General

The NY Times ran this piece this morning on the challenge of coming up with estimates of the total dead as a result of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. The problem is common in the face of mass humanitarian disasters: how to estimate death tolls in a place with no birth or death certificates or accurate census...

Just in time for the arrival in theaters of the Revenge of the Sith, The NYT reports that the Air Force is seeking a presidential directive endorsing an aggressive policy to develop weapons that can be used in outer space. Like the Law of the Sea, outer space is a logical place for international law to play a role. Indeed,...

In a vote that appears to have surprised even themselves, the Kuwaiti Parliament yesterday approved a bill to grant women the vote and the right to stand for office. Women will be eligible to be candidates in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Admittedly, the range of issues subject to democratic review in Kuwait remains narrow and tightly controlled by...

Former US Attorney General Richard Thornburgh wrote this op-ed in today's Washington Post supporting confidentiality and immunity for the documents, witnesses and investigators appointed by Secretary General Annan to the Commission investigating the oil-for-food scandal. I posted earlier on the basis of immunity for UN officials implicated in the probe -- immunity which is set forth in the UN Convention...

Justice Kennedy is just looking for a fight with conservatives in Congress annoyed by his increasingly frequent citation to international and foreign law in the interpretation of the Constitution. In a speech to the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, he remarked:"It's really quite wrong to say that the Supreme Court ignores international law and doesn't understand it," he said. Referring to...

As I've frequently noted, Asia is a hotbed of territorial disputes, mostly involving Law of the Sea issues, and with very large economic stakes. In the past two days, two of the trickier disputes, which might have been litigated in an international tribunal, have "settled".First, Australia and East Timor are expected to announce an agreement on a boundary settlement that...

It looks like former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy of France will be the next head of the WTO. Oddly enough, this is probably a good thing for the U.S. because, as I suggested, Lamy's predilections will almost certainly coincide with the U.S. on most issues....

This NYT article details efforts by local and state governments to comply with the Kyoto Protocol despite that treaty's rejection by the President and Senate. Along with various corporate efforts to battle global warming, these efforts further confirm that not everything in foreign affairs starts with the federal government.On the other hand, these efforts do raise an interesting domestic U.S....

I will be in Moldova for the next week and a half, taking part in a project sponsored by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. In all likelihood I will not post to Opinio Juris while I am away but I hope to share some impressions from Eastern Europe when I return...

The John Bolton nomination drama is entering a new phase, with Republican Senator Voinovich stating that he will not vote for Bolton, nor will he prevent the nomination from being considered by the full Senate. With the Republicans holding 55-45 majority in the Senate, it is not clear Bolton's nomination will lose on a floor vote (though a fillibuster...