International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a "breach of international law." Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Barack Obama.
Obama declared at the start of his presidency that, when it comes to holding U.S. officials accountable for torture, we must "look forward not back." While he has failed to close Guantánamo or usher in a new era of government transparency, Obama has managed to keep this one promise: fostering impunity for torture.
Yugoslavia fell apart in stages, and violence accompanied each of these stages. To assess these crimes and determine culpability, even as the wars continued to rage, the United Nations established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993. It was the first war crimes tribunal since the end of World War II.
The real concern is not, however, the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that most Americans like. Rather, the Supreme Court is likely to use the Bond case to pronounce limits on Congress' ability to implement international treaties. The ruling is likely to defend states rights from federal treaty-making encroachment, while limiting the reach of international law in the United States.