Just Security

Just Security Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of law, rights, and U.S. national security policy. We aim to promote principled and pragmatic solutions to the problems facing decision-makers.

Our Founding Editors include individuals with significant U.S. government experience, civil society attorneys, legal academics, and other thought leaders.

Operating as usual

The State Department flat rejected UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed's effort to claim "immunity" before federal courts...
12/30/2020
Why the State Dept Should Reject Saudi Crown Prince MBS's Claimed "Immunity"

The State Department flat rejected UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed's effort to claim "immunity" before federal courts in 2010.

The State Department should stick to the law and just policy in court cases now against Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince MBS.

By Mike Eisen and Jack Steele

#Khashoggi Democracy for the Arab World Now - DAWN #Saudi

The State Department refused to recognize head-of-state immunity for another Crown Prince, the UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed in 2010. The same adherence to international law should happen in the pending federal court cases against Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

'Tis the season for pardons. But must a pardon spell out the crimes to which it applies?Our latest from Prof. Frank Bowm...
12/28/2020
Purpose, Not Specificity, Limits the Pardon Power: A Rejoinder to Rappaport

'Tis the season for pardons. But must a pardon spell out the crimes to which it applies?

Our latest from Prof. Frank Bowman on the constitutionality of general pardons. He argues history, Framers' views, and American practice confirm no specificity requirement.

https://www.justsecurity.org/74010/purpose-not-specificity-limits-the-pardon-power-a-rejoinder-to-rappaport/

'Tis the season for pardons. But must a pardon spell out the crimes to which it applies? The latest in an ongoing conversation between Prof's Bowman and Rappaport on the legality and constitutionality of general pardons. Bowman argues that history, Framers' views, American practice confirm that ther...

Alarms Raised in #CentralAfricanRepublic: Pre-Election Fighting Threatens Civilians and Fragile Peaceby Abdoul Aziz Sali...
12/25/2020
Alarms Raised in Central African Republic: Pre-Election Fighting Threatens Civilians and Fragile Peace

Alarms Raised in #CentralAfricanRepublic: Pre-Election Fighting Threatens Civilians and Fragile Peace

by Abdoul Aziz Sali, Anjli Parrin, Kate McFarland & Brandon Vines
#politicalviolence #Bangui #CAR

Ahead of elections this weekend, there is a serious risk of a dramatic escalation of violence and political crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). In the last week, the country’s most powerful armed groups, who had previously been bitter rivals and have been fighting one another since 2012,...

Just Security needs your support.If you value our expert-driven analysis, please consider a gift (of any size) this holi...
12/24/2020
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If you value our expert-driven analysis, please consider a gift (of any size) this holiday season.

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The #SolarWindsHack could trigger fundamental changes in legal thought and state practice.Asaf Lubin sets out what that ...
12/23/2020
SolarWinds as a Constitutive Moment: A New Agenda for International Law of Intelligence

The #SolarWindsHack could trigger fundamental changes in legal thought and state practice.

Asaf Lubin sets out what that agenda can and should look like.

#cyber #cybersecurity #InternationalLaw Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Indiana University - Maurer School of Law

The SolarWinds hack could trigger fundamental changes in legal thought and state practice. Asaf Lubin sets out what that agenda can and should look like.

"Invoking Martial Law to Reverse the 2020 Election Could be Criminal Sedition"By Claire O. Finkelstein and Richard Paint...
12/22/2020
Invoking Martial Law to Reverse the 2020 Election Could be Criminal Sedition

"Invoking Martial Law to Reverse the 2020 Election Could be Criminal Sedition"

By Claire O. Finkelstein and Richard Painter

#martiallaw2020 #martiallaw

In his increasingly desperate bid to hang on to the White House, President Trump is reportedly contemplating invoking martial law to force the invalidation of the results of the election in four swing states, apparently inspired by remarks of the former and recently-pardoned National Security Adviso...

Far from respecting #veterans’ care as the nation’s obligation, the law has long regarded veterans’ benefits as mere gra...
12/22/2020
Let’s Not “Fight Like Hell” Without a Strategy: At the VA, Put First Principles First

Far from respecting #veterans’ care as the nation’s obligation, the law has long regarded veterans’ benefits as mere gratuities.

It's time for that to change, writes T. Nelson Collier:

Biden’s transition team should set out his administration’s intent for a national veterans’ strategy, including overhauling veterans’ benefits laws and regulations.

