Episode 25 – Aslı Bâli on Economic Sanctions and the Laws of War

In the last episode of Season 2, I speak with Aslı Bâli, Professor of Law at UCLA in the United States, and Co-Director of the Middle East Division of Human Rights Watch, among other things. She specializes in both international law as it relates to armed conflict and human rights, and on comparative constitutional law with a focus on the Middle East. We discuss the lawfulness of comprehensive autonomous economic sanctions, and the relationship they may have with the various regimes that govern the use of force and armed conflict. Economic sanctions are often viewed as a legitimate and effective alternative to the use of force in international relations. Yet comprehensive sanctions can and do cause the kind of humanitarian harm and economic disruption that in other circumstances could be unlawful under IHL, or constitute a use of force if caused by cyber operations or even naval blockade, and they are potentially in violation of human rights law. So aside from the ethical and strategic questions that they pose, economic sanctions raise legal issues, including issues at the intersection with the laws of war—which we explore in a fascinating conversation!

Materials:

– “Sanctions are Inhumane – Now , and Always,” The Boston Review, Mar. 26, 2020.

– Dapo Akande, Payam Akhavan, and Eirik Bjorge, “Economic Sanctions, International Law, and Crimes Against Humanity: Venezuela’s Referral to the International Criminal Court,American Journal of International Law, Apr. 29, 2021.

Recommended Reading:

– Joy Gordon, Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions (2010).

– Alex de Waal, Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (2018).

– Nicholas Mulder and Boyd van Dijk, “Why Did Starvation Not Become the Paradigmatic War Crime in International Law?” in Ingo Venzke and Kevin Jon Heller eds., Contingency in International Law (2021).

– Tom Dannenbaum, “Encirclement, Deprivation, and Humanity: Revising the San Remo Manual Provisions on Blockade,” 97 International Law Studies 307 (2021).

Episode 24 – Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji on the ICC, the Concept of “Attack,” and More

In this episode, I speak with Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, Judge and President of the ICC until he stepped down earlier this year. He served as Judge on the ICC for almost ten years, and was President of the Court for three. Prior to that he was Legal Advisor to the UNHCR, and before that, a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Orignally from Nigera, Judge Eboe-Osuji is a Canadian, and he practiced law in Toronto prior to his international law career. He is soon to take up a new position at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University in Toronto. In our conversation Judge Eboe-Osuji reflects on his role in the development of the ICC, and some of the criticisms of the Court, before turning to a more detailed discussion of the meaning of term “directing attacks” in the Rome Statute, through the lens of the Ntaganda case. This leads to a discussion of the relationship between so-called Hague Law and Geneva Law in IHL, and between war crimes and crimes against humanity within the Rome Statute, all within the context of the object and purpose of IHL, and the need for intelligibility and accessibility as a fundamental component of the rule of law – fascinating discussion!

Materials:

The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, Appeal Chamber Decision, Mar. 30, 2021.

The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, Trial Chamber Decision, Jul 28, 2019.

– Abhimanyu George Jain, “The Ntaganda Appeal Judgement and the Meaning of “Attack” in the Conduct of Hostilities War Crimes,” EJILTalk!, Apr. 2, 2021.

– Ronald Acala and Sasha Radin, “Symposium Intro: The ICC Considers the Definition of ‘Attack.'” Articles of War, Oct. 27, 2020.

Reading Recommendations:

– Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (1969).

– Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil (1963).

– Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017).

Episode 22 – Srinivas Burra on India’s Apparent Shift on Self-Defense

In this episode, I speak with Srinivas Burra, professor of law at South Asian University, Faculty of Legal Studies, in New Delhi, India. Srinivas has written extensively on both jus ad bellum and international humanitarian law, often with a focus on India’s practice and position in relation to these legal regimes. We discuss first how India’s position regarding the doctrine of self-defense, as indicated in statements in the recent Arria-formula meeting of the U.N. Security Council, appears to have shifted quite significantly as compared to the posture it adopted in the context of strikes against non-state actors within Pakistan in 2016 and 2019. Srinivas interprets the recent statements to suggest that India accepts both anticipatory self-defense and self-defense against non-state actors, but surprisingly, views its rejection of the “unwilling or unable” doctrine as taking a more expansive and aggressive posture than that doctrine allows when it comes to defending against non-state actors in non-consenting states. Turning to international humanitarian law, we discuss why India has continued to hold out against ratifying the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Another fascinating discussion!

