Assignments for POL 337, International Law, Fall 2011

Final Exam

As I explained in class, the final consists of a take-home part and an in-class part. The take home questions will be available here on Thursday evening.

The take home questions will focus on chapters 9, 11, and 12 of the text and are open-book. No collaboration with anyone else is permitted. The questions must be typed and submitted to me in hard copy on Wednesday, December 14th when you arrive for the final exam in the classroom.

The in-class final will consist of two questions: one on the law (the “regimes”) of the sea, air, space, and finance, as found in chapters 13, 14, and 20, and one on the law of conflict as found in chapters 21 & 22 (the class reports on chapter 17 are also relevant here). I am looking for evidence of how well you understand the fundamentals of international law that we studied this semester. The questions will be rather narrowly focused: for example, one question may be on the law of the sea and one on jus in bello or international humanitarian law. I will not try to cover all of the five or six chapters listed above in two questions.

Assignment for the Class of December 7th:

First, regarding the papers: a hard copy is due by 3:30pm, Wednesday, December 7. (I mistakenly listed the deadline as 4:00pm in an earlier posting.) Let me remind you again to review the "Memo: General Requirements for Research and other Papers in Politics," a link for which is on my webpage under the "Useful Links" section near the bottom of the page. All necessary guidelines and the grading policy is set out there.

Second, the final will cover all of the material we have read since the mid-term: chapters 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, and 22. The final will be a combination of a take-home portion that I give you on Wednesday, December 7th, and a short in-class section taken the following Wednesday. I urge you to review all of the material. The quiz grades from Wednesday were horrible. No wonder the class discussions were anemic.

Email me with problems that you encounter wrting the research paper.

Assignment for the Class of November 30th:

The reading assignment for Wednesday is chapters 13 and 14 of von Glahn, the law of the sea, air, and space. Part of chapter 14 on airplane hijacking has already been reported on, but since you should be familiar with it for the final, you may want to read that section of the chapter.

The papers you submitted covered a broad range of accomplishment (i.e., they ranged from good to not-so-good). As I indicated in class, the second paper is due on the last day of class, next Wednesday, December 7th. I believe it would be best for all concerned to treat the first paper as a first draft and to make the second paper a better version of this one.

To that end, instead of having class on December 7th, the last scheduled class of the semester, I am cancelling that last class and am substituting a meeting or two with each of you over the next week or ten days for that last class. At the meeting, we will discuss the paper you submitted and the final version to be handed in. This way, we may be able to improve the writing and researching skills of all of you (and me!).

I will be out of town tomorrow, Monday the 28th, so try to make an appointment during my regular office hours. I will extend those hours: I am already available after 3:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays. I will be available on Wednesday after class, and I will be in on Thursday. Try to make an appointment soon. One meeting is absolutely required.

Assignment for the Week of November 14th:

Your first (of two) ten-page research papers is due 4:00pm Monday. I must have a hard copy, not an emailed copy, to grade, but if you cannot make it to campus on Monday, you may email me a copy by 4:00pm Monday and give me a hard copy of the same, identical paper on Tuesday or Wednesday. I explained my expectations for the paper in class; I have no desire to explain them again here. Most of your questions will find answers in the "Memo: General Requirements for Research and other Papers in Politics," a link to which can be found under the "Useful Links" section of my main webpage. Please keep me apprised of the progress of your research.

The reading assignment for Wednesday is chapter 12 of the von Glahn text.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, November 9th:

As announced, the reading assignment is chapter 20 on international economic law. The first paper is due on Monday, November 14th. Almost all of you have been consulting with me on it. The reading assignments for this week and next will be relatively short to let you work more on your research. Be sure to keep me apprised of your progress on the paper.

Assignment for the class of Wednesday, November 2:

The class assignment is chapter 22 of von Glahn. I will also assign individual sections of other chapters (mainly chapter 17) to individual students for short one-page reports (like the cases we did) to the class. The chapter 17 sections on crimes against humanity, piracy, hostage taking, & terrorism and the chapter 14 section on airplane skyjacking come to mind.

