Sabbatino, Sosa, and Supernorms

Looking to the Future: Essays on International Law (Mahnoush H. Arsanjani, et al., ed. 2011)

U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2175667

11 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2012  

Kenneth C. Randall

University of Alabama - School of Law

Chimène I. Keitner

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court’s foundational decisions in Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino and, forty years later, Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain demonstrate the Court’s application of a consistent, overarching principle of restraint: a U.S. court should adjudicate only claims involving what we call “supernorms.” In short, a supernorm is an international legal prohibition that has become so crystallized and entrenched as to be effectively unquestionable and inviolable either by sovereign entities or by individuals, particularly those acting under color of state authority.

Keywords: international law, supernorms

Suggested Citation

Randall, Kenneth C. and Keitner, Chimène I., Sabbatino, Sosa, and Supernorms (2011). Looking to the Future: Essays on International Law (Mahnoush H. Arsanjani, et al., ed. 2011); U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2175667. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2175667

Kenneth C. Randall (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Chimène I. Keitner

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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