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Full-Text Articles in Law

Do Self-Reporting Regimes Matter? Evidence From The Convention Against Torture, Beth A. Simmons, Cosette D. Creamer Jan 2019

Do Self-Reporting Regimes Matter? Evidence From The Convention Against Torture, Beth A. Simmons, Cosette D. Creamer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

International regulatory agreements depend largely on self-reporting for implementation, yet we know almost nothing about whether or how such mechanisms work. We theorize that self-reporting processes provide information for domestic constituencies, with the potential to create pressure for better compliance. Using original data on state reports submitted to the Committee Against Torture, we demonstrate the influence of this process on the pervasiveness of torture and inhumane treatment. We illustrate the power of self-reporting regimes to mobilize domestic politics through evidence of civil society participation in shadow reporting, media attention, and legislative activity around anti-torture law and practice. This is the ...


The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons Feb 2018

The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Human rights treaty bodies have been frequently criticized as useless and the regime’s self-reporting procedure widely viewed as a whitewash. Yet very little research explores what, if any, influence this periodic review process has on governments’ implementation of and compliance with treaty obligations. We argue oversight committees may play an important role in improving rights on the ground by providing information for international and primarily domestic audiences. This paper examines the cumulative effects on women’s rights of self-reporting and oversight review, using original data on the history of state reporting to and review by the Committee on the ...


Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies From The Field, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2018

Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies From The Field, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Sustainable Development Goals seek to change the history of the 21st century, addressing key challenges such as poverty, inequality, and violence against women and girls. The inalienable rights of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls addressed in Goal 5 are a pre-condition for this. Despite decades of struggle by women’s movements and reformist agendas, much still needs to be done to address de facto and de jure discrimination against women. At a time of enormous change for women, these essays from around the world are a critical analysis of the role of law in regulating and ...


Polar Opposites: Assessing The State Of Environmental Law In The World’S Polar Regions, Mark Nevitt, Robert V. Percival Jan 2018

Polar Opposites: Assessing The State Of Environmental Law In The World’S Polar Regions, Mark Nevitt, Robert V. Percival

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Climate change is fundamentally transforming both the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. Yet they differ dramatically in their governing legal regimes. For the past sixty years the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), a traditional “hard law” international law treaty system, effectively de-militarized the Antarctic region and halted competing sovereignty claims. In contrast, the Arctic region lacks a unifying Arctic treaty and is governed by the newer “soft law” global environmental law model embodied in the Arctic Council’s collaborative work. Now climate change is challenging this model. It is transforming the geography of both polar regions, breaking away massive ice sheets ...


“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin Jan 2018

“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

More than 70 years after Eleanor Roosevelt pioneered the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or what is known as the global Bill of Rights for Women). The Trump administration is planning measures such as paid parental leave and child care legislation which are supported by the CEDAW. Despite the Trump administration's caution about human rights treaties, we argue that an enlightened self-interest on the part of the administration will draw it towards the CEDAW ratification despite the ratification ...


From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sometimes the United States makes international commitments in the manner set forth in the Treaty Clause. But far more often it uses congressional-executive agreements, sole executive agreements, and soft law commitments. Foreign relations law scholars typically approach these other processes from the perspective of constitutional law, seeking to determine the extent to which they are constitutionally permissible. In contrast, this Article situates the myriad ways in which the United States enters into international commitments as the product not only of constitutional law, but also of international law and administrative law. Drawing on all three strands of law provides a rich ...


Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith Jan 2016

Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the United Nations Charter or specific Security Council resolutions authorize nations to use force abroad, and there is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the U.S. Constitution and statutory law allows the President to use force abroad. These are largely separate areas of scholarship, addressing what are generally perceived to be two distinct levels of legal doctrine. This Article, by contrast, considers these two levels of doctrine together as they relate to the United States. In doing so, it makes three main contributions. First, it demonstrates striking ...


East Asia, Investment, And International Law: Distinctive Or Convergent?, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2015

East Asia, Investment, And International Law: Distinctive Or Convergent?, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

International investment agreements (IIAs) are the primary legal instruments designed to protect and encourage foreign direct investment world-wide. This article argues that Asia has used IIAs just as much as have other regions of the world to attract foreign direct investment, but that Asia’s pattern of agreement provisions is somewhat distinctive. States in East and Southeast Asia have tended to enter into agreements that strike a balance somewhat more favorable to host states than to foreign firms, at least when compared to the rest of the world. This may be due to high growth in the region, which tends ...


Framing For A New Transnational Legal Order: The Case Of Human Trafficking, Paulette Lloyd, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2015

Framing For A New Transnational Legal Order: The Case Of Human Trafficking, Paulette Lloyd, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

How does transnational legal order emerge, develop and solidify? This chapter focuses on how and why actors come to define an issue as one requiring transnational legal intervention of a specific kind. Specifically, we focus on how and why states have increasingly constructed and acceded to international legal norms relating to human trafficking. Empirically, human trafficking has been on the international and transnational agenda for nearly a century. However, relatively recently – and fairly swiftly in the 2000s – governments have committed themselves to criminalize human trafficking in international as well as regional and domestic law. Our paper tries to explain this ...


Ending Security Council Resolutions, Jean Galbraith Jan 2015

Ending Security Council Resolutions, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Security Council resolution implementing the Iran deal spells out the terms of its own destruction. It contains a provision that allows any one of seven countries to terminate its key components. This provision – which this Comment terms a trigger termination – is both unusual and important. It is unusual because, up to now, the Security Council has almost always either not specified the conditions under which resolutions terminate or used time-based sunset clauses. It is important not only for the Iran deal, but also as a precedent and a model for the use of trigger terminations in the future. The ...


