Medellin, the Alien Tort Statute, and the Domestic Status of International Law
24 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2009 Last revised: 19 Jun 2015
Date Written: August 13, 2009
While scholars have begun to debate the meaning of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Medellin v. Texas for the domestic status of treaties, the decision’s import for other significant questions of foreign relations law has been ignored in the literature. This Article fills that void by exploring Medellin’s significance (a) for treaty and customary international law (CIL) based claims under the Alien Tort Statute, (b) for the hotly debated issue of CIL’s domestic legal status, and (c) for the recent claim that a uniform doctrine governing the domestic status of both treaties and CIL is developing in U.S. foreign relations law.
Keywords: Medellin, treaty, treaties, customary international law, CIL, self-execution, non-self-execution, ATS, Alien Tort Statute, foreign relations law
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