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Public Law and Legal Theory

International law

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The Proof Is In The Process: Self-Reporting Under International Human Rights Treaties, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons Feb 2020

The Proof Is In The Process: Self-Reporting Under International Human Rights Treaties, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent research has shown that state reporting to human rights monitoring bodies is associated with improvements in rights practices, calling into question earlier claims that self-reporting is inconsequential. Yet little work has been done to explore the theoretical mechanisms that plausibly account for this association. This Article systematically documents—across treaties, countries, and years—four mechanisms through which reporting can contribute to human rights improvements: elite socialization, learning and capacity building, domestic mobilization, and law development. These mechanisms have implications for the future of human rights treaty monitoring.


Rulers Or Rules? International Law, Elite Cues And Public Opinion, Anton Strezhnev, Beth A. Simmons, Matthew D. Kim Jul 2019

Rulers Or Rules? International Law, Elite Cues And Public Opinion, Anton Strezhnev, Beth A. Simmons, Matthew D. Kim

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One of the mechanisms by which international law can shape domestic politics is through its effects on public opinion. However, a growing number of national leaders have begun to advocate policies that ignore or even deny international law constraints. This article investigates whether international law messages can still shift public opinion even in the face of countervailing elite cues. It reports results from survey experiments conducted in three countries, the United States, Australia and India, which examined attitudes on a highly salient domestic political issue: restrictions on refugee admissions. In each experimental vignette, respondents were asked about their opinion on ...


“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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 Jan 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...