Individual assignments:

  1. Martin: crimes against humanity (ch. 17)
  2. Christian: piracy (ch. 17)
  3. Sister Gisella: hostage taking (ch. 17)
  4. Hallie: terrorism (ch.17)
  5. Rothley: airplane skyjacking (ch. 14)
  6. Ryan: the Furundzija and Bralo cases before the ICTY
  7. Catherine: the Ngirabatware case before the ICTR

Simply report in an orderly, systematic way, on what is in the relevant ten-page sections of the text or the basic facts of the case. Read to the class a coherent story that explains all they have to knw in order to understanding the essential information in the assigned reading.

The conventions discussed in the readings:

  1. First Convention (1949)—Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in the Field
  2. Second Convention (1949)—Wounded at Sea
  3. Third Convention (1949)—Prisoners of War
  4. Fourth Convention (1949)—Civilians
  5. First Protocol (1977)—Victims of International Armed Conflicts (PA-I)
  6. Second Protocol (1977)—Victims of Non-international Armed Conflicts (PA-II)

Proceedings in the Omar Khadr case.

Assignment for the class of Wednesday, October 26th:

Please read pages 568 to 607 (which is chapter 21 and a little of chapter 22) in the text.

You might be interested in this June 16th article from the American Society of International Law's Insights on the "recognition" of the Libyan National Transitional Council. There is also a link on the page to an article on the Kosovo declaration of independence case.

And you might be further interested in this information and documentation of the Caroline case or Caroline Affair from the Avalon Project of Yale Law School.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, October 19th:

Until I hear more from you, we will first look at a couple of issues that will be useful throughout the rest of the course. Please read chapters 9 and 11.

Please take a look at the unusual case of Filartiga v. Pena-Irala, 630 F.2d 876 (2d Cir.1980), and the case of Argentine Republic v. Amerada Hess Shipping Corp., 488 U.S. 428 (1989). The first addresses the 225 year old Alien Tort Statute (ATS), and the second addresses both the ATS and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Both these acts are important ways that international law finds its way into American courts. As always, read only the majority opinions, unless you have time to read additional concurring or dissenting opinions.

Next week (October 26), we will take up the law of war and chapter 21.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, October 12th:

Guidelines for the Exam. The exam will cover the eight chapters of von Glahn, the excerpt from Niemeyer's Law Without Force, and the cases that were assigned to the whole class and to you in particular. You are not responsible, of course, to know any details from the cases that were assigned to other students on the last two class days.

The material we have covered can be divided into four general areas:

First, the historical background (Niemeyer) and the theories of international law (chapters 1 & 2 of von Glahn);

second, the two sources of international law: namely, treaties and custom (convention), discussed in chapters 3 & 4 of von Glahn and the assigned cases;

third, the basic forms of and requirements for adjudicating international legal disputes in international forums (mainly the International Court of Justice) and national courts (mainly the United States and British courts), discussed in chapters 5 & 6 of von Glahn and in the assigned cases;

and fourth, some basic issues of state sovereignty and and state recognition (chapters 7 & 8 of von Glahn and the assigned cases).

I will ask one or a few short questions about each of these four topics. On the first part, I will ask a short essay question about the historical origins of international law—what historical events and developments led to the origins of international law; what was international law supposed to achieve; what norms were assumed to underly it. On the second, you should know the basic procedure of making treaties and terminating treaties; the essential requirements for the formation of customary or conventional international law; other forms of international norms that courts and nations may refer to (brush up on your Latin phrases!). On the third, a question on the fundamental differences between having an international legal problem adjudicated by a national court as opposed to having it adjudicated by an international tribunal. Here you should use the cases we and you have read as examples to back up your answer. Finally, on the fourth, I may pose a hypothetical legal case relating to state sovereignty and ask you to identify legal issues in the case, such as the issues that were in the cases you read for class and the cases that are highlighted in the von Glahn chapters.

This sounds like a lot. Let me give you a shorter version: Review the historical developments discussed by Niemeyer in his book; be sure that you know something about each of the subheadings listed in the table of contents for von Glahn's chapters 1 to 8; review the cases highlighted in the text and the ones separately assigned to the class (especially those for September 21st, which you never seemed to remember) to use as examples and details to support your essays. I am looking for a basic understanding of the materials: if you have read all of the assignments and studied them again before the exam, you will do well.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, October 5th:

Please read chapter 8 of the text on state recognition and succession. In addition to the chapter, each of you will read one case (like last time).

