Judicious Influence: Non-Self-Executing Treaties and the Charming Betsy Canon

36 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2011 Last revised: 30 Jul 2015

See all articles by Rebecca Crootof

Rebecca Crootof

University of Richmond School of Law; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Date Written: April 5, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Crootof, Rebecca, Judicious Influence: Non-Self-Executing Treaties and the Charming Betsy Canon (April 5, 2011). 120 Yale L.J. 1784 (2011), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1803380

Rebecca Crootof (Contact Author)

University of Richmond School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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