International Law

Kevin Quinn / Ben Balter (background)

More than any other policy area, the conduct of security affairs implicates legal systems beyond our own domestic law. Despite a deep-seated American distrust of international law, a web of international norms, treaties and agreements compels the United States to defend its conduct in terms intelligible to the world at large. As policymakers grapple with issues from cyberwar to targeted killings, legal expertise in international humanitarian law, the law of armed conflict, and a myriad other areas of international law will only become more crucial.

 

Latest in International Law

Social Media

New U.N. Report on Online Hate Speech

David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the freedom of opinion and expression, recommended in June 2018 that social media companies adopt international human rights law as the authoritative standard for their content moderation. Before Kaye’s report, the idea was fairly out of the mainstream. But the ground has shifted.

International Law

Silence and the Use of Force in International Law

Editor's Note: This piece is crossposted on Lawfare and EJIL:Talk!

States frequently take actions and make statements that implicate international law. But because they do not—and, indeed, could not—express a view on each such act or statement by all other states at all times, silence seems to be the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations.

International Law

U.N. Security Council Resolution on Protecting People With Disabilities in Armed Conflict

On June 20, the United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution to protect people with disabilities in armed conflict and ensure they have equal access to humanitarian assistance. The groundbreaking text follows extensive advocacy from civil society and disability rights groups, and marks the first time the council has dedicated an entire resolution to the unique challenges people with disabilities face during situations of armed conflict.

International Law: Self-Defense

The Aborted Iran Strike: The Fine Line Between Necessity and Revenge

The president announced on June 21 that he had called off a potential U.S. military strike on Iran in response to Iran’s shootdown of a U.S. Navy remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). The strike, according to the president, could have incurred casualties of as high as 150 people—information that has sparked discussion over the proportionality of such a response under international law. Before jumping to this debate, however, there is another issue that needs to be considered first: the question of necessity.

Cybersecurity

A New Tool for Tech Companies: International Law

These days, many people see technology companies as indifferent to law, or at least interested in remaining under-regulated. When Mark Zuckerberg called on Congress to regulate how social media companies should handle challenges such as harmful content and data privacy, the request was unusual enough to make headlines. This real or perceived disinterest in legal regulation has troubled a host of people, including those worried about protecting privacy and freedom of expression.

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