  1. Martin: Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino, 376 U.S. 398 (1964).
  2. Christian: National City Bank of New York, 348 U.S. 356 (1955).
  3. Gisella: Guaranty Trust Co. v. United States, 304 U.S. 126 (1938).
  4. Hallie: Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus v. Goldberg & Feldman Fine Arts, 917 F.2d 278 (7th Cir. 1990).
  5. Rothley: Latvian State Cargo v. Clark, 80 F.Supp. 683 (D.D.C. 1948).
  6. Ryan: Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Gould, 887 F.2d 1357 (9th Cir. 1989).
  7. Catherine: Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar and Grand Duchess of Saxony-Weimar v. Elicofon, 478 F.2d 231 (2d. Cir. 1973).

If you have a Supreme Court case, I have already provided a link above. If you have a case from a United States District Court or a United States Court of Appeals, (1) go to ALADIN, (2) click on the DATABASES box on the right-hand side of the screen, (3) click on "Law" under the Social Sciences category, (4) click on LexisNexis Academic, and (5) type the case citation (for example, "385 F.2d 456") in the appropriate box under "Look up a Legal Case." It works every time. If you have trouble, try a bunch of times; ask a fellow student for help; and if all else fails, email me on Tuesday.

When you read your case, learn the basic facts of the case and then focus on the international law issue in the opinion; everything else in the opinion is irrelevant.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, September 28th:

(1) Please read chapters 6 & 7 of the von Glahn text.

(2) Find your name below and report on the case assigned to you. Write a one-page (no longer) report in the form of the highlighted cases in the von Glahn text (such as the Scotia case on page 51 of the text), including a short account of the basic facts of the case, the main issue of international law that the Court addresses, and the Court's holding or ruling on that issue. You do not have to read any dissenting opinions, if there are dissenting opinions. In short, become an expert on the case. Be prepared to read your report to the class and to hand it in to me.

  1. Martin: Edye v. Robertson ("Head Money Cases"), 112 U.S. 580, 597-99, 5 S.Ct. 247, 28 L.Ed. 798 (1884), available on the Constitutional Law Case List link, on the main web page right above this link.
  2. Christian: Trendtex Trading v. National Bank of Nigeria, (Q.B., 1977).
  3. Gisella: Asakura v. City of Seattle, 205 U.S. 332 (1924)
  4. Hallie: Medellin v. Texas, 128 S.Ct. 1346, 170 L.Ed.2d 190 (2008).
  5. Rothley: United Kingdom v. Norway, (ICJ, 1951), pages 124 (facts) and 126 to the end for the court's opinion on the merits.
  6. Ryan: United Kingdom v. Iceland, (ICJ, 1973). ICJ jurisdiction. Short opinion.
  7. Catherine: Cook v. United States ("The Mazel Tov"), 288 U.S. 102, 53 S.Ct. 305, 77 L.Ed. 641 (1933), available on the Constitutional Law Case List link, on the main web page right above this link.

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, September 21st:

Please read the really, really short chapter 5 in the von Glahn text. We will complete the material on treaties and conventions in chapter 4 that we did not discuss in this past class, and we will have a short quiz on the terms in chapter 4.

There are several short court opinions that I would like you to read: three by the United States courts and a couple of excerpts from opinions rendered by the ICJ and PCIJ. The American decisions are The Cherokee Tobacco, 78 U.S. 616 (1870)(only Justice Swayne's opinion), and Belmont v. United States, 301 U.S. 324, 325-337 (1937)(Justice Sutherland's and Justice Stone's opinions). These two cases are available on the "Constitutional Law Case List" link, directly above this link on my web page. Scroll down to the headings "Treaty Power: Treaties" and "Treaty Power: Executive Agreements," and you will find links for the cases. Also, read this excerpt from the Sei Fujii v. California case, 242 P.2d 617 (Cal. 1952).

To find the ICJ and PCIJ opinions (which is a skill you must master for this course), go to the International Court of Justice website using the link on your syllabus that appears on this web page (I have shown you this procedure at least twice in class).

