Emory International Law Review

Volume 30Issue 3

Impaled on Morton’s Fork: Kosovo, Crimea, and the Sui Generis Circumstance

Christopher R. Rossi | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 353 (2016)

Since NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, the invocation of sui generis, or unique circumstances, has been used to justify circumventing international law on the use of force and state secession. In this Article, Professor Christopher Rossi addresses lessons learned from NATO’s 1999 intervention in Kosovo and adapts those teachings to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Professor Rossi exposes internal tensions within the United Nations Charter system that threaten to further weaken the system and expose it to dangerous manipulations. These weaknesses help explain why two of the most significant doctrinal developments to emerge from the midst of Kosovo—the Responsibility to Protect and remedial secession—have retreated from earlier enthusiastic assessments of their prospects in international law. Professor Rossi concludes by pointing out that embedded in the recourse to the sui generis claim is the cautionary belief that its invocation may mask extra-legal intentions as support international law’s progressive development.

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The Judicial Philosophy of Chief Justice John Roberts: An Analysis Through the Eyes of International Law

S. Ernie Walton | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 391 (2016)

In his article, Professor Walton addresses international law in the United States and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’s judicial philosophy. Chief Justice John Roberts has penned majority opinions in several landmark cases directly addressing important international law issues. Professor Walton provides an overview of five international law issues in the United States and provides an update on the current status of these issues under Chief Justice Roberts. The Article ultimately concludes that Chief Justice Roberts is a prudentialist, a judge who holds fast to “the conviction that federal judges must cultivate the virtues of modesty and humility, staying true to their constitutional duty to interpret the law while fending off whenever possible the temptation to intrude upon the proper provinces of other public and private institutions.”

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