Author: Mary Ellen O'Connell

[Mary Ellen O'Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of International Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at Notre Dame School of Law.] Russian troop movements in Crimea have catapulted international law to the center of a tense political-military drama.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has charged the Russians with an act of aggression.  Russian President Vladimir...

[Mary Ellen O’Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution—Kroc Institute. She is a Vice President at the American Society of International Law and the author of author of The Choice of Law Against Terrorism, 4 J. NAT. SEC. L. & POL’Y 2010] In his speech announcing the death of Osama...

[Mary Ellen O'Connell is Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolutin at Notre Dame Law School] Louis Henkin dedicated his classic work, How Nations Behave, to his father Who All His Days Loved Law, Sought Peace and Pursued It Psalms 34: 12-14 The verse applies equally to Lou. He loved the law and sought peace through...

The power of international law comes from our belief in it and the purposes it serves: the promotion of peace, human rights, prosperity and the natural environment. Beth Simmons in her thoughtful and well-written post suggests that we need empirical evidence of this belief. There is, however, plenty of evidence—indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, if not categorized and precisely quantified. We...

Despite the title of his post, I do not read Chris Borgen as a natural law skeptic! He accepts the existence of norms and principles that must be explained by theories other than positivism. He is just skeptical about the standard approach to explaining the source of natural law, namely, the use of the concept of the common...

In response to Will Fettes’s thoughtful comment: The problem is not with positivism per se but positivism alone. By the 1960s, certainly in the United States there was a view that only positive law theory explained law and positive theory relied on the existence of the usual legal institutions—with their absence on the international plane, positivists could not understand how...

President-elect Obama’s campaign for the presidency was all about change—change we can believe in. No doubt the readers of Opinio Juris have a long list of topics on which they wish to see change: Guantanamo Bay, CIA interrogation, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Congo, Darfur, weapons proliferation, the global environment, the global economy, etc. But even if the new President...