When Do American Judges Enforce Treaties?

69 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2005

See all articles by Tim Wu

Tim Wu

Columbia University - Law School


This paper advances a theory of judicial treaty interpretation and enforcement in the American legal system.

Today, the doctrine of self-execution dominates the study of judicial enforcement of treaties in U.S. courts. This paper, based on an extensive study of the record of treaty practice in U.S. courts, suggests a different analysis.

Treaty enforcement has in practice varied on who judges are asked to enforce a treaty against - the party alleged to be in breach - whether States, the Executive, or Congress. This paper shows this pattern thorough the history of U.S. treaty practice.

Keywords: treaties, international law, treaty interpretation, self-execution

Suggested Citation

Wu, Tim, When Do American Judges Enforce Treaties?. U of Chicago Public Law Research Paper No. 82, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=664701 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.664701

Tim Wu (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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