Materials:

– “India’s Decisive Turn on the Right to Self-Defence,” Opinio Juris, Mar. 22, 2021.

– “Use of Force as Self Defence against Non-State Actors and TWAIL Considerations: A Critical Analysis of India’s State Practice,” 24 Asian Yearbook of International Law (2018).

– “India’s Strange Position on the Additional Protocols of 1977,” EJILTalk!, Feb. 15, 2019.

Recommended Reading:

– B. S. Chimni, “The Articles on State Responsibility and the Guiding Principles of Shared Responsibility: A TWAIL Perspective,” 31 European Journal of International Law, volume 1211 (2020).

– Ntina Tzouvala, “TWAIL and the “Unwilling or Unable” Doctrine: Continuities and Ruptures,” 109 American Journal of International Law: Unbound  266 (2015).

– Frédéric Mégret, “From ‘Savages’ to ‘Unlawful Combatants’: A Postcolonial Look at International Humanitarian Law’s ‘Other’, in Anne Orford, ed., International Law and its Others, (2006).

Episode 20 – Rebecca Ingber on Legally Sliding into War

In this episode I speak with Rebecca Ingber, Professor of Law at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, and formerly a lawyer in the Office of Legal Advisor in the U.S. Department of State. We discuss a recent essay in which Rebecca examines how international and domestic law operate together to facilitate the incremental moves by which the U.S. initiates, expands, and extends armed conflicts. The process involves legal justifications and rationales for each step towards war, with legal interpretations that, while made in good faith, are often strained and even beyond the pale. What is more, Congress and the courts tend to look to the international law principles as limitations on executive branch conduct, but then there is little check on how the executive branch lawyers interpret and expands such principles — and all of this focus on legal justification displaces a necessary and deeper policy analysis of the reasons for engaging in armed conflict. In exploring these issues, we also talk about whether legal scholars are fulfilling their role of keeping the government honest in its interpretation of international law, where exactly within the government such decisions get made, and why and how different areas of law get conflated and confused in the justifications for war!

Materials:

– “Legally Sliding Into War,” Just Security, Mar. 15, 2021.

– “International Law as Executive Power,” 57 Harvard Int’l Law J. (2016).

Recommended Reading:

– David Luban, “Complicity and Lesser Evils: A Tale of Two Lawyers,” Georgetown J. Legal Ethics, (forthcoming, 2021).

– Monica Hakimi, “The Jus ad Bellum‘s Regulatory Form,” 112 American J. Int’l L. 151 (2018) [See Episode 6!].

– E. M. Forester, The Machine Stops (1909).

Episode 17 – Nessa Interviews Martin on Climate Change and the Jus ad Bellum Regime

In this episode, I relinquish the hosting to  Jasmin Johrun Nessa of Liverpool University Law School, and she interviews me on my recent work on how the climate change crisis may implicate the jus ad bellum regime. Jasmin is finishing up her doctorate on the doctrine of self-defense in jus ad bellum, and teaching international law among other things, at Liverpool Law School. She is also a co-general editor of the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law’s “Digest of State Practice.” We discuss my recent article on the climate change crisis and the jus ad bellum regime, in which I argue that as the climate change crisis deepens, and not only the consequences but the causes of climate change are viewed as threats to both national security and international peace and security, there will be pressure to relax the jus ad bellum regime to allow for the threat or use of force against “climate rogue states.” This will include a relaxation of the conditions for permissible self-defense, as we have seen in response to other novel threats, and pressure for a new exception to the prohibition on the use of force, along the lines of humanitarian intervention. I suggest that these arguments will be persuasive but dangerous, not only increasing the likelihood and incidence of war, but also being counterproductive to the climate change crisis effort itself — and so we must begin to discuss the issues now, and contemplate how to resist such developments, before the pressure mounts.

