Recognizing the limitations of current international systems based in The Hague, David A. Kaye provides a strategy for promoting national-level justice and accountability mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes.
The controversial relationship between the United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC) is at a crossroads: After an initial period of hostility toward the ICC, the United States has in recent years pursued a policy of cautious engagement. Vijay Padmanabhan offers a backdrop of the U.S.-ICC relationship and policy recommendations for the U.S. delegation attending the Seven-Year Review Conference in May/June 2010.
News of planned military trials for five 9/11 suspects underscores the Obama administration's need to more forcefully defend the necessity of military tribunals if they are to have legitimacy at home and abroad, says CFR's Matthew Waxman.
Pending indictments in a UN tribunal could link Hezbollah and Syria to the death of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Lebanon expert Michael Young says all sides, including Saudi Arabia and the U.S., are scrambling to deal with the impact of the findings.
CFR's John Bellinger expects the U.S. Senate to approve the START nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year and urges says the Obama administration to more actively pursue other treaties, including the Law of the Sea.
The Obama administration's decision to try accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York but other accused terrorists by military commission will revive debate over Guantanamo Bay and the laws of war, says CFR's Matthew Waxman.
Matthew C. Waxman, a former Pentagon official overseeing detainee affairs, says the controversial camp at Guantanamo Bay should be closed but that doing so will raise several key questions about legal process and the fate of the most dangerous detainees.
Mona Yacoubian, a former intelligence analyst for the State Department, says the special UN tribunal to investigate the assassination in 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is linked to the politics of Lebanon and Syria, with the Syrians trying to sow enough chaos to prevent the tribunal from ever getting underway.
CFR Adjunct Fellow Noah Feldman, discussing the legal issues at stake in the upcoming Hamdan decision, says the case will decide whether military tribunals are constitutionally sufficient and warns that if the Supreme Court rules current trial procedures inadequate, it may be difficult to try many of the nearly 500 Guantanamo detainees.
The State Department official in charge of addressing human rights issues, Assistant Secretary Barry Lowenkron, tells cfr.org a number of states fear the proposed UN Human Rights Council, which will seek to enforce international human rights law. As the council debate continues, Washington has also issued its annual report on human rights performance, drawing charges from a number of states of U.S. hypocrisy.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.