[Michail Vagias is a Senior Lecturer in Law and the Program Manager of ProCuria 2017-2018 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.] The problem: Discussing Sudan’s immunities in the absence of Sudan On 29 March 2017, Sudanese President Al-Bashir made an official visit to Jordan for the 28th Arab League Summit. Jordan neither arrested nor surrendered him to the International Criminal Court, pursuant to the arrest...

The International Justice and Human Rights Clinic at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia (“Allard IJHR Clinic”) is seeking a full-time junior supervising attorney to work with the Clinic Director and law student clinicians from Sept 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019, with possible extension.  The Allard IJHR Clinic works on pressing human rights and global...

[Greg Fox is Professor of Law and Director of the Program for International Legal Studies, Wayne State University Law School.  He thanks Ashley Deeks and Brad Roth for their comments.] Among the many confusing reports coming out of the Helsinki Summit on July 16 is the news that Presidents Trump and Putin reached a series of “agreements.”   Whatever these agreements may...

The International Law Commission, a group of 34 independent experts, charged with codifying and progressively developing international law is currently (and exceptionally) meeting at the UN in New York. Amidst the substantive conversations on subsequent practice of treaties, customary international law, and jus cogens, there are two other themes that are coming up with some frequency. First, the lack of gender diversity...

[Jennifer Trahan is an Associate Clinical Professor at the NYU Center for Global Affairs.] In his Opinio Juris post on May 4, Dr. Mohamed Helal provides a defense of Russia’s veto use related to the situation in Syria, one that he defends as in line with the negotiations of the UN Charter and a vision of veto power of the permanent members of...

On Thursday, May 10, the US Supreme Court will decide whether to grant cert in Budha Ismail Jam v.  International Financial Corporation(IFC), a case involving environmental damage arising from a coal fired power plant in India.    Two excellent blogs on the case written by Rishi Gulati in 2017 can be found here. The case turns on the interpretation of a US...

[David Hughes and Yahli Shereshevsky are Grotius Research Scholars at Michigan Law School.] Western forces have again attacked Syria following the suspected use of chemical weapons by the al-Assad regime. As in 2013 and 2017, international lawyers largely agree that the recent US, French, and British-led operation is illegal. Yet the recent strikes against chemical weapons facilities in Damascus and Homs are...

[Dr. Mohamed Helal is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law & Affiliated Faculty at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University.] On April 10, 2018, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution drafted by the United States that would have created a mechanism to investigate the use of chemical weapons against civilians...