Aggression, from Cyber-Attacks to ISIS: Why International Law Struggles to Adapt

Albi Kocibelli
Vol. 39 Editor In Chief

Ius ad bellum and the notion of aggression have been a ‘yin yang’ for centuries.[1] Nevertheless, international law did not prohibit states from engaging in aggression until the conclusion of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.[2] Even then, the term was not defined.  In the aftermath of World War II, the act of aggression was equated with ‘waging of war’ by the Nuremberg Tribunal.[3] Twelve defendants were convicted of that crime.[4] The trial constitutes the fundamentals of the modern understanding of aggression. The term is used twice in the UN Charter. Paragraph 1 of Article 1 lists as one of the Charter’s purposes “the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.” Article 39 empowers the Security Council to determine which acts constitute aggression. However, aggression is nowhere defined in the Charter. Instead, it imposes a general prohibition on the use of force in Article 2(4)[5] and exceptions under Article 51[6] and Chapter 7.[7]  Continue reading

From Compulsion to Cooperation: The Importance of the Local in a Global World

Lakshmi Gopal
Vol. 39 Managing Online Content Editor

Trends in electoral politics in nations across the world have given political expression to a rhetoric of nationalism that presents itself as a “turn away” from international cooperation.[1] As the global community experiences the resurgence of nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric, public discourse on the future of international law remains increasingly focused on the tension between nationalism and the demands of international cooperation. While the international community bemoans these tragedies of the national commons, as it continues to articulate models for humanity’s shared future, it also important to contextualize these changes in the broader context of global change. Continue reading

“Asylum-Free Zones”: U.S. Violations of International Legal Obligations to Asylum-Seekers

Ava Morgenstern
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

 

Certain U.S. Immigration Court jurisdictions, by almost never granting asylum, arguably violate international law obligations on fair hearings for asylum-seekers.  The problem of highly restricted access to asylum will worsen under the Trump administration.  Despite possible small measures to alleviate the situation, not much will change unless and until the arrival of a future Presidential administration and Congress more concerned with international human rights obligations. Continue reading

Defeating White Jurisprudence: Towards a New Era of International Law

Lakshmi Gopal
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

Can white extremists be challenged, without challenging the role of white ideology in international law?[1] As white nationalism achieves international visibility once more, this is a crucial question for all those interested in using international law to a craft a world that transcends, at the very least, race, gender, and class. In the past few weeks, white extremists across the world felicitated the results of the American presidential election as a sign of global resurgence of white nationalism.[2] While white supremacist ties to the American president-elect have sent shockwaves throughout the world,[3] the result and the widespread global presence of these forces should not come as a shock, but rather, must be properly understood as the product of the dominance of white supremacist jurisprudence in international law.[4] This discussion presents an overview of the origins and development of white jurisprudence, a description of its relationship to international law, an overview of the intellectual forces that resist it, as well as some thoughts on the role of international law in breaking cycles of supremacy. Continue reading