Customary International Law, Change, and the Constitution

33 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017 Last revised: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by William S. Dodge

William S. Dodge

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: November 28, 2017

Abstract

Customary international law has changed in many ways since ratification of the U.S. Constitution. This Article considers the implications of those changes for customary international law’s role under the Constitution. In particular, it challenges the claims made in a new book, The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution, that U.S. courts must respect the “traditional rights” of foreign nations under the law of nations and may not apply the modern customary international law of human rights. This Article argues that the book is inconsistent in its approach to changes in customary international law, embracing some but rejecting others. This Article also shows that a full account of the changes in customary international law undercuts the book’s two constitutional arguments.

Keywords: customary international law, law of nations, human rights, vattel

Suggested Citation

Dodge, William S., Customary International Law, Change, and the Constitution (November 28, 2017). 106 Georgetown Law Journal 1559 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3078875

William S. Dodge (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States

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