Materials:

– “Atmospheric Intervention: The Climate Change Crisis and the Jus ad Bellum Regime,” 45 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 331 (2020).

Recommended Reading:

– Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World (2017).

– John Fabian Witt, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (2012).

– Ray Moore and Donald Robinson, Partners for Democracy: Crafting the New Japanese State Under MacArthur (2002).

Episode 16 – Terry Gill on the Use of Force Against Non-State Actors

In this episode, I speak with Terry Gill, the Professor of Military Law at the University of Amsterdam, Center for International Law, and the Netherlands Defence Academy, and also the Director of the Netherlands Research Forum on the Law of Armed Conflict and Military Operations (LACMO). We discuss his recent article (co-authored with Kinga Tibori-Szabó) on the use of force against non-state actors (NSAs) within the territory of states that that are not substantially involved with, or exercising significant control over, the NSA, but which also do not consent to the use of force against the NSA within their territory – a familiar but still hot subject of ongoing debate. Terry explains why a strict understanding of the principle of necessity should be at the center of the analysis of these issues, and thus offers some perspectives on the so-called unwilling or unable doctrine that are quite different from others who support the right to use force against NSAs. We also revisit his much earlier work on the Nicaragua v. USA judgment of the ICJ, and how its formulation of attribution should be understood in this context.

Materials:

“Twelve Key Questions on Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors,” 95 International Law Studies 468 (2019) (with Kinga Tibori-Szabó).

Reading Recommendations:

– Kinga Tibori-Szabó, Anticipatory Action in Self-Defence (2011).

– Sir Humphrey M. Waldock, “The Regulation of the Use of Force by Individual States in International Law,” 81 Hague Academy of International Law Lectures (1962).

– Jack Vance, Suldrun’s Garden: Lyonesse Trilogy Vol. 1 (1982).

Season 2: Episode 15 – Michael Schmitt on Cyber Ops and the Laws of War

In this episode, the first of “Season 2”, I speak with Michael Schmitt, who is, among other things, Professor of International Law at the University of Reading, Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Charles H. Stockton Distinguished Scholar at the US Naval War College.  He is also the Director of the International Group of Experts responsible for the Tallinn Manual 2.0 On the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations. We discuss the development of the Tallinn Manual, the reasons for a 3.0 that is currently underway, and the implications and significance of recent state declarations and statements on their understanding of how the jus ad bellum and IHL regimes apply to cyber operations. We also grapple with some of the difficult issues that arise in trying to apply these legal regimes to cyber ops, and, more importantly, how efforts to do so may threaten the integrity of the legal regimes themselves. Both a wonderful introduction for the uninitiated to how the laws of war apply to cyber ops, and a fascinating discussion of some of the more knotty questions for the experts.

Materials:

Tallinn Manual 2.0 On the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (2017).

“Israel’s Cautious Perspective on International Law in Cyberspace: Part II (jus ad bellum and jus in bello),” EJILTalk!, Dec. 17, 2020.

“France Speaks Out on IHL and Cyber Operations: (Parts I & II),” EJILTalk!, Oct. 1, 2019.

Reading Recommendations:

– Israel Ministry of Justice, “Israel’s Perspective on Key Legal and Practical Issues Concerning the Application of International Law on Cyber Operations,” 97 International Law Studies (2021).

– Ministère des Armées, Republique Français, International Law Applied to Operations in Cyberspace, Oct. 2019.

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands, Letter to the Parliament on the International Legal Order in Cyberspace (with Annexes), Jul. 5 , 2019.