Click on "Cases" on the menu on the left-hand side of the ICJ web page.

Click on "Judgments, Advisory opinions and Orders by chronological order."

On the upper right-hand side of this web page, click on the year of the opinion that I give you.

Find the opinion in the list of opinions for that year.

It works! I done it!!

Read two of the following four opinion excerpts. Read enough of the beginnings of the opinions to get a good idea of the factual basis of the case.

  1. Cameroon v. Nigeria (Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria): Paragraphs 262-268 of the 10 October 2002 Judgment. The issue is whether a party to a treaty must be knowledgeable about the other party's constitutional procedures for treaty making.
  2. Libya v. Chad (Territorial Dispute—Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad): Paragraphs 51-56 of the 3 February 1994 Judgment. The issue is whether the Court can refer to documents other than the treaty itself to determine the terms of a treaty.
  3. Advisory Opinion on Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 28 May 1951. The issues of interest to us (the effect of reservations to the multilateral convention by signatory states) begin on page 22, first paragraph, and proceed to the end of the opinion on page 30.
  4. Germany v. United States (the LaGrand case): Paragraphs 99-107 of the 27 June 2001 Judgment. The issue was again the proper interpretation of treaties.

Article on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties by Karl Zemanek

Assignment for the Class of Wednesday, September 14th:

Please read chapters 3 and 4 of the von Glahn text and the Supreme Court opinion in The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677, 686-714 (1900). Just read pages 686 to 714. The first part of the opinion is concerned with appellate jurisdiction; the relevant international law material starts on page 686 and continues to the end of the opinion (714). You should read a bit of Chief Justice Fuller's dissent to get the other side of the story. It begins on page 715. We will discuss how to find the opinions of the International Court of Justice, also.

Assignment for Wednesday, September 7th:

Please read chapters 1 & 2 in the von Glahn text and the complete handout by Niemeyer. As I mentioned in class, we will focus mostly on the material in the Niemeyer handout on the development of the nation-state system and modern international law.

There is a lot of material to cover in this course, particularly in the first half of the semester, so our classes will usually go the full two and one-half hours. We all know the problems that long classes pose to our attention spans and learning curves; a focus on class discussion rather than lecture should help, and I will try to limit my lecturing to the first part of each class meeting. We will typically have a ten or fifteen minute break halfway through each class. Feel free to bring snacks to class.

Welcome to the course. This is an introductory course to a complicated topic—contemporary international law. To get the course off the ground, we will have to review several important topics in international law that are generally not crucial to other law courses: (1) the history of international law (it is not that old); (2) the theories of international law (not everyone agrees on its basis); (3) the sources of international law (treaties, customs, and general principles); (4) the subjects of—or those subject to—international law; and (5) the institutions for determining and applying international law (international courts, national courts, other governmental organizations). The fourth topic—the subjects of international law—leads us to look particularly closely at the nature of the modern "state," and the fifth topic leads directly into the larger subject of international relations, since lawyers and the courts are not necessarily the key elements in the international legal system that they are in national/municipal/domestic legal systems.

The first class will be an introduction to each of the above-listed topics. Each of the following four or five classes will focus on one of the topics.

Links for other, past courses. These are not relevant for POL/HI 337.

Newfoundland Bids to Renegotiate Union. See also Gagnon, Contemporary Canadian Federalism, University of Toronto Press, 2009.

Iraq Maps, Perry-Casteneda Map Collection. The British Mandate over Palestine and over Iraq . Late Ottoman Empire

An updated, English translation of the Mexican Constitution: Historical Text OR 2002 English Translation or Georgetown (2001 Spanish language version). (The Georgetown University version of the Constitution is listed under Constitutions and Constitutional Studies--Primary Documents--Mexico.)

Mexican History material on the Library of Congress Country Study site entitled Chapter 1. Historical Setting. For Thursday, begin the chapter in the Hauss text on Mexico. Canadian Politics--"Canoe" is a Canadian Webserver

2. Canadian History, Maps, Documents

3. Canadian Laws

4. Constitutional Documents

5. Constitutions and Other Legal Documents

6. Canadian Parliament Web Site (the "Reference Material" link is particularly useful)

7. of the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper.)

