Legal Theory

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Snapshot,
Samuel Moyn

The Supreme Court decision on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. seemed to deal a blow to foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers who wished to the Alien Tort Statute to sue their abusers in U.S. courts. But the decision might be a blessing in disguise. The ATS never proved that useful in advancing human rights worldwide, and by slamming the door on it, the Supreme Court has pushed the human rights movement to focus on using other tools.

Snapshot,
Timothy William Waters

Ever since Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi was captured last month by Libyan rebel fighters, the International Criminal Court has hoped to try him in The Hague. But the Libyan people bore the brunt of the Qaddafi regime's tyranny for nearly half a century, and it is to them that Saif al-Islam should answer.

Essay, May/June 2011
David Kaye

A decade on, the ICC is still trying to find its footing, thanks partly from the chief prosecutor’s poor management and excessive ambition. The election to replace him is a chance to reboot.

Review Essay, Mar/Apr 2011
Charli Carpenter

Two recent books cast doubt on the value of the existing laws of war when it come sto safeguarding civilians in an age of unconventional conflict. But a closer look suggests that the current regulations constitute a firm foundation on which to better protect civilians.

Interview,
Kenneth Roth

This week, Kenneth Roth answers questions submitted by readers about President Barack Obama's plans to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

Snapshot,
Stephen D. Krasner

Sovereignty is the ultimate prize in international relations. But it is not an objective term -- increasingly, it is awarded and defined by powerful actors whose interests are at stake.

Essay, Jan/Feb 2009
Michael Chertoff

International law must find a way to combat modern threats, but it cannot diminish U.S. sovereignty in doing so.

Essay, May/June 2008
Kishore Mahbubani

The West is not welcoming Asia's progress, and its short-term interests in preserving its privileged position in various global institutions are trumping its long-term interests in creating a more just and stable world order. The West has gone from being the world's problem solver to being its single biggest liability.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2004
Robert Kagan

Europeans accuse the United States of acting like a bully: aggressive, self-interested, and disrespectful of rules. That charge is hypocritical. Still, it must be taken seriously, for as a liberal democracy with a global vision, the United States needs the approval of other nations that share its ideals. The American project is in Europe's interest, too--whether the Europeans understand that or not.

Essay, Jan/Feb 2004
Lee Feinstein and Anne-Marie Slaughter

The unprecedented threat posed by terrorists and rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction cannot be handled by an outdated and poorly enforced nonproliferation regime. The international community has a duty to prevent security disasters as well as humanitarian ones -- even at the price of violating sovereignty.

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