Sean Mirski

SMirski's picture

Sean Mirski graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as Supreme Court Chair for the Harvard Law Review and was part of the school's winning Ames moot court team. While at law school, he interned in the International Affairs division of the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, as well as the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State (in the Office of East Asia and Pacific Affairs and the Office of Consular Affairs). Prior to law school, he was a Junior Fellow in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with an M.A. in International Relations and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics.

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South China Sea

The Philippines Opens Its UNCLOS Case Against China

Last week, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario made his opening statement before the tribunal overseeing Manila’s arbitration against China. (As regular readers will remember, the Philippines has brought its case under the auspices of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Significantly, Secretary del Rosario added some public detail about the nature and scope of the Philippines’s formal claims about China’s behavior in the South China Sea.  Two points jumped out at me about the speech. 

South China Sea

The Clash Between the Law of Sovereignty and the Law of the Sea in the South China Sea Dispute

As I explained in this legal primer, the South China Sea dispute has primarily revolved around two distinct legal quarrels: a dispute over territory and a dispute over the substance and application of maritime law.

Over at The National Interest, I’ve written an article parsing this distinction and what it means for the American approach to the South China Sea. I argue that

Executive Power

The Indeterminacy of Zivotofsky’s Exclusivity Analysis

Zivotofsky was expected to make a valuable contribution in the form of its analysis of the scope of exclusive executive power. But the Court failed to set forth a compelling or clear method of deciding exclusivity, and instead, it chose to rely on a variety of indeterminate sources. This approach is troubling for many reasons, not least because it opens the door to problematic “functional” analyses of the type exemplified by Zivotofsky itself.

Executive Power

Summary of the Court’s Opinion This Morning in Zivotofsky v. Kerry

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court engaged deeply in Zivotofsky v. Kerry with significant questions implicating foreign relations law and the separation of powers, and—perhaps surprisingly—provided some illuminating answers. Lawfare has drafted a summary of the Court's 93-page opinion.


Crowded Waters in the South China Sea

The South China Sea ranks high on any list of the world’s geopolitical hotspots. But though the region has been volatile for centuries, the last two decades have witnessed a subtle shift in the underlying drivers of conflict.

Over at The National Interest, I've written an article examining a significant change in the contours of the dispute. I argue that