Latest in International Law

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.

Cybersecurity: LOAC-Military

Crossing a Cyber Rubicon? Overreactions to the IDF’s Strike on the Hamas Cyber Facility

Amid a massive exchange of rocket fire and airstrikes between Israel and both Hamas and Islamic Jihad this weekend, Hamas attempted a cyber operation against an unspecified civilian target in Israel. The operation failed, and in its aftermath the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out an airstrike that destroyed the building housing Hamas’s cyber capability. Some observers are citing the incident as an important—and perhaps dangerous—precedent. Others are questioning the legality of the strike itself. Both these views are misplaced.

Context

International Law

Document: Judge in Abu Ghraib Case Denies U.S. Sovereign Immunity for Jus Cogens Norms

On Friday, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted government motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in Al Shimari v. CACI, a case brought by plaintiffs who were detained in Abu Ghraib. The full opinion is available here and below.

 

International Law

A Post-Human Rights Era? A Reappraisal and a Response to Critics

The growing challenges both to international human rights law and to the international legal system as a whole count as old news by now. The sources of these threats are many: the rise in populism and nationalism, the growth in power and assertiveness of both China and Russia, growing income inequality, the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and so on. Even in this context, however, the past year has been an especially difficult one for human rights.

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