General

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...

Scott Sullivan at the Transatlantic Assembly has picked up an interesting point on Judge Green’s Guantanamo opinion. He notes that Judge’s Green opinion states that it is “unnecessary” to look to the detainees’ customary international law claims as they were found to have Fifth Amendment and the Geneva Convention claims. Sullivan argues that this is unsatisfying and concludes “This seems...

Following up my Darfur post , I note that Nicholas Kristof of the NYT weighs in and, predictably, lays all the blame here on the U.S. opposition to the ICC. He quotes Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch: "The I.C.C. could start tomorrow saving lives . . . [w]ith the [ad hoc] tribunal route, you're talking about another year of...

Peru has announced it will bring an application to the International Court of Justice seeking to force Japan to turn over former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to face corruption charges. I've heard rumors about Peru bringing such a case for years but I never figured out what the legal basis would be because Peru and Japan do not have...

Professor E. Allan Farnsworth of Columbia Law School passed away yesterday. Although best known as the dean of contract scholars, a Reporter of the Restatement (Second) of the Law of Contracts, and the author of influential treatise and casebook on contracts, Professor Farnsworth also had a profound influence on private international law. Not only was he a central figure...

I've blogged before suggesting that the U.N. was being an obstacle to more action to stop the atrocities in Darfur, but perhaps I was unfair to the UN. Its report on Darfur (which can be found here) found plenty of horrible atrocities (though not genocide) that it believes rises to the level of war crimes. More to the point, the...

I can't resist weighing in on the Guantanamo decision again, although I agree with Peggy's analysis yesterday. I think the decision is a defeat for the government (per Andreas) and that it moves beyond existing precedent and certainly beyond past practice. That does not mean it will be reversed, but it is certainly pushing the envelope of judicial review of...