This week on Opinio Juris, it was too early for Talk Like a Pirate Day, but we certainly talked a lot about pirates. The reason of course was the Ninth Circuit’s decision to agree with Japanese whalers that the Sea Shepherd’s activities amount to piracy. Julian wasn’t fully confident that “private ends” are broader than financial enrichment, and Kevin strongly disagreed with Judge Kozinski’s argument that a “rich history” supports the conclusion that all acts not taking on behalf of a state are for private ends. In two later posts, Kevin responded to comments disagreeing with his claim that politically-motivated acts are traditionally excluded from the definition of piracy, and added his final word (for now). Kevin also described another problem with qualifying the Sea Shepherd’s actions as piracy: that some states -not including the US- do not consider the area where the events are taking place as part of the high seas, but rather as under Australia’s sovereignty.
Kevin also revisited Libya’s admissibility challenge in the Saif Gaddafi case. Considering Libya’s decision to let the trial in Zintan go ahead before the trial in Tripoli on the same charges as the ICC case, he argued that Libya is unable to obtain custody over Saif, and followed up with a post asking whether Libya is even willing to prosecute Saif.
Following a call by Chinese lawyers for the Chinese government to ratify the ICCPR, Julian asked whether international human rights treaties are a suitable vehicle for domestic legal reform. His post was censored from his China Weibo account, on which you can read more here. Roger addressed Julian’s question with a post on a recent empirical article concluding that there is no clear evidence that the leading international human rights instruments have influenced domestic constitution writing, although he argued that the evidence shows that the agreements may have had an impact during their drafting process.
Ken advertised his C-SPAN Book TV interview, which will air again today, and can also be watched online here. Also competing for your attention this Saturday is the Annual Conference of the Duke Law, Ethics, and National Security Center, which is live-streamed on the web. If more reading is what you’re after, Roger posted a link to his new article applying the Broken Windows Theory to international corruption, and Duncan recommended a series of draft papers on the ILC’s recent Guide to Reservations that are made available on EJIL:Talk! in preparation of a special EJIL issue on the topic. He also looked forward to the return of IntLawGrrls to the blogosphere this coming International Women’s Day. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this cartoon on Drone Heroes, posted by Kevin, says a lot more than that.
Have a nice weekend!