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That's the interesting argument raised in this cert. petition in Abbott v. Abbott. Although certiorari is warranted based solely on the conflict among the federal courts of appeals, certiorari also should be granted because the Fifth Circuit’s holding conflicts with the interpretation overwhelmingly adopted by the foreign courts that have addressed this issue. In construing the terms of a...

Thanks Ken. Let me try to clarify again. On one level, you’re quite right: many human rights advocates believe a new system of administrative detention – beyond the criminal law and beyond the Geneva regime – is not a good idea as a matter of policy. (I hasten to add many who are not human rights advocates think...

The Yale Journal of International Law (YJIL), one of the world’s leading journals of international and comparative law, is pleased to continue its partnership with Opinio Juris in this second online symposium.  This week, we will be featuring two Articles published by YJIL in Vol. 33-2, both of which are available here.  Thank you to Peggy McGuinness and the other...

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting has an interesting report today on the Ugandan government's efforts to prosecute Kony and other LRA members in a special domestic court.  According to the IWPR's report, the problem is not the lack of political will, but the potential retroactivity of the legislation necessary to make the Rome Statute's core crimes -- war...

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...

What will it take to engage in a constructive debate about the power and limits of international law in international affairs? One answer is a book like Mary Ellen O’Connell’s, which makes a compelling case that not only scholars but laypersons and decision makers should think deeply before they disparage the international legal system in its entirety. Mary Ellen’s book...

Within the context of our roles as part of a research group at Princeton’s Center for Theological Inquiry, Mary Ellen and I have had many wonderful conversations about natural law as a source for international law. My sense is we both share the view that natural law could be such a source, and we have discussed various instances...

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...

At risk of distracting us too soon from the merits vel non of natural law, I wanted to take up another piece of Mary Ellen’s account – namely, her fairly positive outlook on the prospects of domestic court enforcement of international law. Despite the subject matter’s placement in the very last chapter of the book, Mary Ellen I think rightly notes:...