Tag Archives: International Law

Charting America’s Return to Public International Law Under the Obama Administration

The administration of George W. Bush left the international credibility of the United States in tatters and seriously undermined any U.S. claim to leadership in human rights and the rule of law. The Obama administration can begin to repair the damage wrought by the Bush administration by establishing a healthy new respect for public international law. Reengaging the international community multilaterally to develop international law further would be widely welcomed after eight years of unilateral and dictatorial engagement.

The Two Realities

Professor Mark Shulman’s article advocating the adoption of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as a foundation for U.S. foreign policy is a useful contribution to the contemporary political debate. Indeed, we all might wish that his policy prescriptions would lead to a new age of enlightened internationalism under U.S. influence and leadership. Unfortunately, history does not afford us cause for optimism. In the last 100 years, twice – after both World Wars – the West has hoped for a better world free from want and fear. And yet, those hopes – for the enshrinement of the Four Freedoms in the halls of government around the world – foundered on the rocks of reality when totalitarianism was established in a resurgent Germany under Hitler and in the hegemony of Stalinist Russia during the Cold War.

National Security Law Advice to the New Administration

By any measure, the period between September 11, 2001, and the 2008 presidential election witnessed an unprecedented tangle of controversies at the intersection of national security law and policy. The Bush administration responded to the September 11 attacks and the threat of further terrorism by asserting expansive executive authority across a wide range of national security domains. The President fashioned new rules for detaining those captured in what was called the “global war on terror” …