International Law Outline



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International Law Outline

Fall 2009

Philip Alston




I.Session One – International Law Generally 2

II.Session Two – Evolution of International Law 2

III.Session Three – Treaties 4

IV.Session Four – Customary and Soft Law 5

V.Session Five – States (Actors, Part One) 9

VI.Session Six – INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (Actors, Part Two) 12

VII.Session 27 – Legitimacy of International System (Conceptual Challenges, Part One) 15

VIII.Session 7 – International Law in the Domestic Arena 17

IX.Section 8 – Domestic Law v. Int’l Law (or, Int’l Law in Domestic Arena, Part Two) 21

X.Session 9 – International Law in US Courts (or Int’l Law in Domestic Arena, Part Three) 27

XI.Session 10 - Domestic Law in the International Arena 32

XII.Session 11 – Domestic Law in the International Arena, Part 2 37

XIII.Session 12 – Civil and Political Rights (Individual International Rights, Part One) 41

XIV. Session 13 – International Human Rights Treaties (Individual International Rights, Part Two) 45

XV.Session 14 & 15 – Fact-Finding in International Law and Peacekeeping – DRC 48

XVI.Session 18 – International Law and Fact-Finding in Practice – Israel and Gaza 52

XVII.Session 16 – International Criminal Law (Individual International Rights, Part Three) 52

XVIII.Session 19 – International Criminal Court (Individual International Rights, Part Five) 56

XIX.Session 17 – International Humanitarian Law (Individual International Rights, Part Four) 59

XX.Session 24 & 25 – Evolution of Use of Force (Use of Force, Part One) 62

XXI.Session 26 – Humanitarian Intervention (Use of Force, Part Two) 67

XXII.Session 20 –Ozone Layer (International Environmental Law, Part One) 71

XXIII.Session 21 –Climate Change (International Environmental Law, Part Two) 73

XXIV.Session 22 –Balancing Trade and Environment (International Economic Law, Part One) 76

XXV.Session 23 – Investment Dispute Resolution (World Economy, Part Two) 80

XXVI.Session 28 – War on Terrorism (Conceptual Challenges, Part Two) 82





  1. Session One – International Law Generally

    1. Development of American Perspective

      1. Monroe Doctrine (1823)

        1. Declare that American continents are not to be considered as subject for future European colonization

          1. Policy of staying out of European affairs except for self-defense

            1. Not interfere in internal concerns

            2. Consider gov’t de facto as legitimate gov’t

          2. Neutrality towards Spain and former colonies

        2. History – Napoleonic Wars. Colonies seizing opportunity to declare independence. UK wants to maintain trading rights with South America.

        3. Traditional – only state actors, etc. – foreign office model

          1. US, UK only really relevant actors. Latin American countries as passive recipients

          2. CONSENT of nations.

        4. Non-traditional – not a treaty or agreement, just a statement

      2. Roosevelt Corollary (1904)

        1. In Western hemisphere – adherence to Monroe doctrine may force US to exercise “international police power” in “flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence”

      3. Susan Rice – UN Ambassador (2009)

        1. Transnational security threats/effective multilateral cooperation

        2. Can’t ignore poverty, hunger in other countries – “troubles that ravage fragile states can ultimately menace sturdy ones.”

        3. UN is imperfect but also indispensible

          1. No substitute for legitimacy UN can impart

          2. Widest possible coalitions.

    2. Norms:

      1. Right to self-defense

      2. Right to independence

        1. non-intervention

        2. Non-interference

        3. Territorial integrity

      3. Neutrality

      4. Right to self-determination

      5. Respect for status quo

      6. Preference for democracy

    3. DRC

      1. Issues

        1. Sexual violence

        2. Motivated by mineral riches/illegal mining

        3. Bastion of military hutism

        4. Rebels in other countries who have to give up their guns (Burundi)

  2. Session Two – Evolution of International Law

    1. Development of International Law


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