- In Britain, Conservative Party proposes pullback from involvement in European Convention on Human Rights [BBC, Telegraph with more coverage, Isabel Hardman/Spectator, Economist, Jon Holbrook/Spiked, Adam Smith Institute, Dominic Grieve/Prospect, Basak Cali/OJ]
- Lessons of forgotten debates in U.S. history: “Constitutional problems with international courts” [Eugene Kontorovich]
- “The United Nations is also pressuring countries, particularly Japan, to enact anti-hate speech laws.” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
- “How the Supreme Court Has Limited Foreign Disputes from Flooding U.S. Courts” [George T. Conway III, John Bellinger III, R. Reeves Anderson, and James Stengel for the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform via D&O Diary]
- Why U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would be pointless [Julian Ku/OJ]
- “I despise North Korea human rights violations as much as anyone, but I’m skeptical that US tort system is answer.” [@tedfrank on Twitter; D.C. Circuit opinion in Kim v. DPRK]
- Critique of international human rights treaties as having done little to reduce abuses of rights [Eric Posner, The Guardian] Some human rights clinics at law schools like Yale “are very close to pure political advocacy groups” [Julian Ku on another Posner article]
The United Nations system’s contemplated “takeover of the Internet” may have been shelved, perhaps indefinitely [David Post]
- Department of surreal headlines: “Detroit Mayor’s Office Disappointed With UN’s Stance on Water Shutoffs” [MLive.com via Deadline Detroit, earlier on customers who don’t pay Detroit water bills]
- “When Mr. Bond first impregnated Mrs. Bond’s best friend, the international Chemical Weapons Convention was probably the furthest thing from his mind.” [Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Cato Supreme Court Review (PDF), earlier on Bond v. U.S.]
- A case against including investor/state protections in trade negotiations [Daniel Ikenson, Cato] Issue leading leftists, libertarians separately to discover merits of sovereigntism? [Julian Ku, Opinio Juris]
- Survey of rapidly changing field of transnational antiquities law [ABA Journal]
- Canada, like U.S., gets periodic U.N. tongue-lashing over its relations with Indian tribes/native peoples [Kathryn Fort, ConcurOp]
- With U.S. isolated on firearms issues, U.N.’s contemplated Programme of Action on Small Arms not quite so innocuous [Ted Bromund, more, earlier here, here, here, and here]
- “The U.S. government should be careful about entering into new international agreements and treaties precisely because international laws do have legal force.” [Jason Sorens, Pileus]
Bloomberg’s nanny-in-chief was never the right choice to lead the Centers for Disease Control, much less with an actual epidemic in sight, argues the New York Sun:
…it was the former mayor of New York City who gave the nation Thomas Frieden, who is one dangerous doctor and is the middle of the catastrophe. … Because of the government’s blunders in the Ebola emergency, people are starting to look a harder look at Bloombergism.
… the CDC budget has soared more than 200% since 2000 to $7 billion. The Centers, moreover, are squandering this lucre (which was seized from the American public via taxes) on regulating motorcycle helmets, video games, and playground equipment, as if any of that has anything to do with diseases. No wonder that when Ebola hits, the CDC seems to be staggering….
Mr. Bloomberg is enormously invested in this through the school of public health at Johns Hopkins. Do Americans want a cabal of left-wing, government doctors in Atlanta engineering our playgrounds, motorcycle helmets, and video games? No one plays a video game or rides a motorcycle for his health….
It is important that the Ebola emergency is starting to get people thinking about the first principles of the Centers for Disease Control.
While we’re at it: I’ve got a new post at Cato about the international aspects, including the U.N.’s World Health Organization and Prof. Lawrence Gostin’s article “Healthy Living Needs Global Governance.”
Decent articles on Stand Your Ground in the general press are relatively few, being far outnumbered by those that are sensationalist, axe-grinding or simply uninformed. So it’s nice to be able to recommend this one by Peter Jamison in the Tampa Bay Times [via Jacob Sullum].
In other news, a United Nations panel in Geneva monitoring compliance with international human rights law has questioned a wide range of United States domestic policies, including some states’ adoption of Stand Your Ground as well as lack of gun control and other offenses. “The committee is charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a UN treaty that the US ratified in 1992.” Another reminder that treaties have consequences, and that ratification of other purported human rights treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), would not be without public consequences relating to many domestic policies. [Guardian]
Although we call it “rent control,” the key thing it controls is often not so much what you can charge for a lodging as whether you can ever reclaim it. This recluse successfully held out for $17 million to relinquish his moldy, squalid rented lodging at what is now 15 Central Park West. [New York Post]
P.S. But at least the U.N. likes the idea. While on the subject of legal insanity in NYC real estate: Andrew Rice, New York mag, “Why Run a Slum If You Can Make More Money Housing the Homeless?” I wrote about the epic New York City homeless-rights litigation in Schools for Misrule, and more links are here.
- Ball is rolling as Thernstrom, Kirsanow depart CRC: “U.S. National Human Rights Institution: A Bad Idea” [Steven Groves, Heritage] UN Women National Committees in US and 16 other countries advocate domestic policy change, just in case domestic pressure groups aren’t vocal enough;
- In big pickup for opponents of CRPD, the disabled-rights convention, Sen. Corker of Tennessee says he’ll oppose ratification [Josh Rogin, Daily Beast; timeline from pro-convention site; Betsy Woodruff, NRO; earlier here, etc.] Related: AMVETS pulls support.
- “Corporate war crimes begin” [James Stewart, Opinio Juris]
- “US to oppose UN climate ‘reparations’ proposal” [Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller]
- “What if Everyone Thought Congress Could Expand its Powers in Implementing Treaties?” [Duncan Hollis, Opinio Juris; earlier on Bond v. U.S. and Missouri v. Holland]
- “Kiobel Surprise: Unexpected by Scholars But Consistent with International Trends” [Eugene Kontorovich]
- U.N. agency upset that Uruguay has legalized marijuana [Jess Remington, Reason]
- U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities remains a bad, bad, bad, idea, but Senate Foreign Relations Committee has now scheduled hearings for Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 in effort to push it through;
- Proliferation of human rights treaties not necessarily good for, well, human rights [Jacob Mchangana et al. via Sullivan “Dish”; cf. David Kopel, NYT “Room for Debate” last year]
- Claim: Urban planning schemes are a human right [Wikipedia on “Right to the City”] U.N. Special Rapporteur calls for legally enforceable international right to food [UN]
- CRPD cited in Spain by group campaigning against “disability-selective abortion” [Pablo de Lora, Harvard “Bill of Health”]
- Some forms of national sovereignty OK after all? Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) cited in Indian tribal claims [Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Truthout] “Lakota to file UN Genocide Charges Against US, South Dakota” [Jeff Armstrong, CounterPunch]
- “N.Y. state appeals ruling opens courthouse door to foreign victims” [Alison Frankel] First post-Kiobel ATS case smacks down plaintiffs on South Africa claims [Julian Ku/Opinio Juris, Fed Soc Blog]
- Panel from Cato’s Constitution Day includes Kenneth Anderson discussing his excellent article on Kiobel in the Cato Supreme Court Review; also includes presentations by Ilya Somin on property rights and Andrew Grossman on City of Arlington, with Roger Pilon moderating [Cato video, podcast]
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, who is also a University of Arizona law professor, weighs in on the tribal side in Baby Veronica case [Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, earlier] Last year we discussed Mr. Anaya’s scolding of the U.S. government on Indian land claim issues. Just last week another official in the U.N. human rights apparatus upbraided the United States for hesitating to expose acquitted George Zimmerman to double jeopardy in the Trayvon Martin shooting.