Recent Posts

Not that there was much doubt, but a key U.S. House of Representatives committee has approved continued U.S. membership in the WTO. Under U.S. law, every five years any member of Congress can petition the Congress to withdraw from the WTO. As in 2000, the unlikely coalition of Socialist Vermonter Bernie Sanders and Libertarian Texan Ron Paul have made such...

Seems like Japan can't cut a break these days. While the Chinese continue to thumb their nose at Japan's attention to the graves of its war criminals, Australia is protesting Japan's palns ot increase the number of whales it can hunt. In fact, Australia's opposition party is pushing the Australian government to sue Japan in the ICJ for...

Let's see if I got this right.5 votes to dismiss as improvidently granted. (Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Ginsburg).1 vote would have also preferred staying the case: (Ginsburg).4 votes to remand to the Fifth Circuit to resolve all of the issues raised by the parties at the Court as well as the new ones created by the President's intervention. (O'Connor, Souter,...

The Supreme Court's disposition of Medellin is here. The actual six page opinion is quite short, but the interesting part will be the concurrence by Justice Ginsburg (joined by Justice Scalia) and the dissent by Justice O'Connor (joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer). I will try to read the tea leaves of this rather unusual coalition later(UPDATE: My thoughts...

The Court today dismissed the petition in Medellin holding that certiorari was improvidently granted. Basically, this means that they are holding that they should not have accepted the case in the first place. Thanks to SCOTUSBlog for the pointer. I'll have much more to say later today. For a reminder on the issues raised by a challenge...

Gregg Easterbrook has another great and contrarian piece in the TNR this week explaining that "war" has actually been in sharp decline over the past 15 years. He relies on an academic study by two political scientists, Monty G. Marshall and Ted Robert Gurr, who have done a series of empirical studies demonstrating that violent conflict has been steadily decreasing...

"Red crystal" may not roll of the tongue as easily as "red cross" or "red crescent," but there is a movement afoot to replace the current emblems of ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies with a non-religious and less politically charged symbol. (See this picture here for the red diamond/crystal design.) ICRC Legal Director Francois...

This IHT report documents horrific human rights abuses in Myanmar/Burma gathered by an Englishman who has been sneaking in Burma over the past five years. Of course, the real story here is that these abuses, if true, are going on. But the practical question: Is there any remedy for foreign governments, consistent with existing international law, to stop the abuses....

Here is a neat international law puzzle. Caricom, a trade association including most Caribbean nations, is threatening to bring an action against the EU in the International Court of Justice for violating its agreements to support the Caribbean sugar industries by purchasing their sugar at preferential prices. The catch? The reason the EU is changing its policy is mostly as...

General Andrew J. Goodpaster died this week at the age of 90. In the months following my graduation from college, but prior to my joining the Foreign Service, I had the great privilege to work briefly under his leadership at the Atlantic Council of the United States -- a non-partisan think tank dedicated to support of the Transatlantic relationship. He...

The NY Times ran this piece this morning on the challenge of coming up with estimates of the total dead as a result of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. The problem is common in the face of mass humanitarian disasters: how to estimate death tolls in a place with no birth or death certificates or accurate census...