Just War and the Iran Crisis

Milestone: Ave Maria School of Law Publishes Inaugural International Law Journal

Noah Feldman: “Ginsburg’s Right, U.S. Constitution Is a Bad Model”

Ilya Somin: Ginsburg and Scalia on Foreign Constitutions

    Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: Conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby has a good article today on the somewhat overwrought criticism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for saying, in Cairo, that the US Constitution is not a good model for other countries in 2012. As Jacoby points out, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia recently actually said that “[t]he bill of rights of the former ‘evil empire,’ the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours,” without raising any such hackles.


  • Posted: 02/09/2012
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: volokh.com

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British Judges: UK has 4 weeks to free US-held Pakistani

Legal Periodical: Acculturation Through the Middle Ages: The Islamic Law of Nations and its Place in the History of International Law

International conference declares ‘war’ on culture of death | LifeSiteNews.com

Video: Global ‘right to abortion’ rejected at Brazilian pro-life conference

American expert: there are no international laws that guarantee abortion as a right

Piero A. Tozzi: Meaning, Relativism, Pickled Herring, Tyranny…

European Court Opinion: U.S. Airlines Must Buy Carbon Allowances

Major Pro-Life Legal/Scientific Document Launched at UN Headquarters

Chile: Pro-family advocates rally to support embattled father

International tribunal rules that U.S. courts failed mom of 3 Castle Rock children in 1999 case

Legal Periodical: “International Law – Vector to Uniformization of Legal Cultures”

Latin American Nations Pressured by Europe to Weaken Pro-Life Laws

U.N. Wants to Make Abortion a Human Right for 10-Year-Olds

Poland Abortion Ban Would Comply With International Law

Top UN rights official says US breached international law by executing Mexican Humberto Leal

Should Texas Execute a Mexican? Rick Perry Will Decide

    Chris Strohm at The Atlantic: The case of a Mexican man scheduled to be executed on Thursday in Texas threatens to disrupt U.S. diplomatic relations abroad and creates a politically volatile dilemma for Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is considering a run for president. Unless Perry or the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes to stay the execution, Texas plans to execute Humberto Leal Jr. at 6 p.m. Central Time for the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda.


  • Posted: 07/07/2011
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.theatlantic.com

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Mexico: cardinal condemns ‘sexual preference’ amendment

UN Bureaucrats Push “Homosexual Rights” Against General Assembly Wishes

U.S. Dept. of State: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Legal Periodical: “Verbal Poison–Criminalizing Hate Speech: A Comparative Analysis And A Proposal For The American System”

U.N. rights boss asks U.S. for facts on bin Laden killing

Legal Periodical: A Religious View of the Foundations of International Law

Legal Periodical: What is a ‘Human Right’?

Book Review: Schools for Misrule: Law schools wield more social influence than any other part of the American university. To what effect?

    John O. McGinnis at the Wall Street Journal: In “Schools for Misrule,” Walter Olson offers a fine dissection of these strangely powerful institutions. One of his themes is that law professors serve the interests of the legal profession above all else; they seek to enlarge the scope of the law, creating more work for lawyers even as the changes themselves impose more costs on society. By keeping legal rules in a state of endless churning, lawyers undermine a stable rule of law and make legal outcomes less predictable; the result is more litigation and, not incidentally, more billable hours for lawyers, who must now be consulted about the most routine matters of business practice and social life. | Hat tip: David Bernstine at the Volokh Conspiracy.


  • Posted: 04/12/2011
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: online.wsj.com

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Obama Embraces ‘Transnational’ Law: The Senate never approved Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.

Rep. Sandy Adams: “International Foreign Law: Ban foreign law from courts We make our own laws”

Bill aimed at protecting South Carolina from foreign law introduced

British appellate court says EU employment discrimination directives do not cover volunteers

May American courts appoint only Muslim arbitrators, pursuant to an arbitration agreement?

Law Review: How to Integrate Universal Human Rights into Customary and Religious Legal Systems?

