International Law

Op-Ed

China’s ADIZ at One Year: International Legal Issues

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Matthew Waxman reflects on the international legality of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), declared by China one year ago. Importantly, this zone includes a large area of the East China Sea, including islands the legal possession of which China disputes with Japan. Waxman discusses the somewhat ambiguous and developing legal field surrounding ADIZs in this particular context and beyond.

See more in China; Regional Security; International Law

Primary Sources

President Obama's Remarks on Europe

President Barack Obama spoke at the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels on March 26, 2014. He spoke about the history of formation of democracies in Europe and the importance of maintaining European regional security and the sovereignty of individual countries. President Obama argued for the United States and other countries to support Ukraine and to isolate the Russian government after Russia's annexation of Crimea.

See more in Europe; Russian Federation; Democratization; International Law

Foreign Affairs Article

The War of Law

Authors: Jon Kyl, Douglas J. Feith, and John Fonte

In the era of globalization, policymakers are increasingly debating the proper role of international law, and a group of legal scholars have embraced transnationalism, the idea that growing interconnectedness should dissolve international boundaries. But that approach is at odds with basic American principles.

See more in Global; International Law; Treaties and Agreements

Article

Holding Sway

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
South China Morning Post

Jerome A. Cohen says the Communist Party's sustained efforts since June 4 to influence China's courts for its own ends may be easing, but judicial independence is still a long way off.

See more in China; International Law

Ask CFR Experts

What will be the effect of the UN Arms Trade Treaty on the Syrian conflict?

Asked by Gabriel

The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was passed on March 28, 2013, and seeks to regulate and limit trade in arms in circumstances of human rights violations. Unfortunately, it will have minimal effect on the Syrian conflict. Syria's own vote against the treaty, along with Iran's and North Korea's, sounded the death knell for a universally applicable treaty to limit small arms, ammunition, and conventional weapons technology.

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See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Syria; International Law; Global Governance

Article

Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson

Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson outline a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.

See more in United States; Drones; International Law

Ask CFR Experts

What right does the United States have to use drones?

Due to the 9/11 attacks and the continued threat posed by international terrorism, the United States claims it is "currently at war with al-Qaeda and its associated forces," a conflict that extends beyond traditional battlefield settings to any country that is "unwilling or unable" to take action itself. The United States reserves the right to conduct targeted killings, although only against "senior" members of al-Qaeda who "pose an imminent threat the United States of America." Although the U.S. military has a vast array of tools in its arsenal, the primary vehicle for its targeted killings program are drones, which have been used in over 95 percent of the 420—and counting—targeted killings over the last decade.

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See more in United States; Drones; International Law