Other sources and readings:

The News

Assembly Jobs Flee Mexico in

Crime Deterred 50% in Foreign Investment in

For Russia, there are a number of good sites available. Try the following: (click on English Editions--then on Observer or Russian Issues)



PAIS INTERNATIONAL ARTICLE: "Antidumping Measures: A Widespread Commercial Phenomenon." By Nyahoho, Emmanuel, Cedrick Lefebvre, and Claire Malbouires. 38 Etudes internationales 361-381 (Sept 2007).

PAIS INTERNATIONAL ARTICLE: "Consumer Activism, EU Institutions and Global Markets: The Struggle over Biotech Foods." By Kurzer, Paulette, and Cooper, Alice. 27 Journal of Public Policy 103-128 (May-Aug 2007).

European Commission decision condemning Microsoft for "tying" Microsoft's Media Player software to the Windows operating system (Case COMP/C-3/37.792, Microsoft, Commission Decision of 24 Mar 2004).

For the Final:

As I explained in class, the final will consist of two essay questions that focus on the material that we have read since the mid-term: (1) one question focusing on the material on the state system and the law of war, human rights, genocide, torture, and the like, and (2) one question on the material on the international legal regimes of the sea, space, environment, and particulary trade. In short, review all of the assignments from October 14th to the present as set out below on this assignment link.

In addition to the traditional or adjudicative approach to international law that we studied in the first half of the semester and also in the last class (Chapter 10 of Janis), we have also incorporated the rationale-choice approach of Goldsmith and Posner. What I will ask you to do in the two questions is to address the subject matter of one of the two areas from the perspective of traditional, adjudicative international law and to address the other question from the perspective of rationale choice, or we might say national self-interest or national cost-benefits analysis.

You may choose which approach you take to each question as long as you use one approach in one question and the second approach in the other question.

The grade for the essays will be based upon your demonstrated understanding and use of specific concepts and facts that we have studied in the course. As I explained, you need not memorize the four rationale choice models of Goldsmith-Posner, but you must not talk in glittering generalities, either. Precision and specificity, i.e., spelling out details, are the signs of mastery of course material, and that is what I will expect of a good exam.

Finally, several of you need to take the mid-term make-up exam on Wednesday as well. Please contact me before Monday to arrange the time and place of the mid-term exam.

For the Class of December 2d:

I have graded the remaining papers, and they are in the rack on the wall across from my office door. Your proposals and my comments on your proposals are also in the rack. Because of the wide disparity in grades for the first paper, I put copies of several "A" papers in the envelope marked POL 337. If you did not do well on the first paper, I suggest that you take a copy of one of the excellent papers in the envelope with you and look it over. "Go and do likewise!"

I am still trying to find a suitable article on international trade via the Aladin databases, but I will now post a default assignment:

Please read Janis, chapter 10. The first part of this chapter was assigned some weeks ago, so it is not a lot of new reading. It is important stuff, however.

At the end of this link (scroll all the way down), I have posted the citations to a few articles on international trade that I have found in the ALADIN databases. I have also added links on the course syllabus to the European Commission and to the Commission's website sub-link on trade issues. The articles all appear too long to assign on short notice, especially when you are working on your papers, due Wednesday. I continue to pursue articles or cases on international trade issues relating to Airbus-Boeing and to Microsoft. Help me if you can.

I will also catch up with the grading and returning of the other assignments that you have given me over the past few weeks. As I indicated, I will try to find a suitable article or other materials on the WTO or perhaps European Union trade cases for the last class, or we might look at the jurisdictional material in chapter 10 of Janis, which would have been helpful to some of you in your first paper. Until I post the assignment, please work on the second research paper, especially to find suitable scholarly sources. I will start to review your proposals later this afternoon. (Posted Thursday, 3:00pm)

For the Class of November 18th:

Please read chapter 5 of the Goldsmith-Posner book on international trade agreements and Part B of chapter 7 in the Janis text, pages 221-245, on international legal regimes (not international organizations--there's a difference).

Also due in writing is a statement (proposal) of your topic (question) for the second paper. As explained in class, the second paper should be similar to the first in format but the focus must be on a subject involving international trade or one of the international environmental regimes that we will be looking at next week (Chapter 7.B of Janis).

