Program on International Humanitarian Law and Nuclear Weapons
Spring 2012 Section Meeting, April 20, 2012
Program Summary Report and Transcript
How does, and how should, international humanitarian law (IHL) governing the conduct of warfare apply to nuclear weapons? At the Spring Meeting of the Section, a program sponsored by the National Security Committee addressed that question. The program featured Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the Philippines’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Gary Solis, a leading expert on IHL who taught at West Point, and Charles J. Moxley, Jr., professor at Fordham University School of Law and author of International Law and Nuclear Weapons in the Post Cold War World. Amb. Cabactulan, who was president of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, described the negotiation of an innovative provision of the Conference Final Document on application of IHL to nuclear weapons. And Prof. Solis and Prof. Moxley explained that while the United States in theory accepts that IHL applies to nuclear weapons, and while IHL is more and more integrated into the US military, in practice education, training, and doctrine are silent on the subject of IHL and nuclear weapons.
Economic Sanctions: Are They Effective Tools of U.S. Foreign Policy?
February 28, 2011
Program Recording (MP3)
Border Searches of Electronic Devices: A Discussion of Legal and Policy Issues
This program discussed the Ninth Circuit's decision, U.S. v. Arnold, which held that the U.S. government has the authority to search the contents of electronic devices (e.g. laptops, blackberries and cellphones) of persons entering the U.S. -- including U.S. citizens -- without reasonable suspicion. Featured Speaker: Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
Program Recording (MP3)
On The Rim Of The Abyss: Military Intervention to Neutralize a Potential Nuclear Threat
View this program on FORA.TV
Program Materials: 2008 Amicus2009 AmicusStatement of Lee Tien before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary - Subcommittee on the Constitution
Florida To Restrict Governments from Contracting with Companies that Do Business in Cuba and Syria
The State of Florida is in the political hot seat with certain foreign investors because of a proposed law approved by the Florida legislature that will prohibit companies from doing business with state and local governments who also happen to have business connections in Cuba or Syria.
According to The Miami Herald, Florida Governor Rick Scott will sign Florida House Bill 959 (HB 959) that will, among other things, “prohibit state agency or local governmental entity from contracting for goods & services of more than certain amount with company that has business operations in Cuba or Syria.” The measure is not new or novel. It will add Cuba and Syria to an existing statute restricting contracting with certain companies that do business with the Sudan or Iran.
The new law is not settling very well with the governments of Canada or Brazil, countries whose nationals have a lot of investment in Florida as well as Cuba. According to various news accounts, officials from both the Canadian and Brazilian governments have supposedly weighed in against the law. Officials with the powerful Florida Chamber of Commerce have also chimed in with concerns about the effort to expand the reach of existing law.
This is not the first time an expansion of “state sanctions” has been undertaken in Florida or Miami-Dade County. Home to a politically powerful Cuban exile community strongly opposed to engagement with the Castro regime, the proposal was introduced by a Miami-Dade area state legislator. It will be interesting to see how this ultimately unfolds. While states have legal authority under federal law to restrict this activity to the Sudan and Iran, there has been no explicit delegation for Cuba.
I’ve been studying this issue for many years both inside and outside of government. In all likelihood, this will be challenged in court; however, in the near term, it is going to complicate business relationships of may foreign companies that do business in both Cuba and Florida. Affected companies will have tough choices to make about future business interests.