Pardongate 2.0Federal prosecutors and Congress investigated Clinton’s outgoing pardons (called #pardongate at the time)....
12/22/2020
Pardongate 2.0: Prosecutors and Congress Investigated Clinton’s Pardons. The Same Should Happen to Trump.

Pardongate 2.0

Federal prosecutors and Congress investigated Clinton’s outgoing pardons (called #pardongate at the time). The same should happen to Trump.

Jared Davidson and Aditi Juneja (Protect Democracy) write about the historical precedent and its lessons for today.

#pardon

There's ample precedent (the investigations of Bill Clinton's pardons) and ample reason for Congress and the Department of Justice to launch investigations into President Trump's pardons including the ones that may be yet to come.

#Serbia’s President Vučić has amped up relations with #China even though that may stifle his stated #EU ambitions.  Leon...
12/22/2020
Serbia’s Delicate Dance with the EU and China

#Serbia’s President Vučić has amped up relations with #China even though that may stifle his stated #EU ambitions.

Leon Hartwell and Stefan Vladisavljev explore why he would risk EU membership and more.

While European Union membership would be beneficial to Serbia as a whole, it may not serve the interests of the country’s ruling elites.

"The nomination of retired Gen. #LloydAustin reinforces a dangerous public perception that military experience is among ...
12/22/2020
Shifting Norms About Secretary of Defense Has Long-Term Consequences: On the Austin Nomination

"The nomination of retired Gen. #LloydAustin reinforces a dangerous public perception that military experience is among the most important qualifications for making defense policy."

From Jessica Blankshain, Max Margulies, and Danielle Lupton

#civmil

Even if retired Gen. Lloyd Austin handles the job of defense secretary perfectly, his nomination alone still has long-term consequences, eroding the norm of civilian control by reinforcing a belief in the superiority of military vs. civilian institutions.

Co-counsel in Nestle/Cargill v Doe Terry Collingsworth tells his clients' stories. He explains how demand for cheap coco...
12/21/2020
Nestlé & Cargill v. Doe Series: Meet the “John Does” – the Children Enslaved in Nestlé & Cargill’s Supply Chain

Co-counsel in Nestle/Cargill v Doe Terry Collingsworth tells his clients' stories.

He explains how demand for cheap cocoa generates child slavery - and how corporate immunity maintains it.

The powerful final post of 2020 in our #NestlevDoeSymposium
https://www.justsecurity.org/73959/nestle-cargill-v-doe-series-meet-the-john-does-the-children-enslaved-in-nestle-cargills-supply-chain/

Terry Collingsworth, co-counsel in Nestle/Cargill v Doe, tells his clients' stories. He writes that demand for cheap cocoa has created the child slave trade in cocoa production - and that corporate immunity maintains it.

What books helped you understand 2020 better?What books provided much needed distraction?The Just Security holiday readi...
12/21/2020
The 2020 Just Security Holiday Reading List

What books helped you understand 2020 better?
What books provided much needed distraction?

The Just Security holiday reading list is here, with book recommendations from our editors.

Our end-of-year reading recommendations from Just Security's editors.

Corporations say courts should defer to Congress to impose liability for abuses like those in Nestle/Cargill v Doe. But ...
12/21/2020
Nestlé & Cargill v. Doe Series: Shielding American Corporations from Liability Undermines the United States’ Moral Authority

Corporations say courts should defer to Congress to impose liability for abuses like those in Nestle/Cargill v Doe.

But Sarah Bessell & Bekah Carey of the Human Trafficking Legal Center say Congress has already made the key policy decisions in the case.

#NestlevDoeSymposium
https://www.justsecurity.org/73916/nestle-cargill-v-doe-series-shielding-american-corporations-from-liability-undermines-the-united-states-moral-authority/

Corporate defendants argue that courts should let Congress decide if and when to impose liability for human rights abuses abroad. But Congress has already spoken: through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, they have signaled the importance of corporate liability for US foreign policy goals..

Before the election, Kyle Murphy developed an analytic framework to monitor the threat of post-election violence. Murphy...
12/21/2020
Risk of Election-Related Violence Remains, Here’s What Could Reduce It

Before the election, Kyle Murphy developed an analytic framework to monitor the threat of post-election violence. Murphy now writes:

▪️ Today the situation has worsened across nearly every indicator;

▪️ Here's what we can do to reduce the risks.

#PoliticalViolence

Preventing more election-related violence in the United States requires immediate steps and long-term commitment that combines proactive and reactive measures.

