As readers might recall, two years ago the Philippines launched an arbitration process against China under the auspices of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although its exact claims remain shrouded from public scrutiny, Manila apparently asserted that—to simplify a bit—Beijing had violated the international law of the sea by claiming sovereignty over vast swathes of the South China Sea.
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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Early last month, the U.S. State Department released the latest in its Limits in the Seas series. These surveys examine the maritime claims of nations around the world and analyze whether they are consistent with international law.
Last week, a British court allowed civil tort claims against the British government to proceed. In Rahmatullah v. Ministry of Defence, the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) held that a former Pakistani detainee—captured by the United Kingdom but then transferred to American custody—was not barred from suing by either the state immunity or the foreign act of state doctrines.
By the end of the year, the United States and Japan are expected to release revised Guidelines for Defense Cooperation. For the first time in seventeen years, the two nations will modernize the framework that governs the U.S.-Japan alliance in times of both peace and war.
In the last month, the South China Sea dispute has heated up again – China has parked an oil rig off Vietnam’s coast, prompting anti-Chinese riots across Vietnam; a Vietnamese ship sank after being rammed by (or ramming, depending on which version of this Rashomon story you credit) a Chinese vessel; the Philippines
As Raffaela previously noted, the case of Abdullah v. Obama is an exercise in "heel dragging and losing arguments." A brief refresher on the case: the legal saga started when Guantanamo detainee Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah filed a habeas petition. The petition went unanswered. Accordingly, Abdullah switched tactics and instead moved for a preliminary injunction against his indefinite detention. This request also went unanswered.
In response to the government's brief, counsel for the Plaintiffs in Al Laithi v. Rumsfeld et. al. filed a reply brief on Dec. 18th. (The Plaintiffs---all former Guantanamo detainees---allege various abuses at the hands of U.S.