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International Law

Where Will U.S. Torturers Be Held Accountable?

The Center for Constitutional Rights | Posted 04.29.2014 | Politics
The Center for Constitutional Rights

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.

Tensions Rise Between the United States and Sri Lanka Over Human Rights

Ronak D. Desai | Posted 04.28.2014 | Politics
Ronak D. Desai

Allowing these war crimes allegations to go unaddressed would undermine important international legal norms while rendering true reconciliation in the country an even more remote prospect.

Addressing War Crimes in Former Yugoslavia

John Feffer | Posted 04.21.2014 | Politics
John Feffer

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.

Egyptian Revolution Will Fail if the Press Is Not Free

Daoud Kuttab | Posted 04.07.2014 | Politics
Daoud Kuttab

I was part of a delegation of the International Press Institute that visited the Egyptian capital last week to try and plead the case of some 12 Egypt...

Obama Is Right: Close Guantanamo -- It's Anti-American

Michael Shammas | Posted 04.05.2014 | Politics
Michael Shammas

While some Republicans are wont to decry anti-Guantanamo liberals as "anti-American," the only anti-American thing in this debate is Guantanamo itself. For it goes against everything our nation professes to respect and love.

Iran's Leader and Mandela

Roya Boroumand | Posted 02.12.2014 | World
Roya Boroumand

If Iran's leadership seriously intends to move away from the violence that has become its trademark inside and outside the country, it will have to acknowledge past abuses and stop the cycle of violence.

A Justice Denied as Bangladesh Prosecutes War Crimes

Ronak D. Desai | Posted 02.01.2014 | World
Ronak D. Desai

Born in bloodshed, Bangladesh seeks a justice long overdue. Regrettably, the very judicial body responsible for delivering that justice instead threatens to further deny it.

Debating Killer Robots

Heather Roff | Posted 01.30.2014 | Technology
Heather Roff

While we continue to think about why using robots in war is problematic, from moral, legal and prudential perspectives, we should also continue to press on their touted "benefits."

Torture in U.S. Custody: Why It Will Happen Again If We Don't Address It Now

Mehroz Baig | Posted 01.23.2014 | San Francisco
Mehroz Baig

If we don't take an introspective look at the policies and actions we've taken in the name of national security, actions that grossly violate our fundamental values, then we are leaving the door open for this to happen again.

Drone Summit Demands End to Strikes, Surveillance

Daniel Medina | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Daniel Medina

Within view of the U.S. Capitol and just a little more than a mile from the White House, hundreds of of anti-drone proliferation activists, academics, lawyers and concerned citizens from all over the world gathered this weekend for the second annual drone summit.

On Climate Treaty, Obama's Problem Is Not Legal

Kyle Ash | Posted 01.25.2014 | Green
Kyle Ash

I'm not asking Obama to be as brave as the Arctic 30. But if Obama had truly internalized what he says in his climate speeches, I believe he would be activist about his legal abilities to do something about it.

International Law and Chemical Weapons: Conservative Arguments of Substance

Karen J. Alter | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Karen J. Alter

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.

The World's Silence on Syria Is a Silence of Hypocrites

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Michael Shammas

Eventually, Assad or his sons must renounce power; history teaches that no repressive regime lasts forever. But how long until this family falls? How long until "might makes right" is replaced by morality, until the pen and law and human decency really do triumph over the sword?

What Syria Could Mean Globally, If We're Bold Enough to Reach for It

Derek Johnson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Derek Johnson

Syria's chemical weapons are being dismantled because 1,400 civilians were poisoned and the world was rightly outraged. We must not wait for another weapon of mass destruction to be unleashed upon the world before we act with the same urgency.

The International Community's 'Responsibility to Protect' Should Include Climate Change

Brian Seavitt | Posted 11.18.2013 | Green
Brian Seavitt

The international community is still largely ignoring one of the most crucial human security issues of the 21st century: global warming.

The Devil Is in the Details: Where We Are With Syria

Heather Roff | Posted 11.18.2013 | World
Heather Roff

We are exactly where we were in April of 2011. That is to say, Assad's killing machine continues, Russia's backing of the regime continues, and any political settlement is going to be bogged down in diplomatic squabbles.

Syria's Tragedy Could One Day Be Our Own

Atif Choudhury | Posted 11.16.2013 | World
Atif Choudhury

As the Syrian people watch to see whether the international community will finally spring into action, we should have some more real talk on Syria's ongoing tragedy and why all of us have a personal stake in combatting state terrorism.

If There's a Syria Diplomatic Deal, Thank Congressional Resistance to a New War

Mark Weisbrot | Posted 11.13.2013 | Politics
Mark Weisbrot

If Congress refuses to authorize Obama's proposed bombing, it will be the first time it stopped a president from going to war. For those who want the United States to be an empire, that is a scary thought.

Doing Nothing Is a Right, But Is It Right?

Alex Glashausser | Posted 11.12.2013 | Politics
Alex Glashausser

How the United States should respond to Assad is far from clear. If we think a strike would help, though, then we shouldn't let others' reluctance stop us from taking the lead. Maybe what this country is actually all about is doing something.

China and Syria

Donald Gross | Posted 11.11.2013 | World
Donald Gross

One of the most significant aspects of the case China makes against a military strike on Syria is its consistency with positions taken by leading American opponents of an attack.

Did Al Assad Lie to Charlie Rose?

Paula Gordon | Posted 11.11.2013 | Politics
Paula Gordon

"Assad was a master of evasion, dodging, weaving, demanding absolute certainty; he treated the interview as a game of chess, making the necessary moves to avoid having to admit the evidence he knows (I believe) is there."

When Should We Violate International Law in Order to Enforce It?

Craig Martin | Posted 11.09.2013 | World
Craig Martin

Those who advocate for yet again violating the norm on aggression should consider the long term ramifications of this for the international legal order.

Six Reasons to Oppose an Attack on Syria

Stephen Zunes | Posted 11.06.2013 | Politics
Stephen Zunes

Here are some of the top talking points that should be raised before members of Congress as to why authorizing US airstrikes on Syria would be a bad idea.

The Problem of Syria -- and a Solution

Lawrence Wittner | Posted 11.05.2013 | World
Lawrence Wittner

If the Syrian government has used chemical weapons to massacre large numbers of people that is a real problem -- not only a dastardly act, but a clear violation of international law. But will the U.S. lobbing cruise missiles into Syria provide a solution to the problem?

Parents, Presidents, Provocations and Principles

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.05.2013 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

As a parent, I see no way to ignore the flagrant violation of international law in Syria and not rue the choice. I realize as well that international law is violated often around the world. But we can't fix what we don't know is broken, and much of such abuse takes place in shadow.