Show Less
Restricted access

Implementation of International Law in the United States

Series:

Johan D. van der Vyver

Even though the Constitution proclaims treaties entered into by the United States to be part of the supreme law of the land and authorises prosecution of offences against the law of nation in federal courts, the United States has had a checkered record in ratifying human rights instruments, in upholding decisions of international tribunals, and indeed in submitting itself to the jurisdiction of such tribunals. It refused to uphold judgments of the International Court of Justice within its municipal legal system, terminated the competence of the ICJ to adjudicate international disputes to which it is a party, and attempted to undermine the functioning of the international criminal court. It engaged in armed conflicts in blatant violation of international humanitarian law and subjected belligerent detainees to unbecoming interrogation techniques. There are clear indications that the Obama administration is setting the United States on a new course of international comity and Völkerrechtsfreundlichkeit.