Sources of International Law

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The Honduran Crisis and the Turn to Constitutional Legitimism, Part II: The Pitfalls of Constitutional Legitimism

In my previous post on this topic, I argued that the international reaction to the Honduran coup potentially augurs a shift in foundational norms governing the relationship between international and domestic legal authority.  I also hinted that I regard such a shift as ill-advised, and noted that some of those in the forefront of the reaction appear to have given little thought to the long-term implications. As, Doug Cassel’s ASIL Insights analysis notes, “Ordinarily international law imposes its own, autonomous norms for the permissible conduct of a government.  Questions of domestic law – including constitutionality – are left to domestic authorities, both as a matter of their sovereign entitlements, and because they are presumed better able to interpret their own constitution.”  The two reasons that Cassel cites are distinct:  the latter is a matter of respect for a foreign pouvoir constitué, on the ground that standards of legal interpretation are themselves a matter of local law; the former is a matter of respect for a foreign pouvoir constituant, on the ground that…

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Has North Korea Terminated the Korean Armistice Agreement?

Seunghyun Sally Nam is 3rd Secretary for the Korean Peninsula Peace Regime Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea. She is writing in her personal capacity and her views do not necessarily represent those of the South Korean government. In his recent post, Dapo…

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The ICJ and Evolutionary Treaty Interpretation

On Monday, the ICJ delivered its judgment in the Costa Rica v. Nicaragua case, concerning navigational and related rights on the river San Juan (Registry summary; judgment). The case itself is not terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but upon reading the judgment I came across several questions of broader import that our readers might find…

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An Effective Remedy for Josef K: Canadian Judge ‘Defies’ Security Council Sanctions through Interpretation

Antonios Tzanakopoulos is a DPhil Candidate at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 2005, he was research assistant to Professor Giorgio Gaja, the International Law Commission's Special Rapporteur on the Responsibility of International Organizations. His Oxford thesis is on the responsibility of the United Nations for wrongful non-forcible measures by the Security Council. Many…

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Kadi and Al Barakaat: Luxembourg is not Texas – or Washington DC

Piet Eeckhout is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for European Law at King's College London. He was a member of the legal team for the applicant Yassin Kadi. The European Court of Justice's approach in the Kadi decision has already been described as sharply dualist (see,Professor Joseph Weiler's…

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