The United States and Russia are quietly discussing establishing a so-called “safe zone” in southern Syria. But if recent events are an indicator, safe zones may not actually protect civilians.
Latest in International Law
What an expansive conception of soldier or unit self-defense means for IHL and modern asymmetric conflict.
While Trump Pledges Withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate, International Law May Provide a Safety Net
International law, developed over centuries of interactions among nations with leaders with egos and agendas at least as large as Donald Trump’s, has evolved precisely to ensure continuity among the community of states and to moderate the effect of major disruptions such as Trump’s recent announcement. If these mechanisms are utilized as intended by both domestic and international constituencies, the planet and the climate may yet survive Trump’s frontal assault.
Challenging the ICC’s jurisdiction based on the status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) that Afghanistan entered into with the US in 2002 is, in my opinion, the best US option if its goal is to avoid the ICC investigation. But no one has yet presented the SOFA to the ICC Prosecutor.
Thoughts on the international law dimensions of the Defense Science Board’s Task Force Report on Cyber Deterrence and Joseph Nye’s article on Deterrence and Dissuasion in Cyberspace.
DPRK is either not a state party to various agreements that it might otherwise have violated or the agreements to which it is a state party do not apply in this case because it is not in an armed conflict with Malaysia.
Matthew Waxman reviews Deborah A. Rosen’s Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood (Harvard Univ. Press, 2015) and Benjamin Allen Coates’s Legalist Empire: International Law and American Foreign Relations in the Early Twentieth Century (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016).
If nations risk breaching fundamental human rights in their pursuit of transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and pirates, for example, due to inflexible, unnecessarily rigid, judicial interpretations and court opinions, those rulings will have increased the potential for the high seas to be a consequence free zone. The current challenge for courts, governments, and deployed naval forces is how to balance human rights obligations with the physical realities of high seas maritime enforcement interdictions.
The United States should act true to its 1983 Oceans Policy of observing and respecting foreign maritime claims only to the extent that other coastal states respect U.S. rights at sea.
The Trump administration will not be able to walk back the UNSC resolution on Israeli settlements, but it will have tools to mitigate its international legal effects.