Unit 2     International Law  &  International Legal Issues



PART 1 → Opening IL Fact Pattern


Letter to Minister of Defence by Amnesty International and BC Civil Liberties Association



PART 2 The Challenge of Controlling State Conduct Internationally

WATCH → The Problem with the UN Veto Power


PART 3 The CORE 4 International Legal Principles

Comity of Nations is a principle under the Doctrine of Consent & Reciprocity [DCR]
Other Principles of IL

  • The Doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction
  • The Law of Peacemaking
  • The Defence of Nationals


PART 4 → 3 International Case Studies     (As Chiefly Interpreted by Canada)


CASE STUDY 3 R2P & Forcible Humanitarian Intervention (an exception to UN Charter Art. 2(4)?)

R2P DEFINED     WATCH R2P Explained by Jennifer Welsh (UN Special Advisor)


PRIMARY READING FOR CASE STUDY 3

















ARTICLE 1 TASK →


OPTIONAL ARTICLE     Blame R2P (Globe and Mail Article)
LIBYA & R2P

SYRIA & R2P
INTRO FILM  Syria's War     Newsweek     [Full Product]

International Justice in Syria → In Thinking About the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria, What Would be a Just Outcome / Just Intervention?


WATCH VIDEO What is Justice? The Veil of Ignorance Explained (BBC)

Does Global Justice Exist?


The "Original Position" Thought Experiment      Fairness Through Self-Interest = Universal Human Rights


This thought experiment was created by the American philosopher John Rawls. He asks us to imagine ourselves in a situation in which we know nothing of our true lives — we are behind a “veil of ignorance” that prevents us from knowing the political system under which we live or the laws that are in place. Nor do we know anything about psychology, economics, biology, and other sciences.


Along with a group of similarly situation-blind people, we are asked, in this original position, to review a comprehensive list of classic forms of justice drawn from various traditions of social and political philosophy. We are then given the task of selecting which system of justice we feel would best suit our needs in the absence of any information about our true selves and the situation we may actually be in in the real world.


So, for example, what if you came back to “real life” to find out that you live in a shanty town in India? Or a middle class neighborhood in Norway? What if you’re a developmentally disabled person? A wealthy elite? A Syrian citizen internally displaced by the on-going war? Or for our purposes, A Syrian who suffered from the use of internationally banned chemical weapons launched by the Syrian President against his own people? (Or as was proposed in a paper, “All Together Now,” a different species?)


According to Rawls, we would all likely end up picking something that guarantees equal basic rights and liberties to secure our interests as free and equal citizens, and to pursue a wide range of conceptions of the common good. He also speculated that we’d likely choose a system that ensures universal human rights, both negative and positive rights (such as fair educational and employment opportunities).  In short, we would all choose to maximize justice for the least favoured persons in a country or the world.

i.e., COULD R2P have been the best way to MAXIMIZE JUSTICE for the SYRIAN PEOPLE?

WATCH The Obama Doctrine that Wasn't Washington Post

Individual Student Task to be Completed for Virtual Class —

1)  WATCH Is R2P Dead? A Debate About R2P and Libya (TVO 24 March 2016)  (approx. 15 min. in length).
2) Answer the following prompt for — were you convinced by the arguments that R2P is dead after it failed in the 2011 Libyan conflict and failed to be used in the Syrian conflict?  Should R2P be dead, given its track record?



DETAILED SYRIA CASE STUDY          QUAD 2 2020/2021 Material NOT Covered thus Material NOT on IL TEST
FULL Case Problem
Syrian War Fact Pattern
LISTEN Syria and the Chance for Peace Interview
Syria and the chance for peace
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (The Current)
0:00/10:34
 
FILM 1 The Boy Who Started the Syrian War     Al Jazeera English     [0 to 11:05]

FILM 2 Syria's War     Newsweek     [Full]


INTERVENTION # 1
Counter -- Terrorism
FILM → CANADA'S RESPONSE IN-DEPTH  Canada in Iraq: The Hidden War (CBC The Fifth Estate 30 October 2015)

4 MAJOR OPTIONS FOR COUNTER TERRORISM INTERVENTION WERE ARGUED BY VARIOUS STATES
IN-DEPTH READINGS ON 4 OPTIONS

INTERVENTION # 2 → Chemical Weapons
Global Justice Slides (Professor Mark Kersten Munk School of Global Affairs)


Council on Foreign Relations Guest Speaker → "impunity is the new rule of law"



WHAT SHOULD BE THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA?