Again, the length will be five pages but I want you to use more sources--a minimum of five scholarly sources. The paper need not revolve around a particular case or even an issue of international litigation as the first paper did, but such topics are certainly acceptable. Finally, the assigned statement, to be turned in for credit, should be cast in the two-part form of (1) a question or issue that you want to know more about and (2) what you have already read--at least two sources if one is our text books--that led you to be interested in the subject. Thus, it is sort of a junior proposal.

The second paper will be due December 2d.

Attendance was sparse at Wednesday evening's class. I am not going to repeat to each of you individually what I explained on Wednesday evening. You should direct your questions to your classmates. You may email me in general terms to inquire whether you are going in the right direction with a particular subject, but my responses will be short.

For the Class of November 11th:

The assignment for Wednesday is first, the reading from Goldsmith and Posner that was assigned for last week, and second, Chapter 9 of Janis.

Given the introduction of the Goldsmith-Posner text, the syllabus needs a bit of rearranging. Therefore, as I indicated in class, the deadline fo the second paper will be moved back to Monday, November 30th. You must propose to me a research question about an issue of international trade or environmental law by Wednesday, November 18th, at the latest--before that if you can. Therefore, the readings for the next two class will focus on those subjects. We will try to tuck material on international organizations into the last class of the semester.

For the Class of November 4th:

Please read chapters 3 and 4 of the Goldsmith and Posner text, The Limits of International Law. Actually, you might want to read chapter 4 first, 3 second, and book's Introduction third. The Introduction describes the basic outlook and premise of the book.

Please note the changes and additions.Your five page papers are due by 5:00 on Friday, November 6th, in the envelope in the rack on the wall across from my office door. As indicated int he syllabus, I accept no excuses for late papers. I need a hard copy from you, BUT if you email me copy before 5:00pm, you can drop off the paper later on Friday or Saturday. To repeat, if you email me the paper, you still must provide me with a hard copy.

As explained in class, each paper should focus on the international legal aspects of the particular topic. Each should include the following: (a) a one-page or less account of the basic facts of the situation; (b) a description of the court in question; (c) a description of the law or the legal charges in each prosecution; and (d) a discussion tying your case to the basic legal issues surrounding individual liability for violations of norms of international law. Tell me a story: make it interesting.

Finally, as explained in class, put your student ID# on the title page, not your name. The writing quality will count forty percent (40%) of the grade (more than 8 significant typos or grammatical errors results in an F), the content (especially part d, the discussion) will count forty percent (40%), and the quality, and to some degree the quantity, of the sources will count twenty percent (20%). Politics majors: use the Chicago style of footnote and bibliography notation. Non-majors may use MLA or APA, but you must use it correctly. For further guidelines on papers for my classes, click on the link, under the "Useful Links" section, for "Memo: General Requirements for Research and Other Papers in Politics." Since this is a five-page paper, the number of footnotes and sources should be reduced accordingly. Use the rules appropriately.

For the Class of October 28th:

Thanks for your patience in putting together this assignment dealing with individual libility for war crimes and human rights violations. In the Janis text, please read Chapter 8, Part A pp. 247-261; Part B.2. pp. 264-269; Part B.5 pp. 290-294; and Chapter 10, Part A pp. 328-336. In addition, please review the following headliner cases:

Additional short snippets:

  1. English court judgment on Pinochet extradition*
  2. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
  3. Demjanjuk v. Petrovsky

*Note: Vol. 39, Issue 1. George Washington International Law Review: "Pinochet and the Uncertain Globalization of Criminal Law" by Robert C. Power. "This article examines how the efforts to bring former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte to justice have affected international criminal law. It argues that traditional international law seems largely irrelevant today because the paradigmatic crime of the Pinochet era was torture, which is now addressed primarily through the Torture Convention, and the most appropriate forum is the International Criminal Court (ICC) rather than national courts. The article emphasizes the need to use international tribunals such as the ICC to help protect international criminal prosecutions from the kind of political erosion that left a very mixed record concerning Augusto Pinochet."

