This week on Opinio Juris, we brought you the latest round in the Goodman-Heller debate on capture v kill, in which Ryan Goodman responded to Kevin’s comments on this blog a few weeks ago.
Kevin started his week by pointing to turmoil in Sweden’s prosecution of Julian Assange, following the resignation of the prosecutor and the decision by one of his accusers to fire her lawyer. He also addressed the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision to refer Chad to the Security Council over its non-cooperation in the execution of the ICC’s arrest warrant of Sudan’s President’s Omar al-Bashir. Kevin saw this as a risky move that can threaten the Court’s legitimacy if the Security Council does not act. Kevin also recommended a new casebook on international humanitarian law.
Julian criticized the glacial pace of progress of the ICJ proceedings, arguing that in the case between Australia and Japan on whaling it did nothing to cool the dispute. He also urged the NRA to hold its fire over the Arms Trade Treaty, arguing that the treaty is too weak to affect the right to bear arms.
Deborah hailed new guidelines for Armed Private Security Companies doing business with the UN as significant, and asked our readers for their opinions.
At the end of the week, we hosted a symposium by the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics on Professor Jenia Iontcheva Turner’s article Policing International Prosecutors. In her comment, Professor deGuzman provided two reasons why international criminal courts should err on the side of the defendant when balancing his right to a fair trial with the rights of victims and the broader international community. Sonja Starr argued that the fairness of the trial is not just one factor in the analysis but rather the threshold question. Kevin likewise argued that the accuracy of the trial is essential, and expressed concerns about the article’s rhetoric. Alex Whiting in turn feared that a balancing approach might make the courts too willing to find procedural misconduct, particularly when their are differences in litigation culture between the judges and the defence counsel. These cultural differences were also raised by James Stewart who credited the article with changing his mind about prosecutorial misconduct. Professor Turner’s response to the comments can be found here.
Many of you are probably at ASIL’s Annual Meeting. In preparation, Jessica highlighted some of the main events. Chris posted about the newly establish Space Law Interest Group of which he is the co-chair and Deborah shared her notes on the discussion on targeted killing.
Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!