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International law

1998

Jurisprudence

Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutional Structure As A Limitation On The Scope Of The "Law Of Nations" In The Alien Tort Claims Act, Donald J. Kochan Dec 1997

Constitutional Structure As A Limitation On The Scope Of The "Law Of Nations" In The Alien Tort Claims Act, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Jurisdiction matters. Outside of the set of jurisdictional constraints, the judiciary is at sea; it poses a threat to the separation of powers and risks becoming a dangerous and domineering branch. Jurisdictional limitations serve a particularly important function when the judiciary is dealing with issues of international law. Since much of international law concerns foreign relations, the province of the executive and, in part, the legislature, the danger that the judiciary will act in a policy-making role or will frustrate the functions of the political branches is especially great. The Framers of the Constitution were particularly concerned with constructing a …