For the five-page papers due Friday, November 6th, choose one of the following, providing enough factual background to understand the problem but focusing primarily on the legal ramifications:

  1. The Role of the Office of Special Investigations in the United States Department of Justice and the case of John Demjanjuk.
  2. The foundation for the present criminal liability in Germany of John Demjanjuk.
  3. The Role of Spain in the Extradition of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.
  4. The present legal status of the trial of Khmer Rouge officials.
  5. The criminal liability of Slobodan Milosovic.
  6. The present criminal liability (or not) of either the perpetrators of Rwandan genocide or the perpetrators of genocide in Eastern Congo.

Because I only want two of you on each of the topics, please email me and claim a topic: first come first served!

For the Class of October 21st:

Please email me for your individualized assignment for next class. BTW, the book I suggested to you is Jack L. Goldsmith and Eric A. Posner, The Limits of International Law, available through for $11.49 (as of tonight, at least). Let me know in your email if you want us to use it during the second half of the semester.

For the Class of October 14th:

Next up is the law of war: Chapter Six of Janis. Review the Nicaragua v. United States and the Serbia-Montenegro v. United Kingdom cases. The former case discusses some of the principles of the law of war; the latter is decided on procedural and jurisdictional grounds. Be prepared to discuss them. I probably will not have the exams completed by Wednesday evening, but will have them by Friday.

For the Class of October 7th:

Here are the take home, research or "information literacy" questions (if I write that phrase here, I will not have to say it to you with a straight face). For each question, you must supply the citation of the information sufficiently for me to find it solely using the information you give me. For example, if the source is a particular legal case, the names of the parties or popular name of the case and the date of the decision are sufficient. If it is a provision in a charter, convention, treaty, or statute, the name of the document and the number of the provision is sufficient. The source might be a treaty or a case or a statute. We may or may not have discussed it in class. As I indicated below, I want to make sure you can't simply google and get the right answer, but if you use the links and sources on the syllabus, you will be able to find the sources of the following.

  1. a. The rule that the provisions of a bilateral treaty continue in force even if the two countries break diplomatic relations.
  2. b. Judge Loder's opinion that the International Labor Organization did not have jurisdiction over methods of agricultural production.
  3. c. The rule that litigants before the ICJ may have legal counsel.
  4. d. Germany's lawsuit against the United States for failing to inform German nationals, arrested for a crime, of their right to contact their consul.
  5. e. The provision that members of the United Nations who are parties to lawsuits before the ICJ are bound by the relevant judgments of the ICJ.

This should take you an hour at the most. Emailed answers are due Saturday, October 10th, 12 noon.

As announced, we will have the in-class part of the mid-term on Wednesday. The closed-book test will consist of three relatively short questions. As a rule of thumb, be prepared for a question on the content of chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, and chapter 5 of Janis and the associated cases (three questions, four chapters=choice?). I will also give you a couple of short research-type questions for take home. I want you to be able to find the sources of information about international law that we have been relying on thus far, so the questions will be short and to the point, but I want to frame them so that you cannot simply go googling and get the answers. I'm trying to be tricky.

For the Class of September 30th:

I do not want to add a lot because we must still go over the cases from last week (be sure to do a little more research into the historical or legal background or consequences of one of those cases). So, read chapter 5 of Janis, The International Court.

Since we have already looked at several ICJ opinions, I want to focus the cases on the use of international arbitration. The Reports of International Arbitral Awards (RIAA),, is an excellent source. Please read the award in the 1986 France-New Zealand arbitration case involving the Rainbow Warrior AND ONE OTHER ARBITRATION AWARD. Write up a short account (brief) of the case you choose and be prepared to read it in class or to hand it in if you are not called upon in class. Do yourself a fovor and pick a short case from the RIAA index.

For the Class of September 23d:

Hang in there—we will soon be over the basics and then we get into some interesting issues.

Please read chapter 4 in Janis on the intersection of international law and national courts. Read the following cases and look up the background--consequences of one of them. You need read only the majority opinions, not the dissents or separate opinions. Please be prepared to discuss them in class. I would like more discussion and less lecture.

