Latest in Readings


Eric Talbot Jensen on Presidential Pronouncements of Customary International Law

BYU law professor Eric Talbot Jensen has a new article posted to SSRN (appearing in Brigham Young University Law Review) titled, "Presidential Pronouncements of Customary International Law as an Alternative to the Senate's Advice and Consent." Very interesting and well worth reading. Abstract (31 pp. pdf):


Text of Russia-China Joint Declaration on Promotion and Principles of International Law

Last week I noted that the foreign ministries of Russia and China announced plans to issue a joint statement on the "promotion of international law" during the June 25, 2016 visit of President Vladimir Putin to China. The statement has now been posted to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.


The Centenary of the Battle of the Somme

Americans (myself included) have tended not to be attentive to the Great War. Our attention is focused instead on World War II, and we think of the Great War as "World War I" - and regard the "First" merely as wind-up to the "Second." It took me a long time to understand intellectually that the 20th century (and the 21st as well, to judge by current events in the Middle East) takes place in the shadow of the towering mountain range of the First World War. In historical terms, the First World War stands above even the Second in its influence upon the world.


Strategic Effects of Proliferating Military UAVs in the Asia Pacific Region

Although drone warfare to date has overwhelmingly been analyzed in the context of US operations against non-state actors - Al Qaeda or affiliated groups or, more recently, ISIS - much of the impact of drones on warfare is likely to come in the markedly different environment of state-to-state conflict (or near conflict) in the Asia Pacific ocean. The conflict environment, not to put too fine a point on it, of China versus, well, everyone or anyone else in the waters that China regards as its near-abroad and everyone one else regards as, more or less, the high seas.


Russia and China to Sign Joint Declaration on Principles of International Law

According to a statement issued today by the Russian Foreign Ministry (thanks to the OUP International Law Blog for flagging it), during the upcoming June 25, 2016 state visit of the Russian president to China, the "foreign ministers of both countries are planning to sign a declaration on increasing the role of international law." It will (according to Tass' report) set out a


John Carlin on "Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats"

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who runs the Justice Department's National Security Division, has a new paper out in the Harvard National Security Journal entitled "Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats." I have not read it yet and may have comments after I do. In the meantime, the introduction reads as follows:

Paris attacks

La France-des-Cavernes

The only photograph that hangs in my attic office is that of René Char, the poet and World War II Resistance fighter. Trying to find an appropriate expression of solidarity with the French people in the wake of the Paris attacks, it seemed right to look to Feuillets d'Hypnos, the wartime diary Char kept during his years of fighting in the Resistance and then edited and published after the war. The diary consists of short poems, aphorisms, epigrams, and brief accounts of Hypnos' (Char's nom-de-guerre) experiences; I've selected a handful that seemed to say something to this moment.


The "Where" Problem of Territory, Jurisdiction, and Data in Cyberspace

Jennifer C. Daskal (Washington College of Law, American University) has a forthcoming paper in Yale Law Journal on the vexing question of territoriality and data (current draft is available on, "The Un-Territoriality of Data." This paper focuses on one important aspect of the "where" of electronic data given the nature of today's Internet technologies - the US Constitutional Fourth Amendment territoriality issues of search and seizure. Here is the SSRN abstract:

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