MAPPING OUT ALL THE POSSIBLE OPTIONS (ACTIONS OR RESPONSES)

STEP 1 → Decide if You Prefer to Work Solo or Partnered

STEP 2 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in ARTICLE A     Syria Air Strikes: Were They Legal?

STEP 3 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in ARTICLE B     U.K. Briefing Paper on Legal Basis for Air Strikes

STEP 4 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in the Following 6 SOURCES  [note partners can divide up the sources]

STEP 5 → Based on Your Detailed Notes from Step 1 to 4 SELECT A LENS FROM BELOW to use in Mapping Out The Landscape of Possible International Responses

NOTE → You can combine or use more then one of the suggested lenses in your map OR create your own lens.

STEP 6 → Build Your Map     [11 x 17 Large Format Paper Provided]  &  Select the OPTION Your Group Supports  [Use the GREEN, YELLOW, RED Light Format]

STEP 7 → Project & Present Your Map

STEP 8 → Class Discussion on What the Response Should Be

CASE STUDY 1 THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE


WATCH Cold War 2.0 (VICE Special Report 26 June 2015)

READ Along the Contact Line (The Economist 11 October 2018)
WATCH Ukraine: Canada's Proxy War (VICE Special Report 05 October 2016)

Dr. Taras Kuzio's Guest Seminar Presentation

DEBATE STATEMENT = The Ukraine Conflict is Proof that the International Legal System is Ineffective.


Y = Yes, IL is Ineffective / IL is a Failure


N = No, IL is Effective / IL Works

SUGGESTED DEBATE MATERIALS

ARTICLE 1


ARTICLE 2

DEBATE GROUPS

EACH GROUP HAS 7 MINUTES TO OPEN, MAKE THEIR ARGUMENTS, & CLOSE (30 seconds to open, 30 seconds to close, and 6 minutes (2 minutes x 3 group members) to make your arguments using supporting points, research, and evidence).  Each group will have 2 minutes to plan rebuttal for the free debate.  The free debate will be 4 minutes in length.


WATCH A World in Disarray VICE Linking the Syria & Ukraine Cases Together by Building Case Ratios (minute 2:32 to 46:01)

TEACHER RATIOS
STUDENT RATIOS
*



CASE STUDY 2 THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE

The South China Sea Dispute Explained   South China Morning Post

China's Maritime Disputes Council on Foreign Relations
Global Conflict Tracker Council on Foreign Relations


WATCH A World in Disarray VICE Examining China's Maritime Disputes by Building a Case Ratio (minute 46:01 to 58:10)



CASE STUDY 4
KOSOVO          QUAD 1 2020 Material NOT Covered thus Material NOT on IL TEST


C
omplete READING #1 Yugoslavia: A Nation Divided and in your notes answer the questions on the last page.


Complete READING #2
Tell It To The World: International Justice and the Secret Campaign to Hide Mass Murder in Kosovo and in your notes select and record a quote that links strongly to one of the core international legal principles we are studying.  Also write one question for discussion next class.

Tell It To The World

Start READING #3 The Kosovo Report (this is the Executive Summary of the report written by the Independent International Commission of Kosovo looking into the legality of the intervention in Kosovo).  In your notes record the ultimate finding of the Commission on the legality of the intervention and the primary justification offered by the report for it's finding.

The Kosovo Report


ICTY Case Study Djordjevic



PART 5
Diplomatic Relations

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS READINGS ON THE Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations AND U.S. v. Iran CASE
SKETCHING OUT THE FACT PATTERN
FULL SAMPLE ANSWER BELOW


LANDMARK CASE  The Tehran Hostages Case

Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, Nov. 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them hostage for 444 days.
Murals leading up to the "Den of Spies" museum housed in the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran portray a part of the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was engineered by the U.S. and Israel to help justify invading the Middle East.
According to a fantastic NY Times article that everyone should read, reconstruction was first brought to light during the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. The Iranians elicited the help of local carpet weavers to reconstruct sensitive documents, which were sold on the streets of Tehran as a testament to US imperialism.
WATCH Desert One Trailer (DOC about US Failed Rescue Attempt)


DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITYCases A to F

WATCH → How Does Extradition Work?

INSTRUCTIONS

DELIVERABLES

SAMPLE FACT PATTERN SKETCH Tehran Hostages Case

Cases A to F Student Sketches & Ratios 2020



Cases A to F Student Sketches & Ratios 2019



Cases A to F Ratios (Bauer)