Episode 7 – Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg on Latin American Approaches to the Laws of War

In this episode, I speak with Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg, Professor of Law at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru. We discuss his recent writing on the Latin American approaches to, and perspectives on, the jus ad bellum regime and principles of non-intervention. Drawing on a rich history of the Latin American response to the Monroe Doctrine and European approaches to intervention in the 19th Century, Alonso explains how the distinct Latin American perspectives developed, found expression in the Montevideo Convention of 1933, and contributed to the Latin American embrace of the U.N. system in 1946. He explains how a misunderstanding of the Latin American perspective leads to common misinterpretations of Latin American positions and responses to recent interventions, such as those in Syria, and debates over doctrinal issues, such as the validity of humanitarian intervention or the unwilling or unable doctrine. We round off our discussion by putting it all into the context of Third World approaches to international law. An eye-opening romp through history and theory!

 

Materials:

– “A Legal History of Consent and Intervention in Civil Wars in Latin America,”  7  J. Use of Force and Int’l L. 1 (2020).

– “The Latin American View of Jus ad Bellum,” Just Security, May 16, 2018.

– “The Other Carolines,” Opinio Juris, Feb. 17, 2020.

Reading Recommendations:

– Juan Pablo Scarfi, The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks (2017).

– Liliana Obregón, “Between Civilisation and Barbarism: Creole Interventions in International Law,” 27 Third World Quarterly 815 (2006).

– Andrew Fitzmaurice, “Discovery, Conquest, and Occupation of Territory,” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters, eds. (2012).

Episode 6 – Monica Hakimi on the Informal Regulation of Jus ad Bellum

In this episode, I speak with  Monica Hakimi, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. We discuss a recent article of hers in which she argues that the manner in which the U.N. Security Council tacitly endorses or supports the use of force by states that would otherwise be unlawful, must be understood as forming an “informal regulation” that is part of the jus ad bellum regime. She argues that this is not only true as a descriptive matter, but that as a normative matter we should embrace this as helping to strengthen the jus ad bellum regime. We debate some of these normative implications, and the extent to which such an informal regulation is consistent with different conceptions of the rule of law – which leads us into another recent chapter of hers on the value of state-level argument about the jus ad bellum. a fascinating discussion all round!

Materials:

– “The Jus ad Bellum‘s Regulatory Form,” 112 American J. Int’l L. 151 (2018).

Symposium on Monica Hakimi, “The Jus ad Bellum‘s Regulatory Form,” 112 AJIL Unbound (2018).

Reading Recommendations:

– Tom Ruys et al., The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach (2018).

– Michael Reisman, The Quest for World Order and Human Dignity in the Twenty-First Century (2013).

– Don Herzog, Sovereignty, RIP (2020).

Episode 1 – An Introduction by Host Craig Martin

I am Craig Martin, the host of this podcast. In this introductory episode, I explain briefly the objectives, scope, and format of the podcast. I also provide an overview of the main legal regimes that comprise “the laws of war,” namely the jus ad bellum and jus in bello regimes – which, respectively, govern the conditions under which states may use force against other states, and govern the conduct of armed forces within armed conflict. I also refer to their relationship with some other regimes that affect armed conflict, including international human rights law, and constitutional war powers provisions in domestic law.

While this episode is aimed primarily at the non-expert, to provide background that may be helpful in understanding the issues raised in subsequent episodes, it also highlights many of the areas of controversy and debate that we will address in episodes to come, and so may be of interest to the expert listeners as well.

Supplementary Material:

I include below some links to my own writing on these issues, as these articles include sections that summarize the legal regimes discussed in this episode, which some may find helpful; and they will also give a sense of where I stand on some of the more controversial issues:

– “Challenging and Refining the “Unwilling or Unable” Doctrine,” 52 Vanderbilt J. Trans. L. 245 (2019).

A Means-Methods Paradox and the Legality of Drone Strikes in Armed Conflict,” 19:2 Int’l J. Human Rights 142 (2015).

Taking War Seriously: The Case for Constitutional Constraints on the Use of Force, in Compliance with International Law,” 76:2  Brooklyn L. Rev. 611 (2011).

The rest of my writing can be found on my webpage.