Judicious Influence: Non-Self-Executing Treaties and the Charming Betsy Canon
36 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2011 Last revised: 30 Jul 2015
Date Written: April 5, 2011
Despite their seeming impotency, non-self-executing treaties play an important role in domestic jurisprudence. When a statute permits more than one construction, judges have a number of interpretive tools at their disposal. One of these is the Charming Betsy canon, which encourages judges to select an interpretation of an ambiguous statute that accords with U.S. international obligations - including those expressed in non-self-executing treaties. This piece concludes that the judicial practice of giving indirect force to all treaties through the Charming Betsy canon is both justified and beneficial.
Keywords: Charming Betsy, Self-executing, Non-self-executing, Treaty, Treaties, Medellin, Statutory Interpretation, Statutory Construction
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