The System Is Not WorkingJonathan Manes writes about:▪️ How the Supreme Court laid the groundwork for potentially overtu...
12/21/2020
The System Is Not Working: The Lopsided Election Result, Not The Courts, Saved Our Democracy - Just Security

The System Is Not Working

Jonathan Manes writes about:

▪️ How the Supreme Court laid the groundwork for potentially overturning the election

▪️ The wrong lessons learned for the role of courts in deciding American elections

The president’s post-election litigation has crashed and burned, but it has reinforced the pernicious idea, born from Bush v. Gore, that it is appropriate for courts to step in and second-guess results after the ballots are counted.

Top Expert Backgrounder:Leading expert Michael Schmitt (University of Reading) writes a comprehensive analysis of whethe...
12/21/2020
Russia’s SolarWinds Operation and International Law

Top Expert Backgrounder:

Leading expert Michael Schmitt (University of Reading) writes a comprehensive analysis of whether the #SolarWindsHack violated international law, and the U.S. government's response options.

A legal analysis of whether the SolarWinds cyber hack violated international law, and the U.S. government's options for responding.

Our week in review:🔹 Global democracy🔹 SolarWinds hack🔹 Pardons🔹 Biden nominations🔹 Whistleblower protections🔹 Yemen war...
12/19/2020
Recap of Recent Articles on Just Security (Dec 12-18)

Our week in review:

🔹 Global democracy
🔹 SolarWinds hack
🔹 Pardons
🔹 Biden nominations
🔹 Whistleblower protections
🔹 Yemen war
🔹 Women's rights
🔹 International criminal justice
🔹 Public corruption
🔹 and much more

Analysis of the week's news and developments.

#CovidVaccine distribution presents test for intl. community; Q's remain over Syrian chemical weapons; humanitarian cris...
12/18/2020
National Security Last Week at the United Nations (Dec 11 – Dec 18)

#CovidVaccine distribution presents test for intl. community; Q's remain over Syrian chemical weapons; humanitarian crises escalate in Lebanon; & human rights experts sound alarm on China, Israel. These stories & more in our weekly roundup.

https://www.justsecurity.org/73935/national-security-last-week-at-the-united-nations-dec-11-dec-18/

COVID-19 vaccine distribution presents test of equity and collaboration; Syrian chemical weapons remain; humanitarian crises escalate in Lebanon; and human rights experts raise alarm on situations in China, Israel. This and more in our weekly roundup.

#China’s Communist Party is bolstering autocrats and undermining #democracy worldwide, but governments, activists and jo...
12/18/2020
As China Promotes Authoritarian Model, the Resilience of Its Democratic Targets is Key

#China’s Communist Party is bolstering autocrats and undermining #democracy worldwide, but governments, activists and journalists are pushing back.

Caitlin Dearing Scott and Adam George say the US can support such efforts to help reverse the spread of #authoritarianism:

Pro-democracy political leaders, activists, and media can build on their successes against such influence with help from the world’s leading democracies.

Today’s Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.
12/18/2020
Early Edition: December 18, 2020 - Just Security

Today’s Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.

Today's Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.

Why has the US so far failed to attribute the #SolarWinds hack to #Russia and condemn it?Professor Kristen Eichensehr (U...
12/18/2020
"Strategic Silence" and State-Sponsored Hacking: The US Gov't and SolarWinds

Why has the US so far failed to attribute the #SolarWinds hack to #Russia and condemn it?

Professor Kristen Eichensehr (University of Virginia School of Law) explains that "strategic silence" in response to espionage is nothing new, but writes about reasons for going public now.

#cybersecurity #cyberattack

The absence to date of attribution and condemnation of the SolarWinds intrusions may be strategic silence—a tactic employed in the immediate aftermath of past cyber intrusions by foreign governments when those breaches involve traditional espionage.

Mark Nevitt on what's missing from the debate over retired Gen. #LloydAustin's nomination to be defense secretary and wh...
12/17/2020
Important Context Missing from the Austin Nomination Debate

Mark Nevitt on what's missing from the debate over retired Gen. #LloydAustin's nomination to be defense secretary and why he thinks recent military service shouldn't automatically disqualify you.

Civilian control of the military is an essential part of our constitutional fabric, but that doesn’t mean that recently retired officers are inevitably inappropriate defense secretaries.

If Trump tried to #pardon his family and associates “for any and all offenses," would it work?Professor Aaron Rappaport ...
12/17/2020
Are Blanket Pardons Constitutional? A Reply to Bowman

If Trump tried to #pardon his family and associates “for any and all offenses," would it work?

Professor Aaron Rappaport (UC Hastings Law) writes why it would be ineffective.

