General

Julian -- What we don't know -- about the full extent of the United States' abuse and/or torture of detainees and rendition of detainees to third countries -- is a lot. For this reason, I have specifically avoided weighing in on some of the broader questions about compliance with the Torture Convention, at least until I have read the government reports...

Strangely enough, the war on terrorism is providing a slight boost for plaintiffs lawyers specializing in tort suits alleging violations of international law. This week, the UK released four men who had previously been detained at Guantanamo Bay. Lawyers for the detainees are threatening to sue. A number of such lawsuits have already been filed over Abu Ghraib and the...

This seems to be a big day for international law conferences. Not only are bright lights in our profession gathering at Vanderbilt this weekend, but a fairly impressive conference on International Law in the United States Legal System: Observance, Application, & Enforcement, will be taking place at the Santa Clara University School of Law today as well. And I’m not...

As we solemnly commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it is worth noting that earlier this week the United Nations General Assembly -- for the first time in the history of that organization -- held a special session in remembrance of the Holocaust. For an organization that three decades ago passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism,...

Julian’s remark that Australia withdrawing from the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ is an example that the U.S. is not the only state that acts in a self-interested manner begs the question that is really interesting: why do states that act out of self-interest still choose to comply with the decisions of international tribunals at all? Theories of compliance can fill...

Australian television viewers watching Alicia Molik defeat Venus Williams on at the Australian Open were probably caught by surprise by TV commercials denouncing Australia's government, among other things, withdrawing from the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Australia withdrew from its acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction in 2002 to avoid allowing East Timor to start litigation in the ICJ over undersea oil...

For those of you who are interested in doing primary source research in international law, a great (relatively) new online resource is the Electronic Information System in International Law or "EISIL". A project of the American Society of International Law, EISIL acts as a central clearinghouse of key treaties across a broad spectrum of topics in public and private...

Julian noted Jack Goldsmith's op ed in yesterday's Washington Post arguing that the US should support a Security Council referral of the Darfur genocide to the ICC, a position which Human Rights Watch and others support. I admire Goldsmith's attempt to bridge the gap between the ICC supporters and opponents, but I have a slightly different take on what US...

Criticism of the humanitarian response to the tsunami in South Asia has shifted from early accusations of inadequate relief flows to concerns that donor nations, rebel groups, and affected governments are playing politics with relief efforts. Reports that the US is (and arguments that it should be) using its relief effort to prosecute the war on terror can be found...

In the department of self-promotion, I thought I would note that John Yoo and I have posted our forthcoming article from the Supreme Court Review entitled, "Beyond Formalism in Foreign Affairs: A Functional Approach to the Alien Tort Statute". In this article, John and I consider the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision interpreting the ATS to permit federal courts to...

We plan to publicize important academic colloquia on international law as we learn about them. To get us started, I am including a link to the Northwestern Law School's International Law Colloquium for Spring 2005. Thanks to Ken Abbot and John McGinnis for the information. A permanent list of upcoming symposia and events will be added to the right side...