  1. Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. 64 (1804). (Use LEXIS-NEXIS.)
  2. Asakura v. City of Seattle, 205 U.S. 332 (1924).
  3. Medellin v. Texas, 128 S.Ct. 1346, 170 L.Ed.2d 190 (2008).
  4. Filartiga v. Pena-Irala, 630 F.2d 876 (2d Cir. 1980). (Use LEXIS-NEXIS.)
  5. West Rand Central Gold Mining.
  6. Trendtex Trading v. National Bank of Nigeria.

For the Class of September 16th:

We turn this week to customary international law: chapter 3 of the Janis text. We will probably lead off with the cases. I will give you only the page numbers of the cases decided by the International Court of Justice (or the internal subheadings in the opinions of the Permanent Court of International Justice), but please read the court's discussions of the facts and litigation history of each case in the early paragraphs of the opinion. For the United States case(s) the internal page numbers are in brackets in the Findlaw version and marked by asterisks in the LEXIS-NEXIS version. In Janis, pay particular attention to his discussion of the North Sea Continental Shelf cases.

The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677, 686-714 (1900). The first part of the opinion is concerned with appellate jurisdiction; the relevant international law material starts on page 686 and continues to the end of the opinion. You should read a bit of Chief Justice Fuller's dissent to get the other side of the story. It begins on page 715.

The Case of the S.S. "Lotus", PCIJ 1927, Ser. A,: the Facts and sections III and IV.See what you can find out about the 1952 Brussels conference and the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Penal Jurisdiction in Matters of Collision and Other Incidents of Navigation.

Finally, read

We should start getting ready to prepare the issue brief papers required in the second half of the course, so for each of the aforementioned cases, find some additional information on the historic, legal, or political context in which the case took place or the effect of the decision on the countries involved. By "additional" I mean something from a source other than Wikipedia and something written down that you can read in class. This is not an assignment to hand in, but I will call on you and you must have something to read about each case.

For the Class of September 9th:

First, check out the new links I put on the syllabus to treaty materials at the United Nations and the United States Department of State. Second, if you have access to a printer and can manage that neat-o little maneuver you taught me in class about copying only the odd or the even pages of a PDF document, please print out a complete (only one language is necessary) copy of the 1973 Court judgment on jurisdiction in the United Kingdom v. Iceland case and bring it to class. It is a relatively short opinion and will serve well as an example for orienting your way through these opinions. As I mention below, for the other ICJ cases, you need only print out the paragraphs in question, but you should check on the facts surrounding each case.

Please read Janis, chapter 2, and the Whitney v. Robertson case, which you can find on the list of cases at the "Excerpted Case" link.

There are several parts of several cases decided by the International Court of Justice that you should read. These opinions are divided by paragraph: I will assign the relevant paragraphs. The specific judgements are sometimes hard to find (and even harder to download and copy). Use your ingenuity; each case I assign is one that I have personally found on the website. If you cannot print it, take notes and be able to give an account of the content of the assigned paragraphs. Two of the cases are cited in footnotes 155 and 158 of chapter 2 of the text and I am herewith excluding the citation that is already in the book: the Fisheries Jurisdiction Case, United Kingdom v. Iceland, Par. 30-45 (click on "Contentious cases" and scroll down memory lane to 1972); the 1997 opinion in the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project, Hungary/Slovakia, Par. 104. A third opinion is the 2002 Cameroon-Nigeria case, the judgment of October 10, 2002, Par. 264-268.

Focus on the Court's discussion of the "change in circumstances" defense in the Hungary/Slovakia case, beginning at Paragraph 104 and continuing on for about the next ten paragraphs. In the Cameroor/Nigeria case, read the Court's discussion of the argument that the treaty is void because the national treaty-making law of one of the parties was violated, beginning at Paragraph 264.

For the Class of September 2d (the second class):

Please read Janis, chapter 1, and the Niemeyer handout. Extra copies in the rack on the wall across from my office door.

Also, I am not sure that I got an accurate attendance report (which I must submit to the registrar this week and next). Please email me if you came late to class, after I took roll. I marked ten of you present, but I think there were eleven students in the room. The attendance policy does not apply to the first week of class, so an absence does not count against you, but I want to get an accurate roster. Thanks.

International Law of War Association.

WTO Draft Ruling on Airbus.