Richard H. Pildes

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Professor Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law and Co-Faculty Director for the Program on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. His scholarship focuses on legal issues concerning the structure of democratic institutions and politics, separation of powers, administrative law, and national-security law. A clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall at the United States Supreme Court, Professor Pildes has been named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Carnegie Scholar.

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International Law

Creating New International Law "Justifications" for Using Military Force Against Syria

As I noted in an earlier post, the newly emerging uses of multi-lateral military force for humanitarian intervention -- such as to respond to states that gas their own citizens -- raise profound issues about the relationship between "the rule of (international) law" and morality/political judgment. Under existing international law, it is difficult to justify legally use of military force against Syria; there is no self-defense justification and no approval from the Security Council.

International Law

Kosovo, Syria: When it Comes to Military Force, What's the Proper Relationship Between Law and Political Judgment?

The potential use of military force in Syria and its past use in Kosovo -- despite the likely "illegality" under international law and the U.N. Charter -- raise important general questions about the modern, post-WWII attempt to establish "rule of law" constraints on the inter-state use of force. Jack and Ashley have noted the widespread view, then and now, that the Kosovo bombings were "technically" illegal under international law, but nonetheless right. Absent Security Council approval, the same might be true regarding Syria.