Do international laws matter?

The same can be said of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or ICCPR. Since 1995, the United States has taken the position that its guarantees do not apply to the conduct of the United States beyond our borders. The overwhelming weight of international legal opinion is not in agreement, as evidenced by the decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the American Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice. Everyone has interpreted the treaty's obligations to “follow the flag” wherever a state exercises effective control over its operations abroad.

Of all the signatories that have expressed views on the subject, only the United States and Israel interpret the applicability of the ICCPR in this way. Despite the growing presence of international law, the question that remains to be resolved is whether international law matters. But if President Obama, who came to office proclaiming the importance of the United States acting as a model to follow and defend international human rights, once again clings to politics and provides half-hearted responses that continue to undermine the international legal regime, was chosen in large part to restore, it will be more than a little daunting. Mearsheimer, John (1994-9) “The False Promise of International Institutions, International Security, vol.

19, no. Director of the Security with Human Rights Program at Amnesty International USA UU. Advocates for U.S. compliance with international law in United States national security policy.