    Yuksel Sezgin, How to Integrate Universal Human Rights into Customary and Religious Legal Systems? (December 25, 2010). Journal of Legal Pluralism, Vol. 60, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1731162

    “Customary religious legal systems have been utilized in various areas from fighting against crime to such mundane affairs as setting the price of goods and services in the market place or regulating personal and familial relations. Against this background, the present study will exclusively focus its lenses on so-called personal status systems as quintessential example of customary religious legal systems in the contemporary world. In this context the article will first address the question of why modern nation-states (e.g., Israel, Egypt, and India) still continue to employ pluralistic personal status systems and differentiate among their citizens despite the fact that they were originally founded on premises of non-discrimination and equal treatment. Secondly, the study will explain how pluralistic organization of law and justice affect the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals living under such systems; how they cope with limitations imposed upon their rights by communal/religious institutions; and what tactics and strategies they use to navigate through the maze of personal law. Lastly, after demonstrating what approaches have been successfully used to bring about changes in the context of Israeli, Egyptian, and Indian personal status laws, the paper will identify key lessons and recommendations for the purpose of helping human rights activists, donors and members of programmatic communities who design intervention mechanisms and tools to incorporate universal human rights standards into customary and religious systems around the world.”


  • Posted: 01/03/2011
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  • Category: Global: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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EHCR ruling won’t impact Malta abortion restrictions, judge says

Law Review: A New Rule for Extraterritorial Application of US Law

    Dual Illegality and Geoambiguous Law: A New Rule for Extraterritorial Application of US Law
    Jeffrey A. Meyer, 95 Minn. L. Rev. 110 (2010)

    “Part I provides a background on the concepts of ‘territoriality’ and ‘extraterritoriality,’ the landmark decisions of U.S. courts considering the extraterritorial application of U.S. law, and the customary international law of jurisdiction. Part II critiques the current extraterritorial jurisdictional framework as generally applied by U.S. courts today. It focuses on how the uneven application of the presumption against extraterritoriality ends up ensnaring judges in a highly subjective interpretive process that is inconsistent with the certainty and predictability needs that largely justify having jurisdictional rules. Part III sets forth the case for a rule of dual illegality to govern U.S. courts in deciding whether–in the absence of instruction from Congress–U.S. law should apply to criminalize or regulate conduct that occurs in foreign states. It demonstrates how a dual-illegality rule can work as it already has in the extradition context and responds to potential objections.”


  • Posted: 12/15/2010
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  • Category: Global: Bench and Bar

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Law Review by William Saunders: The ABC’s of an international right to abortion

Gallagher: The International Law of Human Trafficking

Home schoolers don’t want CEDAW

New legal report on homophobia and transphobia in the EU

Ireland: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Judge issues injunction against Okla. sharia amendment

UN General Assembly Committee passes new version of resolution urging nations to forbid defamation of religion

European Parliament favors report calling for recognition of civil status documents

Russia could shun European rights court–top judge

Order blocking Okla. Islamic law measure extended

Dangerous UN Women’s treaty looms on horizon

Okla. sharia law dispute goes to court

Int’l sports officials to issue guidelines on gender cases

Oklahoma ban on international and sharia law defended by U.S. Border Control

Senate Committee to hold hearing on pro-abortion CEDAW treaty

Law Review: The Use of International Law in U.S. Constitutional Adjudication

    Rex D. Glensy, The Use of International Law in U.S. Constitutional Adjudication (August 15, 2010). Emory International Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1701508

    “This Article seeks to untangle part of the debate concerning the use of international law as persuasive authority within the context of U.S. constitutional interpretation. It begins by noting that international law is being used comparatively within the framework of constitutional analysis but such usage lacks structure and context. It then posits that U.S. courts should only use international law as persuasive authority when this fits within the goals of the comparative enterprise. By combining comparative theory and historical practice, the Article concludes by proposing a methodology for employing international law as persuasive authority by U.S. Courts.”


  • Posted: 11/12/2010
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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The OK referendum prohibiting state courts from applying international or sharia law

OK: Judge details rationale for halting anti-Sharia law measure

Ed Whelan on the TRO barring Oklahoma’s sharia law amendment

Federal court blocks voter approved Oklahoma constitutional amendment

Okla. Islamic law ban could block Ten Commandments, too

Muslim’s lawsuit says Okla. amendment violates Constitution

Lawsuit to be filed against Okla. sharia law state question

Law Review: The Current State of International Law Concerning the So-Called Right to Abortion and Intervention by the Holy See

    Thomas Venzor, Protecting the Unborn Child: The Current State of International Law Concerning the So-Called Right to Abortion and Intervention by the Holy See (October 21, 2010). Nebraska Law Review, Vol. 89, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1695703

    “This paper proposes that there are three areas where the ‘right’ to abortion might be invoked (i.e., mother’s life; preservation of the mother’s health; mother has suffered rape or incest). Outside of these three situations, any legal notion that access to abortion ought to be a human right is mostly unfounded and, perhaps, wishful thinking. Furthermore, although these three situations would hold the best argumentative grounds for a right to abortion, it remains difficult to claim that these situations would actually qualify to the extent of a right under international law.”


