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.

Versus Trump: Huawei (or China??) Versus Trump

3/14/19  //  In-Depth Analysis

On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie, Easha, and Jason discuss a new lawsuit by Huawei against various Trump Administration officials, plus they delve into international extradition law and look at the case of the company's detained CFO. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Jason Harrow

Gerstein Harrow LLP

Charlie Gerstein

Gerstein Harrow LLP

Rand Paul Must Reverse His Position On Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination – Or Betray His Anti-War Legacy

9/11/18  //  Commentary

By Daniel Levine-Spound: Rand Paul’s support for Kavanaugh constitutes a betrayal of his opposition to the United States’ ever-expanding and seemingly interminable 'War on Terror'

Take Care

Versus Trump: California Versus The Wall [UPDATED WITH EPISODE]

3/8/18  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss a recent district court opinion that rejected California's challenge to the Trump Administration's expedited border wall projects in California. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Gerstein Harrow LLP

Jason Harrow

Gerstein Harrow LLP

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump threatened to take aid away from Palestine if Palestinian leadership remained unwilling to negotiate with Israel. Vice President Mike Pence announced that the new embassy in Jerusalem would open in 2019.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump refuses to certify that the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal is in America’s best interests, but is expected to allow the accord to continue. The Trump administration announces it will suspend most security assistance to Pakistan.

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump said in a speech on national security that Russia and China “seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth,” but did not directly address Russian interference in the 2016 election. A majority of nations in the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city.

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump’s waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act is set to expire, and how President Trump acts may signal his approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017

11/26/17  //  Daily Update

The U.S. returned North Korea to the somewhat problematic list of state sponsors of terrorism. Recent military actions show signs of expanding air war in Afghanistan, and a shift away from foreign aid to military action.

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

Reports continued to trickle out regarding the ambush of a Special Forces team in Niger. The ambush prompted commentary on the President's legal authority for military operations overseas.

Human Rights and Nuclear Ambitions

8/28/17  //  Commentary

Humanitarian concerns and international human rights law simply can’t be ignored or downplayed in any discussion of the North Korean nuclear problem—they are two sides of the same coin

Trump and North Korea: Where's Congress?

8/13/17  //  Commentary

Guest poster Eric Segall argues that Congress must act now to ensure that the President does not unilaterally commit an act of war without Congressional consent.

Take Care

How Might Congress Reinforce NATO?

5/30/17  //  Commentary

President Trump's overseas trip has cast doubt on longstanding consensus features of U.S. foreign policy, particularly our commitment to NATO. Here are some ways Congress might respond.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

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

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.

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.

(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

Trump’s Meaningless Paris Announcement is a Win for His Opponents

6/5/17  //  Commentary

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement may have dramatic consequences for his administration—but not in the ways he might imagine.

Ann Carlson

UCLA School of Law

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.

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

Michigan Law School

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The President announced a new policy toward Cuba and U.S. involvement in the Middle East is increasing.

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 September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

Tensions with North Korea escalated this week, prompting North Korea's foreign minister to claim that the U.S. had declared war and that a strike against the U.S. mainland was "inevitable." Foreign leaders warned President Trump of the consequences of violating the Iran nuclear agreement.

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.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

The administration’s North Korea strategy is unclear. President Trump’s remarks on the Barcelona terror attacks showed a disregard for human rights and factual accuracy.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump takes credit for siding with Saudi Arabia against Qatar; meanwhile, U.S. diplomats are pushing back against the President.

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators noted that the Trump administration may be attempting to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, and discussed the international law implications of the administration's new Afghanistan strategy.

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 August 7, 2017

8/13/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump escalated his warnings to North Korea, and the UN Security Council passed harsh sanctions against the country. The Trump administration is reportedly considering whether to privatize large portions of the war in Afghanistan.

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal has been widely condemned by Iranians and in Europe. Relations with North Korea continue to be tense. The Trump Administration is enabling Chinese efforts to undermine UN human rights work.

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary continued on the Trump administration's alterations to the U.S. drone-strike policy.

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.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The President plans to impose new sanctions on Iran. In light of major budget cuts, Secretary of State Tillerson will shutter many important offices within the State Department.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump seeks to revert to stricter trade policies with Cuba, and the Senate allows the Administration to transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia.

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 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 September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

Tension increased between the U.S. and North Korea this week as President Trump vowed to destroy North Korea if needed in an address to the U.N. and announced a new executive order increasing sanctions against North Korea. President Trump will likely decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, which is causing concern among commentators.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

The White House issued a letter defending the legal basis for the airstrikes in Syria.

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.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump will not move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A new tool allows you to see how the new administration is utilizing sanctions against foreign entities, and how its approach differs from past administrations. And the Iranian election victory of Hassan Rouhani presents challenges and opportunities for the U.S. administration.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

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 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.