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International Law, Domestic Law, and the United States

  • Ingrid Wuerth (a1)
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1 Spiro Peter J., The New Sovereigntists: American Exceptionalism and Its False Prophets, 79 Foreign Aff., Nov.–Dec. 2000, at 9, 13.

2 Zivotofsky v. Clinton, 132 S.Ct. 1421, 1427 (2012).

3 Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984); Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134 (1944).

4 Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, 548 U.S. 331 (2006); Medellín v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491 (2008).

5 Cf. Spiro Peter J., Sovereigntism’s Twilight, 31 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 307, 308, 309–10 (2013) (making this claim about a different book); see also Kumm Mattias, Constitutionalism and the Cosmopolitan State, 20 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. (forthcoming 2014) (describing Bradley and other new sovereigntists as settling into a “dogmatic slumber of self-congratulatory hubris with regard to the achievements of national constitutionalism, while promoting scepticism about international law”).

6 Kingsbury Benedict, Legal Positivism as Normative Politics: International Society, Balance of Power and Lassa Oppenheim’s Positive International Law, 13 Eur. J. Int’l L. 401, 435 (2002) (footnote omitted).

7 See, e.g., Weil Prosper, Towards Relative Normativity in International Law?, 77 AJIL 413 (1983).

8 Medellín, 552 U.S. 491.

9 See also Bradley Curtis A., Self-Execution and Treaty Duality, 2008 Sup. Ct. Rev. 131.

10 see Koh Harold Hongju, Transnational Public Law Litigation, 100 Yale L.J. 2347, 2349 n.10 (1991).

11 This discussion is limited to formal international law—treaties and custom. Many argue that soft or informal law and governance are displacing formal international law. See, e.g., Spiro, supra note 5, at 315– 18; Krisch Nico, The Decay of Consent: International Law in an Age of Global Public Goods, 108 AJIL 1 (2014). Bradley’s book focuses on formal sources of law, as does this review.

12 As Bradley mentions, however, the Supreme Court has not been receptive to federalism arguments in the context of sole executive agreements (pp. 58–61, 88, 92). As this review went to press, the Court was poised to decide Bond v. United States, in which the Court may impose federalism limits on Congress’s power to implement treaties.

13 Gordon Silverstein, Law’S Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves, And Kills Politics 9 (2009).

14 Koh, supra note 10, at 2364.

15 Friedman Barry, The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution 364–65 (2009); Rosenberg Gerald N., The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? 420–29 (2d ed. 2008).

16 see Greenhouse Linda & Siegal Reva B., Before (and After) Roe v. Wade: New Questions About Backlash, 120 Yale L.J. 2028 (2011).

17 Friedman, supra note 15.

18 Cf. Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, 542 U.S. 692, 734–35 (2004); Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, 548 U.S. 331, 355 (2006).

19 Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S.Ct. 1659, 1668–69(2013); id. at 1677–78 (Breyer, J., concurring); Medellín v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491, 516 –17 (2008).

20 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.; Greece intervening), 2012 ICJ Rep. 99 (Feb. 3).

21 see Nesi Giuseppe, The Quest for a ‘Full’ Execution of the ICJ Judgment in Germany v. Italy, 11 J. Int’l Crim. Just. 185 (2013).

22 Avena (Mex.v. U.S.), 2004 ICJ Rep. 12 (Mar. 31).

23 Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, 28 U.S.C. §1350 note (2012) [hereinafter TVPA].

24 Filártiga v. Pen˜a-Irala, 630 F.2d 876 (2d Cir. 1980); Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic, 726 F.2d 774 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

25 Koh, supra note 10, at 2366–67.

26 Id. at 2371.

27 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004); Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006).

28 Alexander M. Bickel, The Supreme Court and the Idea of Progress (1970).

29 see Thomas M. Franck, Political Questions, Judicial Answers: Does the Rule of Law Apply to Foreign Affairs? (1992).

30 Medellín v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491, 512–14 (2008); Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S.Ct. 1659, 1667 (2013).

31 See Agora: Reflections on Kiobel, 107 AJIL 829 (2013); Wuerth Ingrid, Case Report: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.: The Supreme Court and the Alien Tort Statute, 107 AJIL 601, 620 (2013).

32 see Wuerth Ingrid, International Law in Domestic Courts and the Jurisdictional Immunities of the State Case, 13 Melb. J. Int’l L. 819 (2012); Anthea Roberts, State-to-State Investment Treaty Arbitration: A Hybrid Theory of Interdependent Rights and Shared Interpretive Authority, 55 Harv. Int’l L.J. (forthcoming 2014); Kammerentscheidungen des Bundesverfassungs gerichts [Chamber Decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court], June 30, 2009, Case No. 2 BvE 2/08, 9 BVerfGK 174 (Ger.); Paul B. Stephan III, Sovereign Immunity and the International Court of Justice: The State System Triumphant (Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2012-47), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2137805.

33 Kingsbury, supra note 6, at 402.

34 Id. at 436.

35 Brad R. Roth, Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement:Premises of A Pluralist International Legal Order 300 (2011).

36 Benvenisti Eyal, Sovereigns as Trustees of Humanity: On the Accountability of States to Foreign Stakeholders, 107 AJIL 295, 300 (2013); see also Michael Ignatieff, Intervention and State Failure, Dissent, Winter 2002, at 115, 119 (“[S]tate sovereignty, instead of being the enemy of human rights, has to be seen as their basic precondition.”).

37 Regina v. Bartle, ex parte Pinochet, [1998] 3 W.L.R. 1456 (H.L.), reprinted in 37 ILM 1302 (1998), aff’d & rev’d in part, [1999] 2 W.L.R. 827 (H.L.), reprinted in 38 ILM 581 (1999); see also Wuerth Ingrid, Pinochet‘s Legacy Reassessed , 106 AJIL 731 (2012).

38 TVPA, supra note 23; see Naomi Roht-Ar-riaza, The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights (2005).

39 see Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S.Ct. 1659 (2013); Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, 542 U.S. 692, 714 (2004); Jones v. Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, [2006] UKHL 26, [2007] 1 A.C. 270 (H.L.) (appeal taken from Eng.).

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American Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0002-9300
  • EISSN: 2161-7953
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
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