  • Posted: 11/04/2010
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  • Category: Global: Sanctity of Life
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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“Gay” US diplomat presses LGBT issues at int’l conference

Abortion as a “Human Right” a Corruption of International HR Agreements: John Smeaton

Soros’s anti-human-rights agenda

    Anne Bayefsky writing at National Review Online: “George Soros’s enormous gift of $100 million to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch is a serious shot across the bow for Republicans and conservatives . . . The significance of his gift can be understood only by appreciating the web of connections associated with this human-rights organization and its resulting influence . . . Soros has recognized what Republicans ignore at their peril — namely, the power of human-rights claims, legitimate or not. Soros, logged as one of President Obama’s frequent White House guests, appreciates that a human-rights mantra, particularly when amplified with the U.N.’s global megaphone, is a formidable tool for manipulating public policy. A tool, mind you, and not a principle.”


  • Posted: 09/20/2010
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  • Category: Global: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.nationalreview.com

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Law Review: The Church Abuse Scandal: Were Crimes Against Humanity Committed?

    Dermot Groome, The Church Abuse Scandal: Were Crimes Against Humanity Committed? (August 15, 2010). Chicago Journal of International Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1677898

    “This paper considers that question in the context of a report issued by the Ryan Commission, an independent quasi-judicial commission that spent 10 years conducting detailed investigations into childcare institutions operated by Catholic religious congregations in Ireland. The Ryan Commission’s findings with respect to both widespread physical and sexual abuse provide a factual basis upon which to consider whether crimes against humanity were in fact committed. Contrasting the intentionality of behind excessive physical violence with the recklessness of allowing known pedophiles access to children highlights an important definitional requirement of crimes against humanity, that such not only be widespread and systematic – which both clearly are – but that such be in the context of an attack directed against a civilian population. While the systematic use of excessive corporal punishment to control children committed to industrial schools constitutes an attack upon them, the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse to prevent public scandal thereby causing widespread sexual abuse raises the question of whether an ‘attack’ on a civilian population can be the result of criminal recklessness.”


  • Posted: 09/20/2010
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  • Category: Global: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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Law Review: The Legitimacy of International Human Rights Review: The Case of the European Court of Human Rights

Book: “World Rule: Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance”

    International Law Reporter: “Jonathan G.S. Koppell (Arizona State Univ. – Public Affairs) has published World Rule: Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance (Univ. of Chicago Press 2010). Here’s the abstract: . . . ‘Analyzing four aspects of GGO organization in depth—representation and administration, the rulemaking process, adherence and enforcement, and interest group participation—Koppell describes variation systemically, identifies patterns, and offers explanations that link GGO design to the fundamental challenge of accountability in global governance.’”


  • Posted: 09/15/2010
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  • Category: Global: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: ilreports.blogspot.com

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Law Review: How Should the Third World See Constitutionalism in International Law?

    Prabhakar Singh, How Should the Third World See Constitutionalism in International Law? (July 20, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1645720

    “A survey of international law scholarship throws up three kinds of approaches: constitutional, pluralistic and global administrative law (GAL). What is there for the Third World to choose? Both international law and constitutional law are colonial gifts. India in particular and Third World in general is slightly obsessed with a constitutional imagery as seen in the India-Quantitative Restriction Case at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Therefore, it depends; Chimni approaches GAL from a Third World perspective (TWAIL) whereas Koskenniemi prefers constitutionalism. Constitutional vocabularies are often used to address the United Nations (UN) Charter, the WTO, and the European Union (EU). The diversity of legal regimes presents a problem of harmonisation within the monism-dualism ideology of international law. With the increasing assertion of the EU as a strong dualist normative laboratory, new scholarship is replacing constitutionalism by pluralism as the preferred but defensive ideology – the definition of constitutionalism stands upside down now. After the European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s Kadi judgement, pluralism and constitutionalism stand in opposite camps. This paper attempts to address this international constitutional confusion. It ends on an open note: there are issues that cannot be concluded and constitutionalism as an ideology remains, as is often the case, a non-concluded question for an eternally observing Third World.”


  • Posted: 09/15/2010
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  • Category: Global: Bench and Bar
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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Human Rights Watch incorrectly charges Argentina with treaty violations over abortion