General

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, gave a speech on Monday at Stanford that has drawn some criticism for its vaguely threatening reference to an Inspector General of the federal courts. What is interesting about the speech hoever, is that one of Sensenbrenner's main beefs with the judiciary is its citation of foreign and international law...

A coalition of institutional investors and other non-govermental organizations are calling on U.S. corporations to disclose (or be required to disclose) economic risks from climate change and global warming. The highlights:A New Climate Risk Disclosure Initiative will be aimed at enhancing corporations’ climate risk disclosure. The effort will focus on disclosure of corporate emissions, climate actions, scenario analysis, strategic analysis,...

The International Herald Tribune has a nice report on the increasing criticism of the East Timor-Indonesia Agreement to set up a Truth and Friendship Commission, which we discussed here. Here again we see a clash between the UN and human rights NGOs (who think the agreement could lead to impunity for human rights offenses) and efforts by two countries to...

This is not a joke. According to this report in the NYT, the UN is considering moving temporarily to Brooklyn while its Manhattan headquarters is renovated. While some may see this as a step down for the UN, others (quoted in the article) suggest that the embattled UN will fit right in with Brooklyn's underdog image. Maybe in the old...

NAFTA included a set of side agreements intended to alleviate concerns about the environmental effects of the trade regime. One of the results of these side agreements, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, has agreed to review a proposal for a Liquified Natural Gas project off the coast of Tijuana and San Diego. The complaint is brought by citizens' groups, not...

Not to beat a dead horse, but the ICJ's announcement yesterday that it will hold public hearings in June to examine some preliminary aspects of a case filed in 2002 by the Democratic Republic of Congo against Rwanda further illustrates the slowness of the ICJ dispute resolution process. The original complaint was filed in the summer of 2002. These hearings...

I promised a couple of weeks ago (before the end-of-semester crunch and some out of town travel) to follow up on a host of UN reform issues. Further posts are coming, but I wanted to bring attention to Suzanne Nossel's "Top Ten Things the UN Does Well" over at Democracy Arsenal. I generally agree with the list -- with...

The United Nations Independent Inquiry Committee investigating the UN Oil for Food Scandal (better known as the Volcker Commission) won at temporary restraining order today from the U.S. District Court in D.C. quashing congressional subpoenas ordering one of Volcker's former investigators to turn over documents from his investigations. The TRO will apparently last 10 days allowing the Volcker Commission...

I wasn't around last week to note these potentially interesting international law-based challenges to the UK's involvement in the Iraq War.First, a group representing the families of UK soldiers has filed a claim against the UK government (timed no doubt in an attempt to further influence the UK elections on Friday) under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human...

JP Morgan Chase recently adopted a comprehensive environmental policy that would subject its international project financing decisions to review for their impact on global warming. In so doing, JPMC followed in the steps of Citigroup, which earlier this year announced a policy that would screen financings for their impact on deforestation. JP Morgan's policy is remarkable for its scope and...

Today is an important anniversary in modern Chinese history. In 1919, thousands of Chinese students marched in Beijing and throughout China to protest the terms of the Paris Peace talks that led to Japanese control of German concessions in China. The "May Fourth" movement was the seminal political and intellectual event of the early 20th Century. Of course, the...