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Category Archives: International Law: LOAC

U.S. Delegation Asserts Article 16 of Convention Against Torture Applies Outside U.S. Territority in Certain Circumstances, but Law of Armed Conflict “Takes Precedence” In Situations of Armed Conflict

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

As previewed by Charlie Savage in the New York Times this morning, the U.S. delegation appeared before the Committee Against Torture in Geneva today and announced a modest but important change in the U.S. Government position regarding extraterritorial application of Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture (which prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in . . .
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Folk International Law and the Application of LOAC in Counterterrorism Operations

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Naz Modirzadeh’s fascinating series of Lawfare posts (here, here, and here) discussing her article, Folk International Law, provides an excellent primer on the potential consequences and confusion that result from amalgamating distinct legal doctrines, regardless of whether such creative tinkering is couched under the rubric of “policy.” In particular, I think the debate between Modirzadeh and Professor Marty Lederman actually underscores one . . .
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A Bit More On the Debate About the Extraterritorial Scope of the Torture Convention’s Provisions on Cruelty

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Monday, October 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM

In his piece on Nobel Peace Prize Laureates pressuring the President to disclose information about torture, Charlie Savage explains why some officials in the administration oppose the broad extraterritorial expansion of Article 16 of the CAT: The officials opposed to accepting the cruelty provision as applying abroad insist they do not want to resume abusive . . .
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New CNAS Program on Autonomous Weapons

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Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 9:56 PM

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) last week announced a new project on “Ethical Autonomy.” (This is a topic on which Ken and I have written, most recently in a piece co-authored with Daniel Reisner titled “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems.”) CNAS’s description of the project is below. The . . .
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Folk Law and Obama Administration Mythology: Four Stakes

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Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Marty Lederman and I have been engaged in a debate over the past few weeks, and last Monday he wrote a lengthy and thoughtful “Monday Reflection” over at Just Security concerning some of my arguments here at Lawfare and in my article, Folk International Law. I would like to use this post, my last in . . .
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The Convention Against Torture: Extraterritorial Application and Application to Military Operations

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Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Belatedly, I want to join the discussion about the extraterritorial application of the Convention Against Torture (CAT), about which Jack commented on Friday, drawing on an article by Charlie Savage earlier in the week. The New York Times opined on the issue on Tuesday in one of its typically misleading, “don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts” editorials that suggested that the . . .
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The Debate About the Extraterritorial Scope of the Torture Convention’s Provisions on Cruelty is (Almost Certainly) Not About USG Interrogation Policy

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Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM

A week ago Charlie Savage reported that the Obama administration “is considering reaffirming the Bush administration’s position that the [Convention Against Torture(CAT)] imposes no legal obligation on the United States to bar cruelty outside its borders.”  The provision of the Torture Convention in question is Article 16, which provides: “Each State Party shall undertake to . . .
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A Reply to Marty Lederman

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Friday, October 3, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Marty Lederman has a thoughtful response over at Just Security to my post from yesterday. I take his argument to be the following: First, that the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) does not purport to represent international law, but as policy it is actually better than international law; second, that any increase from the baseline of LOAC is a . . .
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Folk International Law and Syrian Airstrikes

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:21 AM

Earlier this year, I published an article called “Folk International Law,” in which I argued that there were many unappreciated and little understood costs to the convergence of LOAC and international human rights law. I suggested that the legal debate over targeted killing had driven US-based human rights advocates to contribute to and participate in a . . .
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Readings: Geoff Corn on Precautionary Measures in the Law of Armed Conflict

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Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

(Author’s note: Apologies to Geoff and everyone else – I somehow managed to delete the last couple of paragraphs of this post when it went up.  I’ll recover them–including the part of the post that actually introduces Geoff’s paper!–and get it back up Tuesday. I’m sure everyone felt a trifle let down to have the . . .
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Diane Webber on the ECHJ Opinion in Hassan

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Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Diane Webber, a British lawyer who recently did a lengthy study of detention law in a variety of countries, writes in with the following account of the European Court of Human Rights decision earlier this month in Hassan v. United Kingdom (ECHR Application No. 29750/09, Judgment of Grand Chamber, September 16, 2014): In an important decision this . . .
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Transatlantic Dialogue on Int’l Law and Armed Conflict: Verdirame on Theory, Human Rights, and Conflict

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

The newest installment in the Transatlantic Dialogue series is now posted at ICRC’s Intercross blog. It is from Professor Guglielmo Verdirame, and it addresses the larger implications of IHRL’s expansion into the armed conflict setting, including implications for matters of theory. A preview: The relationship between theory and practice in international law eludes easy explanations. . . .
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Transatlantic Dialogue on Int’l Law and Armed Conflict: Geoff Corn on Battlefield Regulation and Crime

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Continuing our coverage of the Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict, Lawfare is pleased to publish the discussion paper for the conference that Geoff Corn (South Texas) produced on the topic of how criminal responsibility relates to battlefield regulation. Squaring the Circle: The Intersection of Battlefield Regulation and Criminal Responsibility During our conference, . . .
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Transatlantic Dialogue on Int’l Law and Armed Conflict: Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne Responds to Sarah Cleveland

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 1:49 PM

The newest installment in the Transatlantic Dialogue series (see here) has gone live at EJIL:Talk!. It is from Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne (U. of Reading), and it responds to Sarah Cleveland’s earlier post on the Project on Harmonizing Standards for Armed Conflict. A taste:

Transatlantic Dialogue on Int’l Law and Armed Conflict: Sarah Cleveland on Harmonizing Standards

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 11:31 PM

The newest installment in the Transatlantic Dialogue series (see here) has gone live at EJIL:Talk!. It is from Sarah Cleveland, and it explains the Project on Harmonizing Standards for Armed Conflict. A taste: One of the consequences of the non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) of recent years has been widespread recognition that the current international humanitarian . . .
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Regulating Foreign Surveillance Through International Law

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

This Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Council will hold a session to discuss the right to privacy in the digital age. The Council is considering these issues in the wake of a General Assembly Resolution adopted in December (which affirmed that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online) and a report . . .
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Transatlantic Dialogue on Int’l Law and Armed Conflict: Ken Watkin on the IHL/IHRL Interface

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Friday, September 5, 2014 at 6:59 PM

The next installment in the series of posts derived from this summer’s Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict is now live at the ICRC’s Intercross blog. It is from Ken Watkin, and it concerns the overlap of IHL and IHRL. A taste: It is possible to address the perennial debate about the relationship . . .
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Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict: When Does LOAC Cease to Apply?

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:17 PM

As Dapo Akande of Oxford and Tracey Begley of the ICRC explain here and here, the next few weeks will see a series of short pieces posted here at Lawfare, at EJIL:Talk! (the blog of the European Journal of International Law), and at Intercross (the blog of the ICRC) giving readers a flavor of the . . .
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U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria? Possible International Legal Theories

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Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

In the wake of Thursday’s statements by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Friday’s comments by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, it sounds like the U.S. Government is at least considering whether to conduct air strikes against ISIS in Syria. A decision to do so clearly is not a done deal. As the Times . . .
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Israel-Gaza and the Law of Armed Conflict: Recommended Readings

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Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM

A number of friends and colleagues have asked me recently for recommended readings on the law of armed conflict and Gaza. I’ve decided, therefore, to post some of my suggestions and some explanation as to why I chose them. I hope to update this compilation as I improve it and perhaps as more is written. . . .
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