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“State Opinio Juris and International Humanitarian Law Pluralism” by Michael N. Schmitt and Sean Watts

While states have become increasingly reticent about stating their views on international law, non-state individuals and organizations have strongly moved into the “declaratory” space, offering no end of “authoritative”-sounding declarations, reports, briefs to all sorts of international institutions, and scholarship. In a new paper, Schmitt and Watts offer an eloquent call for states, and particularly the United States, to speak up both with regards to their emerging state practice and formal opinio juris.  



Readings: Daniel Byman and Jeremy Shapiro Warn Against Hyping the Threat of Returning Jihadists

My Brookings colleagues Daniel Byman (who is, among other things, Lawfare's Foreign Policy Editor) and Jeremy Shapiro (who is, among other things, a demon with a barbecue and a slab of meat), have a new piece out in Foreign Affairs entitled, "Homeward Bound? Don't Hype the Threat of Returning Jihadists." It's a counter-intuitive take on the threat posed by Americans and Europeans who have gone to fight with ISIS, one that concludes that the threat---while real---is ov


Readings: Geoff Corn on Precautionary Measures in the Law of Armed Conflict

(Author's note: Apologies to Geoff and everyone else - I somehow managed to delete the last couple of paragraphs of this post when it went up.  I'll recover them--including the part of the post that actually introduces Geoff's paper!--and get it back up Tuesday. I'm sure everyone felt a trifle let down to have the last, incomplete sentence of the post beginning, "One of the most preeminent American law of war scholars and lawyers" ... only to break off unfinished and leave everyone hanging.)

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