A new batch of forthcoming scholarship (titles link to pdfs on ssrn):
"Beyond the Grave Breaches Regime: The Duty to Investigate Alleged Violations of International Law Governing Armed Conflicts"
Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Forthcoming
AMICHAI COHEN, Ono Academic College – Faculty of Law, Israel Democracy Institute
YUVAL SHANY, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law and Institute of Criminology, Israel Democracy Institute
The purpose of the present article is to critically evaluate the contemporary international law obligation to investigate military conduct in times of conflict and to identify relevant normative trends. In a nutshell, we argue that the traditional focus on the Geneva grave breaches regime in the context of military investigations is misplaced. The duty to investigate is far broader – encompassing the alleged violation of many other norms of IHL and IHRL.
RUSSELL MILLER, Washington and Lee University – School of Law
The most sensational and unique contribution of Germany’s national security constitution has made to the common constitutional struggle to balance security and liberty is the theory of “militant democracy.” Andras Sajo, the best-known contemporary theorist of militant democracy, has written to advocate the implementation of militant democracy in the present struggle against terrorism. “The counter-terror state, following the logic of militant democracy intends to protect certain fundamental rights and values by denying those rights to some people who are believed to abuse the system.” Sajo’s representation of how a comparist would analyze the claims that America can borrow and transplant Germany’s militant democracy as a weapon in the struggle against global terrorism is a traditional, functionalist response.
How should a comparist analyze the claims that America might borrow and transplant Germany’s militant militant democracy as a weapon in the struggle against terrorism? The functionalism tradition “considers legal problems and their solutions in isolation” and “treats comparative law as a technique of problem solving.” The result of this problem-solving emphasis was that comparative law presented issues “generically,” “detached” from specifics, and abstracted from their relevant contexts in an effort to construct ideal law. Functionalism may not address the relevance of values to constitutional protection of democracy or the extent to which “militant democracy” raises critical tradeoffs best understood in light of the unique features of a particular legal or political culture.
The contextual method endeavors to situate various constitutional problems in their animating political circumstances. This contextualization of problems and norms greatly complicates, if it does not confound, attempts at borrowing a legal regime, like Germany’s militant democracy for use in another setting, like America’s struggle with terrorism.
The discursive comparative method focuses on the social milieu in which sociological, historical, economical, and political norms are found. In the case of Germany – economic recovery, then stability, was fundamental to peace, stability, and security because of the widespread devastation confronting the Germans after the war. The contextual comparative effort revealed the fact that economic development played a critical role in pursuing postwar Germany against the enemies of democracy.
"Private Religious Discrimination, National Security, and the First Amendment"
Harvard Law and Policy Review, Vol. 5, p. 347, 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 373
AZIZ Z. HUQ, University of Chicago Law School
This essay identifies a negative feedback loop between private discrimination directed at American Muslims and security against terrorism. The first part of the loop is familiar: Concerns about terrorism animate greater antipathy toward outsiders. The second part is novel: social discrimination corrodes trust in the police and makes cooperation with police less likely. Insecurity thus creates discrimination, which deepens insecurity. The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, now greatly weakened, still provide one tool to break this negative feedback loop.
Deciphering an American presidential administration is truly yeoman’s work. Whether the Obama Administration is significantly distinct from previous administrations is too early to judge. Arguably, the task should be left to historians. Nevertheless, even a casual perusal of President Obama’s Middle East policy (perhaps best described as "policy") reflects a combination of naiveté, inconsistency and murkiness. While perhaps by design, the impact — on the ground — is deeply troublesome. While domestic political considerations are a reality, the implications of the Administration’s policy in an area of the world as treacherous as the Middle East are, potentially, staggering.
Precisely because international law does not articulate either normative or architectural standards as to when international humanitarian intervention is justified, national leaders arguably have a responsibility to act. The oft-cited phrase "when the cannons roar, the muses are silent" is particularly relevant to this discussion. For a variety of reasons, the international community has determined — whether actively or passively — that the massacre of the Syrian population by the Assad government does not justify international humanitarian intervention. While the human rights violations occurring on a daily basis do not compare to the horrors of Rwanda, Kosovo, or Sierra Leone they are not less compelling than the events transpiring in Libya. If, by metaphorical analogy, the international community is the cannons and the U.S. is the muse, does that mean that the Obama Administration is required to be silent? After all, if the quote were to be rigorously applied, then many of the institutions created to minimize human suffering would neither exist, much less function in wartime. While the distinction — from the perspective of international humanitarian intervention — between Libya and Syria is as unclear, as are the criteria that justify intervention, that must not serve as a misguided basis for the Obama Administration to largely turn its back on the Syrian people.