General

[Jennifer Trahan is an Associate Clinical Professor at the NYU Center for Global Affairs.] In his Opinio Juris post on May 4, Dr. Mohamed Helal provides a defense of Russia’s veto use related to the situation in Syria, one that he defends as in line with the negotiations of the UN Charter and a vision of veto power of the permanent members of...

On Thursday, May 10, the US Supreme Court will decide whether to grant cert in Budha Ismail Jam v.  International Financial Corporation(IFC), a case involving environmental damage arising from a coal fired power plant in India.    Two excellent blogs on the case written by Rishi Gulati in 2017 can be found here. The case turns on the interpretation of a US...

[David Hughes and Yahli Shereshevsky are Grotius Research Scholars at Michigan Law School.] Western forces have again attacked Syria following the suspected use of chemical weapons by the al-Assad regime. As in 2013 and 2017, international lawyers largely agree that the recent US, French, and British-led operation is illegal. Yet the recent strikes against chemical weapons facilities in Damascus and Homs are...

[Dr. Mohamed Helal is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law & Affiliated Faculty at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University.] On April 10, 2018, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution drafted by the United States that would have created a mechanism to investigate the use of chemical weapons against civilians...

Many ICC observers have been wondering why the Pre-Trial Chamber is taking so long to decide on the OTP's request to open a formal investigation into the situation in Afghanistan. A little-noticed document filed by the Presidency on March 16 provides at least part of the explanation: because of  the recent judicial elections, the Presidency has dissolved the PTC that...

[Massimo Frigo is a Senior Legal Adviser of the International Commission of Jurist's Europe Programme.] It is sometimes cases on obscure administrative processes that become landmark judgments in the ever constant building of our democratic legal systems. In the US Marbury v. Madison was a case that at the time attracted little attention as the subject matter related to respect of...

The Trump Administration last week released its first “Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations.” The report continues a practice initiated at the end of the Obama Administration and subsequently codified into requirement by Congress by which the Administration makes clear (among other things) where and under...

[James Thuo Gathii is the Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.] Transplanting International Courts is an important book. It invites us to expand and enrich our studies of international courts to those in the developing world. In doing so, Karen Alter and Laurence Helfer directly address what they call the...

Dear readers, As part of some exciting changes coming to Opinio Juris in the next month or so, we are completely redesigning our website. To that end, we would greatly appreciate your taking some time -- about 10 minutes -- to fill out our Readers Survey. You can find the survey by clicking here. We will leave the survey open for two...

The Harvard International Law Journal has just posted a call for their 60th anniversary volume. Here is the relevant text: The Harvard International Law Journal is now accepting article submissions for Volume 60. We seek to publish innovative, original scholarship that makes a significant contribution to the field of international law. We welcome submissions from legal scholars, practitioners, and doctoral degree candidates on...

Last month, the UN Secretary General António Guterres announced that he was referring the longstanding border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela to the International Court of Justice. This decision was made after a long period of mediation by various UN Secretaries-General dating back to 1990.  But as a ICJ jurisdiction nerd, I am curious what the basis of the Secretary-General's power...