International Law

Op-Ed

Limiting the Veto in Cases of Mass Atrocities: Is the Proposed Code of Conduct Workable?

Author: Stewart M. Patrick

In Paris, Stewart Patrick analyzes prospects for a French proposal in which the UN Security Council would adopt a “responsibility not to veto” norm in situations of mass atrocities. Despite tremendous challenges in implementing such a code of conduct, he concludes that it is ultimately a goal worth pursuing.

See more in France; International Law; Humanitarian Intervention

Op-Ed

Legal Posturing and Power Relations in the South China Sea

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

The Philippines took China to international court in 2013 in order to challenge China’s assertion of vast maritime claims over the South China Sea. Matthew Waxman discusses why using international legal institutions in this way serves as a poor replacement for diplomacy and instead adds to both its complexity and set of instruments.

See more in China; Philippines; International Law

Video

Fatou Bensouda on the International Criminal Court and Gender-Based Crimes

Speaker: Fatou Bensouda
Presider: David J. Scheffer

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), joins David J. Scheffer, the secretary-general's special expert on UN assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials at the United Nations, to discuss the ICC’s policy and protocol in investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes.

See more in Global; International Law; Human Rights

Audio

Fatou Bensouda on the International Criminal Court and Gender-Based Crimes

Speaker: Fatou Bensouda
Presider: David J. Scheffer

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), joins David J. Scheffer, the secretary-general's special expert on UN assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials at the United Nations, to discuss the ICC’s policy and protocol in investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes.

See more in Global; International Law; Human Rights

Transcript

Fatou Bensouda on the International Criminal Court and Gender-Based Crimes

Speaker: Fatou Bensouda
Presider: David J. Scheffer

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), joins David J. Scheffer, the secretary-general's special expert on UN assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials at the United Nations, to discuss the ICC’s policy and protocol in investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes.

See more in Global; International Law; Human Rights

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.

Read full answer

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