International Law (Treaties, Intergovernmental Relations)

Dealing with Putin’s Russia: What is the Best Approach? - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Brian H. Hook, Heather Hurlburt August 05, 2014

From the time he entered office after being tapped by Boris Yeltsin to succeed him, President Vladimir Putin’s overarching objective was to consolidate power – at home and abroad.  From earlier focuses on the Russian economy and quashing internal rivals, President Putin now seeks to recover geo-strategic assets lost in the Soviet collapse, which he called “the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century.”

President Putin's adventurism in the “post-Soviet space” was previously limited to cyber-activities in the Baltics, widespread regional economic and security pressure, and the 2008 invasion of Georgia.  But in 2014 he aimed far higher by invading and annexing Crimea and then destabilizing eastern Ukraine.  The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine has caused the West to re-assess its overall approach to Russia.

What is President Putin up to? How far will he go?  What should the United States do to deter President Putin's ambitions to make Russia the dominant power in Eurasia?  And what are our European allies willing to do?

  • Hon. Brian H. Hook, Founder, Latitude, LLC and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
  • Ms. Heather Hurlburt, Senior Fellow in National Security, Human Rights First

Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd. - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-20-14 featuring Mike Ramsey and Thomas Lee
Thomas H. Lee, Michael D. Ramsey June 20, 2014

Michael RamseyThomas LeeOn June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. The question in this case is whether post-judgment discovery in aid of enforcing a judgment against a foreign state can be ordered with respect to all assets of a foreign state regardless of their location or use, as held by the Second Circuit, or is limited to assets located in the United States that are potentially subject to execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq., as held by the Seventh, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits. 

In an opinion issued by Justice Scalia, the Court affirmed the Second Circuit by a vote of 7-1 (Justice Sotomayor not participating), holding that no provision in the FSIA immunizes a foreign-sovereign judgment debtor from postjudgment discovery of information concerning its extraterritorial assets. Justice Ginsburg dissented.

To discuss the case, we have Prof. Michael D. Ramsey, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law, Director, International & Comparative Law Programs, University of San Diego School of Law as well as Professor Thomas Lee, the Leitner Family Professor of International Law, Director Graduate and International Studies, Fordham University School of Law.

Bond v. U.S. Decided - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
John C. Eastman, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz June 06, 2014

BiohazardOn June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bond v. U.S. The Court did not avail itself of the opportunity to decide an important issue: Do the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations? Instead, the Court resolved the case using statutory interpretation. How important is the decision? What can be gleaned from the Court’s decision?

  • Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Democracy in Decline? - Podcast

International & National Security Law and Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Groups Podcast
James Allan, James A. Haynes May 27, 2014

Democracy in Decline: Steps in the Wrong Direction

Part lament, part provocative call-to-action, Democracy in Decline: Steps in the Wrong Direction argues how democracy is being diluted and restricted in five of the world's oldest democracies – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. University of Queensland School of Law Professor James Allan targets four main, interconnected causes of decline – judicial activism, the transformation and growth of international law, the development of supranational organizations, and the presence of undemocratic elites. He argues that the same trends are occurring whether the country has a constitutional bill of rights (United States and Canada), a statutory bill of rights (the United Kingdom and New Zealand), or no bill of rights at all (Australia). Identifying tactics used by lawyers, judges, and international bureaucrats to deny that any decline has occurred, Mr. Allan looks ahead to further deterioration caused by attacks on free speech, intolerant worldviews, internationalization through treaties and conventions, and illegal immigration. Social and political decisions, Mr. Allan argues, must be based on counting every adult in a nation state as equal. An essential book for anyone concerned with majority rule and fairness in numbers, Democracy in Decline presents an account of trends that he says have been undermining democracy over three decades.


  • Professor James Allan, Garrick Professor in Law, The University of Queensland School of Law, and author of Democracy in Decline
  • James A. Haynes, Attorney and Alternate Judge, Employees Compensation Appeals Board, U.S. Department of Labor