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Great interview in Newsweek by Rod Nordland of Somali pirate Shamun Indhabur. My favorite quote is the pirate's plea for good government: Why has there been such an increase Somali piracy? In Somalia all the young men are desperate. There is wide unemployment in the country, there are no sources of income. One of the only sources we have had...

The Third Circuit recently had to determine whether a "joint statement" between Germany and the United States regarding Holocaust settlement created a private right of action for alleged violations of Germany to pay interest on the $10 billion DM settlement fund. It presents an interesting question of whether the document should be interpreted to create a private right of...

Scott Horton has a typically excellent post today at Harpers.org discussing the perversity of right-wing commentators who defend the use of torture.  But I was troubled by the following comment about the ICC, which he offers in agreement with an old editorial by David Rivkin and Lee Casey: Rivkin’s history is much like that of Reynolds and Goldberg. Back when the...

No, I don't mean Obama's foreign policy.  The Foreign Relations of the United States is the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity; and these days it's in trouble. The tip of the iceberg is the fracas described here and here between the Historian of the Department of State Marc Susser and the Advisory Committee on...

It turns out that all is not lost for the Lisbon Treaty (aka the EU Reform Treaty).  It had all the markings of an unperfected treaty after Ireland gave it a "no" vote this past summer via a referendum. (Interestingly, Ireland was the only state to hold one, since negotiators had designed the Reform Treaty to avoid such reviews given what they did to the...

The BBC is reporting that President-elect Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo within the next two years. The report is based on this  Time Magazine article declaring him (big surprise!) their "Person of the Year."  I am not 100% sure Obama has really made this pledge, but it certainly can be read that way.  In response to the question as...

The Ninth Circuit yesterday rendered its long-awaited decision in Sarei v. Rio Tinto. The case was argued before the Ninth Circuit en banc in October 2007, with the fourteen month deliberations suggesting that the court struggled mightily with its decision. The decision was fractured, but the essential holding by six of the eleven judges was that exhaustion of...

I have been resigned to a President Obama for at least a year or more, but the prospect of the real thing is still quite weird. I was, not surprisingly, for the other guy but I am mildly optimistic that a cautious President Obama will not usher in radical change in the areas of U.S. policy toward international law.   But...

At the risk of contributing further to Ken’s angst about the coming post-Guantanamo future, I thought OJ readers might be interested in this latest entry in the public what-to-do-next discussion. Fordham Law School’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice has begun posting a series of white papers prepared by various groups of scholars with recommendations about international human rights...

This past Friday I was privileged to host an intimate colloquium at Pepperdine’s Malibu Beach House that brought together a wonderful mix of torts scholars, international law scholars, and practitioners to address the nexus between torts and the Alien Tort Statute. It was an eclectic group, including renown torts experts such as Third Restatement Reporter Michael Green, Anthony Sebok,...

Richard Falk, an eminent professor of international law and politics at Princeton, was expelled from Israel yesterday while he acting as the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories.  Falk was expelled by Israel because Israel believed his investigation, and indeed the UN Human Rights Council itself, is irredeemably biased against Israel.  This is probably...

A number of readers have e-mailed to ask why, given my interest in all things ICTY, I have not said anything about the Karadzic case.  The answer is relatively simple: I have been serving for the past two months as one of Dr. Karadzic's primary legal advisers, which raises a number of complicated issues vis-a-vis blogging.  On the one hand,...