International & Foreign Relations Law

President Trump campaigned on the promise of “America First.” The rest of the world waits anxiously to see if the United States will respect its obligations in the international order.

Trump’s Visit to Israel

5/24/17  //  Commentary

President Trump’s visit to Israel comes at a fraught time for his Administration and a pivotal moment for the relationship between the two countries.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

A new suit seeks documents detailing the Trump Administration’s justifications for military action in Syria. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act suit seeking documents related to President Trump’s unsuccessful Yemen raid.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators warn about the effects of President Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Human Rights advocates are concerned about the President's plans to cut international aid funding and growing relationships with despotic regimes.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Politicians ask the Administration to explain its legal justifications for the strike in Syria, pressure mounts with North Korea, and President Trump calls the United Nations an "underperformer."

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration navigated foreign policy issues throughout the world, particularly with North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran. In North Korea, the Administration spent the week explaining its falsehood that it had sent an aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, legal analysis focused on military action in Syria and the effect that action had on the international stage.

Those Who Do Not Know History

4/12/17  //  Commentary

On the first full day of Passover, the Trump Administration offered several lessons about institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz


Why Did Trump Believe the Syria Strike Was Lawful?

4/10/17  //  Commentary

When the President unilaterally decides that America will start killing people in foreign countries, the least we can expect is a sound justification for that action under domestic and international law. Yet Trump has yet to offer one.

Joshua Matz


Cruise Missiles More Dangerous Than the "Nuclear Option"

4/10/17  //  Commentary

If Congress does nothing now to further delineate the scope of presidential authority to deploy military force, it will effectively be forfeiting, now and forever, its constitutional authority to check presidential moves short of all-out state-to-state war.

Peter M. Shane

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

(Apparent) Administration Justifications for Legality of Strikes Against Syria

4/8/17  //  Commentary

A document seeking to justify the use of force in Syria has begun circulating outside the government that is said to have been developed within the Administration. But there are significant flaws in this justification as a matter of domestic and international law.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

International Human Rights Law in the Trump Era

3/29/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump Administration’s actions thus far are not just an attack on human rights norms. And they’re not merely a rejection of international law. They’re also an assault on our national security and foreign policy.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators discussed President Trump's multiple front onslaught on international law and institutions this week.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

The White House violated traditional security protocol when announcing Jared Kushner's visit to Iraq. Further, President Trump's proposed budget cuts may worsen a famine in Africa.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration has signalled a reduced commitment to human rights internationally, and President Trump's proposed cuts to the State Department may hamper U.S. foreign policy.

The Story Thus Far: International Law

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

Trump has promised a foreign policy of America First. His conduct thus far suggests that he will follow through on that promise, but in ways that risk violating domestic and international law. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.