The Limits of International Law

Author: Jack L. Goldsmith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195314174
Format: PDF, Kindle
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International law is much debated and discussed, but poorly understood. Does international law matter, or do states regularly violate it with impunity? If international law is of no importance, then why do states devote so much energy to negotiating treaties and providing legal defenses for their actions? In turn, if international law does matter, why does it reflect the interests of powerful states, why does it change so often, and why are violations of international law usually not punished? In this book, Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner argue that international law matters but that it is less powerful and less significant than public officials, legal experts, and the media believe. International law, they contend, is simply a product of states pursuing their interests on the international stage. It does not pull states towards compliance contrary to their interests, and the possibilities for what it can achieve are limited. It follows that many global problems are simply unsolvable. The book has important implications for debates about the role of international law in the foreign policy of the United States and other nations. The authors see international law as an instrument for advancing national policy, but one that is precarious and delicate, constantly changing in unpredictable ways based on non-legal changes in international politics. They believe that efforts to replace international politics with international law rest on unjustified optimism about international law's past accomplishments and present capacities.

American Immunity

Author: Patrick Hagopian
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781625340467
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 1955 the Supreme Court ruled that veterans of the U.S. armed forces could not be court-martialed for overseas crimes that were not detected until after they had left military service. Territorial limitations placed such acts beyond the jurisdiction of civilian courts, and there was no other American court in which they could be adjudicated. As a result, a jurisdictional gap emerged that for decades exempted former troops from prosecution for war crimes. "This was not merely a theoretical possibility," Patrick Hagopian writes. Over a dozen former soldiers who participated in the My Lai massacre did in fact "get away with murder." Further court rulings expanded the gap to cover civilian employees and contractors that accompanied the armed forces. In American Immunity, Hagopian places what he calls the "superpower exemption" in the context of a long-standing tension between international law and U.S. sovereignty. He shows that despite the U.S. role in promulgating universal standards of international law and forming institutions where those standards can be enforced, the United States has repeatedly refused to submit its own citizens and troops to the jurisdiction of international tribunals and failed to uphold international standards of justice in its own courts. In 2000 Congress attempted to close the jurisdictional gap with passage of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The effectiveness of that legislation is still in question, however, since it remains unclear how willing civilian American juries will be to convict veterans for conduct in foreign war zones.

The Limits of Ethics in International Relations

Author: David Boucher
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199203520
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book demonstrates how universal principles that espouse the ideals of equality, freedom and human dignity, far from being emancipatory, almost invariably privilege certain groups in relation to others, and set conditions for the full enjoyment of rights which many groups fail to meet. While being excluded from the full enjoyment of rights, those group have the full range of obligations, which if they fail to discharge them give just cause for war, and providethe rationale for dispossession of their lands, and even widespread slaughter. The book contends that the universal principles of Natural Law and Natural Rights have much more in common than usually supposed, while Natural Rights and Human Rights are far different in character and structure.

The Limits of Leviathan

Author: Robert E. Scott
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139460285
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Much of international law, like much of contract, is enforced not by independent sanctions but rather through cooperative interaction among the parties, with repeat dealings, reputation, and a preference for reciprocity doing most of the enforcement work. Originally published in 2006, The Limits of Leviathan identifies areas in international law where formal enforcement provides the most promising means of promoting cooperation and where it does not. In particular, it looks at the International Criminal Court, the rules for world trade, efforts to enlist domestic courts to enforce orders of the International Court of Justice, domestic judicial enforcement of the Geneva Convention, the domain of international commercial agreements, and the question of odious debt incurred by sovereigns. This book explains how international law, like contract, depends largely on the willingness of responsible parties to make commitments.

The Limits of Maritime Jurisdiction

Author: Clive H. Schofield
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
ISBN: 9004262598
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Limits of Maritime Jurisdiction brings together a renowned group of oceans scholars and practitioners to explore key contemporary law of the sea challenges facing the international community.

The Perils of Global Legalism

Author: Eric A. Posner
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226675920
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The first months of the Obama administration have led to expectations, both in the United States and abroad, that in the coming years America will increasingly promote the international rule of law—a position that many believe is both ethically necessary and in the nation’s best interests. With The Perils of Global Legalism, Eric A. Posner explains that such views demonstrate a dangerously naive tendency toward legalism—an idealistic belief that law can be effective even in the absence of legitimate institutions of governance. After tracing the historical roots of the concept, Posner carefully lays out the many illusions—such as universalism, sovereign equality, and the possibility of disinterested judgment by politically unaccountable officials—on which the legalistic view is founded. Drawing on such examples as NATO’s invasion of Serbia, attempts to ban the use of land mines, and the free-trade provisions of the WTO, Posner demonstrates throughout that the weaknesses of international law confound legalist ambitions—and that whatever their professed commitments, all nations stand ready to dispense with international agreements when it suits their short- or long-term interests. Provocative and sure to be controversial, The Perils of Global Legalism will serve as a wake-up call for those who view global legalism as a panacea—and a reminder that international relations in a brutal world allow no room for illusions.

The Assault on International Law

Author: Jens David Ohlin
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199987408
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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International law presents a conceptual riddle. Why comply with it when there is no world government to enforce it? The United States has a long history of skepticism towards international law, but 9/11 ushered in a particularly virulent phase of American exceptionalism. Torture becameofficial government policy, President Bush denied that the Geneva Conventions applied to the war against al-Qaeda, and the US drifted away from international institutions like the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. Although American politicians and their legal advisors are often the public face of this attack, the root of this movement is a coordinated and deliberate attack by law professors hostile to its philosophical foundations, including Eric Posner, Jack Goldsmith, Adrian Vermeule, and John Yoo. In aseries of influential writings they have claimed that since states are motivated primarily by self-interest, compliance with international law is nothing more than high-minded talk. These abstract arguments then provide a foundation for dangerous legal conclusions: that international law is largelyirrelevant to determining how and when terrorists can be captured or killed; that the US President alone should be directing the War on Terror without significant input from Congress or the judiciary; that US courts should not hear lawsuits alleging violations of international law; and that the USshould block any international criminal court with jurisdiction over Americans. Put together, these polemical accounts had an enormous impact on how politicians conduct foreign policy and how judges decide cases - ultimately triggering America's pernicious withdrawal from international cooperation. In The Assault on International Law, Jens Ohlin exposes the mistaken assumptions of these "New Realists," in particular their impoverished utilization of rational choice theory. In contrast, he provides an alternate vision of international law based on a truly innovative theory of human rationality.According to Ohlin, rationality requires that agents follow through on their plans even when faced with opportunities for defection. Seen in this light, international law is the product of nation-states cooperating to escape a brutish State of Nature - a result that is not only legally binding butalso in each state's self-interest.

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

Author: Øystein Jensen
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
ISBN: 9004274170
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The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf: Law and Legitimacy examines the Commission from two different but interrelated perspectives: a legal analysis of the Commission’s decision-making; and a study of normative legitimacy related to the Commission and its procedures.