General

El Salvador watchdog (or is it "watchblog"?) Tim Muth notes that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a $54 million judgment against 2 Salvadoran generals for human rights violations during the 1980s. Those generals now live in the U.S. and were sued by their victims under that ubiquitous Alien Tort Statute.Courts have generally held that Alien...

Territorial squabbling continues in Southeast Asia as the Indonesian government announced it would NOT bring its simmering dispute with Malaysia over offshore undersea development rights to the International Court of Justice (where it previously lost a territorial case in 2002). It also announced that warships sent to enforce Indonesian claims of sovereignty would remain and that Malaysian airplanes were violating...

In a conference in Brussels, Quebec's Premier Jean Charest "called for closer economic and trade ties among Canada, Mexico and the United States, saying the three North American countries should take the European Union as an example of closer integration."In particular, Charest says the NAFTA countries should move toward "NAFTA-plus, that we should look at dispute settlement mechanisms that have...

A while ago, I noted that Iraq had joined the ICC, which was rather surprising given the U.S. govt's strenuous opposition to the international criminal court. I also noted that no one, except the French government, appeared to notice or care.Yesterday, however, Iraq announced that it was withdrawing from the ICC (thanks to Allison Danner for the heads up). This...

This week, the U.S. Trade Representative submitted the 2005 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2004 Annual Report of the President on trade. These annual reports to Congress are required by statute. What makes this year's 437-page report more interesting than usual, however, is that it also triggers a statutory provision that requires the U.S. government to assess the costs and...

Although Malaysia and Indonesia have both been devastated recently by the December tsunami, they have apparently recovered enough to start squabbling over undersea development rights on two previously disputed islands, the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. The International Court of Justice awarded sovereignty over the two islands to Malaysia in a 2002 judgment, but Indonesia continues to contest the extent...

According to recent reports, the U.S. is considering lowering the level of ire in its rhetoric towards Iran and even providing incentives to Iran (such as not blocking Iran’s bid to enter the WTO) for setting aside its attempts at constructing nuclear weapons. This turnabout of U.S. policy (see, by contrast, here) seems to be in response to calls by...

The following is the text of the memorandum issued by the President yesterday with respect to the enforcement of the ICJ's order which I discussed here and here. It is NOT an executive order (as I had thought), but it is some kind of memorandum from the President. Some questions: Is it essentially an executive order? What is its legal...

The Roper v. Simmons and Medellin discussions highlight one of the points of tension between the US and its closest international allies – the continuing use of the death penalty in this country. Julian has elucidated in his thorough and helpful discussions here and here the important constitutional law and federalism issues raised by Medellin, as well as the question...

I recently posted about Saddam’s trial moving forward. Yesterday, one of the judges of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, Barwize Mohammed Mahmoud al-Merani, and his son were murdered. (News report is here.) The judge was also a leading Kurdish politician and his son was an attorney at the tribunal. Authorities believe they were killed by insurgents.This comes a day after the...

I am gratified for some of the comments below to my very long post on Medellin. Please indulge me as I follow up with a further clarification of why I believe the ICJ judgment should not be enforced by the courts.I agree with Andreas that enforcing the ICJ judgment would not necessarily make the ICJ a higher court. Rather, the...