International law roundup

  • Department of surreal headlines: “Detroit Mayor’s Office Disappointed With UN’s Stance on Water Shutoffs” [ via Deadline Detroit, earlier on customers who don’t pay Detroit water bills]
  • “When Mr. Bond first impregnated Mrs. Bond’s best friend, the international Chemical Weapons Convention was probably the furthest thing from his mind.” [Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Cato Supreme Court Review (PDF), earlier on Bond v. U.S.]
  • A case against including investor/state protections in trade negotiations [Daniel Ikenson, Cato] Issue leading leftists, libertarians separately to discover merits of sovereigntism? [Julian Ku, Opinio Juris]
  • Survey of rapidly changing field of transnational antiquities law [ABA Journal]
  • Canada, like U.S., gets periodic U.N. tongue-lashing over its relations with Indian tribes/native peoples [Kathryn Fort, ConcurOp]
  • With U.S. isolated on firearms issues, U.N.’s contemplated Programme of Action on Small Arms not quite so innocuous [Ted Bromund, more, earlier here, here, here, and here]
  • “The U.S. government should be careful about entering into new international agreements and treaties precisely because international laws do have legal force.” [Jason Sorens, Pileus]


  • The issue of whether the woman is guilty of crimes passed to implement a treaty goes around Robin Hood’s Barn. Let us propose a simpler scenario: do the treaty powers of the President and Senate permit them to make a valid treaty in which the U.S. Constitution is abrogated? Say, a treaty in which the terms of the President and members of the Houses extended to the durations of their lives and the Bill of Rights is voided?

    Put that baldly, the answer is obviously No. The government is empowered to do those things which are legitimate under the constitution. Treaties may not be made to do those things which are barred under the Constitution. Therefore, if the law is unconstitutional without a treaty, it is unconstitutional with a treaty.

    It’s hardly surprising that the Court did not wish to address that issue, since it would result in a diplomatic nightmare. However, the decision was disingenuous in seeking an out, as Mr. Rosenkranz points out.


  • As far as the trade treaties are concerned, I am curious about the “intellectual property” provisions:

    Will the usual suspects slip in language crippling or banning patent reform and copyright reform in the USA? If so, that should be considered a deal-killer..