A discussion of the views of the Constitution's Framers and modern practice.

If news reports are to be believed, President Trump is considering issuing blanket pardons (“for any and all offenses”) to many of his family-members and associates. In an article last year, I raised questions about the validity of such pardons, arguing that the Pardon Clause may be subject to a...

The Biden team has made clear that combating corruption and kleptocracy is a top priority.But what tools does the US hav...
12/17/2020
How Biden Can Defeat Strategic Corruption

The Biden team has made clear that combating corruption and kleptocracy is a top priority.

But what tools does the US have to win this fight?

Center for American Progress' Trevor Sutton and Simon Clark:

An incoming president can designate strategic corruption as a national security threat and create an interagency anti-corruption task force.

Autocrats the world over have tightened their grip under cover of the #coronavirus.But from #India and #Russia to #Brazi...
12/17/2020
Pandemic Consequences: The Acceleration of Confrontational Politics

Autocrats the world over have tightened their grip under cover of the #coronavirus.

But from #India and #Russia to #Brazil and #Chile, Thomas Carothers and Benjamin Press, both of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, see another effect: increasingly confrontational politics.

The disruptive potential of this trend will remain a core challenge to political stability as the world staggers toward post-pandemic life.

Today’s Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.
12/17/2020
Early Edition: December 17, 2020 - Just Security

Today’s Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.

Today's Early Edition, a curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours.

“Whether by willful design or wanton neglect, #Australia’s temporary protection policy is cruel.”Lauren Martin and Jane ...
12/16/2020
Australia "Stopped the Boats," But What Happened to the Refugees Who Reached Its Shores?

“Whether by willful design or wanton neglect, #Australia’s temporary protection policy is cruel.”

Lauren Martin and Jane McAdam (Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law) on the #AsylumSeekers living in limbo.

Whereas Australia has sought to put asylum seekers out of sight and out of mind by moving them offshore, it has simultaneously created another cohort of refugees who are stuck in limbo within the Australian community.

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel is supposed to provide the best view of the law to the executive branch...
12/16/2020
A Roadmap for Reform: How the Biden Administration Can Revitalize the Office of Legal Counsel

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel is supposed to provide the best view of the law to the executive branch.

But trust in this mission, and DOJ generally, has been eroded in past 4 years.

Annie Owens writes how the Office of Legal Counsel can rebuild credibility.

https://www.justsecurity.org/73879/a-roadmap-for-reform-how-the-biden-administration-can-revitalize-the-office-of-legal-counsel/

OLC is tasked with providing the best view of the law to the executive branch - but many argue this mission has been politicized in recent years. How can OLC rebuild trust?

For survivors of atrocities, justice may mean something very different from the remote procedures of the @InternationalC...
12/16/2020
Beyond the ICC: Repositioning the Core of International Accountability

For survivors of atrocities, justice may mean something very different from the remote procedures of the @InternationalCriminalCourt.

David Matyas, Payam Akhavan, Sareta Ashraph and Barzan Barzani argue that the center of international justice is not in The Hague.

For the survivors of atrocities, justice may mean something very different from the remote procedures of the ICC. How can international systems of accountability center local justice?

"The current 'culture of impunity' that politicians & IC bureaucrats enjoy vis-à-vis whistleblower retaliation must be r...
12/15/2020
Needed: A Whistleblower Protection Paradigm Shift

"The current 'culture of impunity' that politicians & IC bureaucrats enjoy vis-à-vis whistleblower retaliation must be replaced with an inescapable system of deterrence and consequences."

Former CIA whistleblower Patrick G. Eddington on overhauling the system:

What should be done to provide truly meaningful and effective protections for government employees or contractors seeking to expose wrongdoing in the IC?

What should the #BidenHarris administration do to prioritize #atrocity prevention?The key, explains Lawrence Woocher, is...
12/15/2020
To Prevent Atrocities, Break Bureaucratic Silos, Don’t Build A New One

What should the #BidenHarris administration do to prioritize #atrocity prevention?

The key, explains Lawrence Woocher, is to integrate it with related priorities like countering extremism, conflict prevention, and counterterrorism.

#CrimesAgainstHumanity

Atrocity prevention should be integrated with policy efforts to prevent conflict, address fragility, and counter extremism.

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We are an online forum for the rigorous analysis of law, rights, and U.S. national security policy. We aim to promote principled and pragmatic solutions to the problems facing decision-makers. Our Founding Editors include individuals with significant U.S. government experience, civil society attorneys, legal academics, and other thought leaders.

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