General

A report published last week by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission paints a bleak picture of the challenges facing post-conflict justice in that country. According to the report, 70 percent of survey respondents said they had been victims of what could be called a crime against humanity. Interestingly, however, only 40 percent of survey respondents favored prosecution of war...

I wanted to return, briefly, to last week's discussion of Darfur. As Julian noted, the UN report concluded that, while crimes against humanity have occurred and should be referred to the ICC, the atrocities do not meet the definition of genocide under international law. Lay observers are scratching their heads over the legal distinction between certain criminal "acts committed with...

Japan has officially requested the creation of a WTO dispute settlement panel claiming that U.S. anti-dumping laws violate WTO rules. Meanwhile, South Korea has requested a panel to challenge Japan's administration of a seaweed import quota that results in strict limits on seaweed imports from South Korea. My American-centric worldview suggests that the challenge to U.S. anti-dumping rules...

A quick response to Peggy’s very thoughtful post taking me to task for criticizing the Guantanamo Alien Tort Statute lawsuits. I think most of our disagreement is simply due to sloppy language on my part. I do think it is strange that enemy combatants will sue the U.S. in its own courts for violations committed during a period of military...

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld tried to resign (twice) over the Abu Ghraib scandals last year, but President Bush refused both times to accept his resignation. As I explained here, I think someone, probably Rumsfeld, should take responsibility for Abu Ghraib and I almost thought his attempt to resign reflected a similar feeling. But then, he makes this boneheaded statement: What was going...

Publius passes along this "liveblogged" account ofJudge David Sentelle's talk at Columbia Law School on Tuesday. His views matter more than usual because he sits on the court that will hear the appeal of the Guantanamo detainee decision we have been blogging about. Unfortunately for anyone hoping to get a preview of the outcome, Judge Sentelle is an experienced...

The Interim Report from Paul Volcker's Independent Inquiry Commission investigating the UN Oil-for-Food scandal has been out for barely two hours, and already the blogosphere is on the case (via instapundit) declaring it at once damning and a whitewash. Of course, it's one thing to react to the report, it's another to actually read through the (unbelievably boring) 246 page...

Thomas P.M. Barnett, formerly of the the U.S. Naval War College and author of The Pentagon’s New Map (a much talked-about book concerning the future of U.S. foreign policy) has an essay entitled “The New Magnum Force: What Dirty Harry Can Teach the New Geneva Conventions” in the current issue of Wired. (See also his blog.) His article is on...

Marty Lederman of Balkinization has been kind enough to leave a comment below wondering why I only give him a "split" decision in his debate with Heather Macdonald over U.S. interrogation tactics. They have recently continued their debate here. I agree with Mickey Kaus that the Macdonald-Lederman debate usefully clarifies a lot of the confusion (some of it...

Michael Scharf, a professor of international law at Case Western Reserve University Law School, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize yesterday by six foreign governments for his work "significantly contributing to the promotion of peace throughout the globe by providing crucial pro bono legal assistance to states and nonstate entities involved in peace negotiations and in bringing war criminals...

David Glazier, a former naval officer and current research fellow at UVA's Center for National Security Law takes issue with my claim that due process rights in Guantanamo may lead to due process rights at other U.S. military bases overseas. He writes: Having spent extensive time at overseas naval bases (I was stationed at Yokosuka, Japan for 20 months and...

Julian correctly notes that international tribunals aren’t very effective at stopping ongoing killings. He misses the point that they (a) are effective in helping define post-conflict legal order in transitional states and consequently (b) play an important part in saving lives in the long run. Kristof understands this. He understands that in order to get some type of stability in...