Crimea And The International Legal Order, William W. Burke-White Jan 2014

Crimea And The International Legal Order, William W. Burke-White

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A key balance between two of the most fundamental principles of the post-World War II international legal and political order is at stake today in Ukraine. Particularly in its annexation of Crimea, Russia has exploited the tension between a fundamental principle that prohibits the acquisition of territory through the use of force and an equally fundamental right of self-determination. Russia’s reinterpretation of these two principles could well destabilize the tenuous balance between the protection of individual rights and the preservation of states’ territorial integrity that undergirds the post World War II order. In determining the precedent that will be ...


Rewards For Rights Ratification? Testing For Tangible And Intangible Benefits Of Human Rights Treaty Ratification, Richard Neilsen, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2012

Rewards For Rights Ratification? Testing For Tangible And Intangible Benefits Of Human Rights Treaty Ratification, Richard Neilsen, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Among the explanations for state ratification of human rights treaties, few are more common and widely accepted than the conjecture that states are rewarded for ratification by other states. These rewards are expected to come in the form of tangible benefits—foreign aid, trade, and investment—and intangible benefits such as praise, acceptance, and legitimacy. Surprisingly, these explanations for ratification have never been tested empirically. We summarize and clarify the theoretical underpinnings of “reward-for-ratification” theories and test these propositions empirically by looking for increased international aid, economic agreements, and public praise and recognition following ratification of four prominent human rights ...


Adoption Of The Responsibility To Protect, William W. Burke-White Jul 2011

Adoption Of The Responsibility To Protect, William W. Burke-White

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book chapter traces the legal and political origins of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine from its early origins in the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty through the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document and up to January 2011. The chapter examines the legal meaning of the Responsibility to Protect, the obligations the Responsibility imposes on states and international institutions, and its implications in for the international legal and political systems. The chapter argues that while the Responsibility to Protect has developed with extraordinary speed, it is still a norm in development rather than a binding legal rule. Its ...


Are Institutions And Empiricism Enough? A Review Of Allen Buchanan, Human Rights, Legitimacy, And The Use Of Force, Matthew J. Lister Apr 2011

Are Institutions And Empiricism Enough? A Review Of Allen Buchanan, Human Rights, Legitimacy, And The Use Of Force, Matthew J. Lister

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal philosophers have given relatively little attention to international law in comparison to other topics, and philosophers working on international or global justice have not taken international law as a primary focus, either. Allen Buchanan’s recent work is arguably the most important exception to these trends. For over a decade he has devoted significant time and philosophical skill to questions central to international law, and has tied these concerns to related issues of global justice more generally. In what follows I review Buchanan’s new collection of essays, Human Rights, Legitimacy, and the Use of Force, paying special attention ...


The Legitimating Role Of Consent In International Law, Matthew J. Lister Jan 2011

The Legitimating Role Of Consent In International Law, Matthew J. Lister

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

According to many traditional accounts, one important difference between international and domestic law is that international law depends on the consent of the relevant parties (states) in a way that domestic law does not. In recent years this traditional account has been attacked both by philosophers such as Allen Buchanan and by lawyers and legal scholars working on international law. It is now safe to say that the view that consent plays an important foundational role in international law is a contested one, perhaps even a minority position, among lawyers and philosophers. In this paper I defend a limited but ...


Advantaging Aggressors: Justice & Deterrence In International Law, Paul H. Robinson, Adil Ahmad Haque Jan 2011

Advantaging Aggressors: Justice & Deterrence In International Law, Paul H. Robinson, Adil Ahmad Haque

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Current international law imposes limitations on the use of force to defend against unlawful aggression that improperly advantage unlawful aggressors and disadvantage their victims. The Article gives examples of such rules, governing a variety of situations, showing how clearly unjust they can be. No domestic criminal law system would tolerate their use.


There are good practical reasons why international law should care that its rules are perceived as unjust. Given the lack of an effective international law enforcement mechanism, compliance depends to a large degree upon the moral authority with which international law speaks. Compliance is less likely when its ...


Treaty Compliance And Violation, Beth A. Simmons Nov 2009

Treaty Compliance And Violation, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

International law has enjoyed a recent renaissance as an important subfield of study within international relations. Two trends are evident in the recent literature. First, the obsession with theoretical labels is on the decline. Second, empirical, especially quantitative, work is burgeoning. This article reviews the literature in four issues areas — security, war, and peace; international trade; protection of the environment; and human rights — and concludes we have a much stronger basis for assessing claims about compliance and violation now than was the case only a few years ago. Still, the literature suffers from a few weaknesses, including problems of selection ...


Intention, Torture, And The Concept Of State Crime, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2009

Intention, Torture, And The Concept Of State Crime, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Notwithstanding the universal prohibition against torture, and almost universal agreement that in order to qualify as torture, the act in question must be committed intentionally with an illicit purpose, the intentional element of torture remains ambiguous. I make the following claims about how we should interpret the intent requirement as applied to states. First, state intent should be understood objectively with reference to the apparent reasons for state action. The subjective motivation of particular state actors is not directly relevant. While we focus on subjective intent in the context of individual crime because of its relation to culpability and blameworthiness ...