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 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

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 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 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 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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Publisher

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

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.

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.

(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

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

Publisher

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 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 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 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.

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 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.