American Law News – NEW JOURNAL FEATURES AGORA ON KIOBEL U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE – September 6,2012 WASHINGTON, DC-The American Society of International Law (ASIL) announces the release of the third issue of the 106th volume of its flagship publication, the American Journal of International Law. The issue contains a lead article that questions the definition of necessity by the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility and an agora (a set of articles on one theme) that addresses the upcoming United States Supreme Court case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

The three essays making up the agora are “Attorney General Bradford’s Opinion and the Alien Tort Statute” by Journal Board member and ASIL Vice President Curtis A. Bradley (ASIL Academic Partner Duke University School of Law); “Alien Tort Claims and the Status of Customary International Law” by Journal Board member Carlos M. Vázquez (ASIL Academic Partner Georgetown University Law Center); and “The Use of Vattel in the American Law of Nations” by ASIL member Brian Richardson (Samuel I. Golieb Fellow, ASIL Academic Partner New York University School of Law 2011).

The lead article, “On the Use and Abuse of Necessity in the Law of State Responsibility”by ASIL Executive Council member Robert D. Sloane (ASIL Academic Partner Boston University School of Law), examines the definition of necessity in Article 25 of the International Law Commission’s (ILC) Articles on State Responsibility. Necessity as a general “circumstance precluding wrongfulness” in the law of state responsibility is the definition that has been adopted rapidly, as a putative codification of international custom. Professor Sloane questions the advisability, coherence, and normative appeal of this definition in theory and practice and argues, with reference to the ILC mandate, that the definition reflects more “progressive development” than “codification” of general international law.

Additionally, this Journal includes the following:

– An Editorial Comment entitled “Correcting America’s Continuing Failure to Comply with the Avena Judgment” by Journal Board member Steve Charnovitz (ASIL Academic Partner George Washington University School of Law);

– Notes and Comments on “The Nicaragua Case: A Response to Paul Reichler” by Journal Board member Stephen M. Schwebel (former president, International Court of Justice) and “Paul Reichler’s Rejoiner” by ASIL member Paul S. Reichler (Foley Hoag);

– A Current Developments section featuring a piece entitled “The 2011 Judicial Activity of the International Court of Justice” by ASIL member Jacob Katz Cogan (University of Cincinnati College of Law);

– Five case reports on decisions from the International Court of Justice, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, the Korean Supreme Court, and the U. S. Supreme Court, edited by Journal Board and Executive Council member David P. Stewart (Georgetown University Law Center);

– A section on the latest developments in contemporary U.S. practice relating to international law, edited by Journal Board member and ASIL Vice President John Crook (George Washington University Law School);and

– A section of book reviews, edited by Journal Board member Richard B. Bilder (University of Wisconsin Law School).

This issue’s complete table of contents is available at

The 106th (2012) volume of the Journal is the second in the periodical’s 100-plus-year history to be published online simultaneously with its traditional print counterpart. Through a partnership with the nonprofit, online, scholarly periodical resource JSTOR, the Journal, along with the Society’s other top two periodicals-International Legal Materials and the Annual Meeting Proceedings-are now available electronically at no extra cost to ASIL members.

The Journal has been published quarterly since 1907 and, according to JSTOR, is “considered the premier English-language scholarly journal in its field.” The Journal regularly features articles, editorials, and comments by preeminent scholars on developments in international law and international relations. It also includes analyses of decisions by courts and tribunals, and lists and reviews recent books on international law.

Members of the press may receive a complimentary copy of the current issue of the Journal by writing to Sheila Ward, ASIL Director of Communications and Member Relations, at [email protected].

ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational membership organization. It was founded in 1906, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1950, and has held Category II Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1993. ASIL’s mission is to foster the study of international law and to promote the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice. The Society’s nearly 4,000 members from more than 100 countries comprise attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and nongovernmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law. For more information, visit

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