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International and Foreign

Time to Give the Sleeves From Our Vest and Acknowledge the Extraterritoriality of the Convention Against Torture

As David Luban noted yesterday evening, Charlie Savage of The New York Times reported that the Obama Administration likely plans to continue to espouse Bush-era positions on the prohibition against torture and the extraterritoriality of U.S. obligations under the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).…   continue »

“Just looking for loopholes…”

…is what W. C. Fields supposedly said when someone found him leafing through the Bible. Apparently some lawyers in the Obama administration are following Fields’s lead, and may succeed in returning to the kind of loophole lawyering of the Bush administration’s “torture memos,” in order to fend off constraints on prisoner abuse abroad.…   continue »

Venezuela Gains a Seat on the UN Security Council

This morning, the United Nations General Assembly held elections for five of its ten non-permanent Security Council seats for the 2015-2016 term. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the election from a US perspective was the replacement of US-ally, Argentina, with Washington’s adversary, Venezuela.…   continue »

Authorizing Force: A Review of Turkish, Dutch and French Action

As the number of states using military force against ISIS in Syria and Iraq have increased, a series of domestic authorizations have emerged from their national executives and parliaments. The legitimacy of the use of force under domestic and international law retains particular symbolic importance given the perception of legitimacy deficits in controversial cases such as NATO’s 1999 Kosovo campaign and the second Iraq war.…   continue »

Supreme Court of Canada Rules Individuals cannot sue a Foreign State in Canada for Torture Committed Abroad

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) affirmed that individuals cannot bring civil actions in Canada against a foreign state, which includes foreign officials, for acts of torture committed abroad. In the majority opinion in Kazemi Estate v Islamic Republic of Iran, Justice LeBel explained that this decision is political and “Canada has given priority to a foreign state’s immunity [the principles of comity and state sovereignty (para 2)] over civil redress for citizens who have been tortured abroad” (para.…   continue »