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International Law (Treaties, Intergovernmental Relations)

The Siege of Aleppo and War Crimes - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Laurie R. Blank, Michael A. Newton December 02, 2016

For months, Syrian and Russian warplanes have bombed Aleppo, killing and wounding residents. Russian officials have referred to the siege as “diplomacy backed by force.”  The US Ambassador to the UN has called it “barbarism.”  The US and France have called for a War Crimes investigation, but any meaningful action at the UN has been blocked by Russia’s place on the Security Council.  In this Teleforum, two distinguished professors with extensive practical experience examined the status of the siege under the Law of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Laurie R. Blank, Clinical Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Michael A. Newton, Professor of the Practice of Law Director, Vanderbilt-in-Venice Program, Vanderbilt University Law School

 

JCPOA: One Year in Review - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Mark Dubowitz, Peter Harrell September 30, 2016

After one year of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action assessments and critiques, have American security interests been damaged? Is Iranian gamesmanship ephemeral, or durably threatening? Critics point to evasions of the JCPOA like the easing of economic sanctions and the un-reviewed arms deals and contracts with Russia to say that the “deal” has only served as cover for Iranian nuclear infractions. Is the U.S. Congress empowered to demand a better deal, even after a year of performance and European reliance on a return to the status quo ante for financial re-engagement with Iran? Are there historic precedents for resetting the terms? In light of coming sunset clauses that may see Iran at near zero break-out time, what leverage potential does NATO possess, and do any “snap back” sanctions represent real restraining power?

Featuring:

  • Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)
  • Peter Harrell, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

President Obama and Nuclear Tests - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Eugene Kontorovich, Peter J. Spiro September 30, 2016

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but the treaty did not go into effect because the Senate refused to ratify it. Twenty years later, the Obama administration still favors ratification of the treaty as part of its nuclear disarmament strategy. President Obama appears to be attempting to go around the Senate by signing a U.N. Security Council Resolution that would, according to a National Security Council spokesman, “call on states not to test and support the CTBT’s objectives,” but would not be legally binding. Professor Kontorovich of Northwestern University School of Law and Professor Spiro of Temple Law School joined us to debate the international & national security law implications of these actions.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Prof. Peter J. Spiro, Charles R. Weiner Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law 

$400 Million to Iran: Ransom or Diplomacy?

Short video featuring Jamil N. Jaffer
Jamil N. Jaffer August 25, 2016

Jamil N. Jaffer explains the legal implications of the US State Department's payment of $400 million to Iran in light of US sanctions against the country. Prof. Jaffer also explores further questions: Was the payment "ransom"? Was it legal? 

Mr. Jaffer is an Adjunct Professor and Director of the Homeland and National Security Law Program at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

When Lines in The Sea Fail: China Dismisses Hague Arbitration Court Ruling - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Julian Ku, James Kraska August 19, 2016

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court and the Chinese government have denounced the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague’s recent ruling. According to The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provisions, island-building activity and territorial claims in the South China Sea violated international and environmental law. Was China bound by this ruling, although China objects to The Hague Arbitration Court’s jurisdiction, and claims that consent was not given? When international law, agreements, and norms are summarily voided by a losing nation, what should be the international legal and political response? Regarding international agreements specifically, does this case provide warnings for signatories to treaties and agreements? Are there lessons for the United States in the consideration of potential reservations, opt-outs, alternate venues, or waivers, and whether they were given proper regard by the Court?

Featuring:

  • Prof. James Kraska, Howard S. Levie Professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Prof. Julian Ku, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and Faculty Director of International Programs, Hofstra University School of Law