Law School Discussion

international law- chances?

international law- chances?
« on: July 20, 2007, 11:10:40 PM »
.

Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 09:25:13 AM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the us is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.

furthermore, many agreements between/among nations are not 'self-executing,' which means they don't become part of our domestic law unless and until ratified by an act of congress; and even where such agreements are ratified, congress may always overrule them with a subsequent statute. even where a treaty or other agreement is self-executing, the president doesn't have to abide by it. the president has plenary power over foreign affairs, and there has never been a case where a president was compelled to abide by a treaty or other international agreement.

Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 09:45:21 AM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us (or any other country) wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the country is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.



Fixed.

Generally agreed, though.  There's not a whole lot of actual practice in this area, although the concept is obviously attractive to poli sci students.

International trade is another matter. 

honestly, w/r/t international trade, i don't think there is much 'international law' that matters. i can almost guarantee that any cross-border transaction you actually see in practice will have a choice of law clause stating that the contract is to be governed under NY law. So again, it's really domestic law that matters; i.e., the NY law of contracts, enforcement of judgments, etc. if a foreign firm wants to breach all of it's contracts, there's really not much else the courts can do other than levy on the firm's assets in the us. american courts can't levy on assets in foreign countries unless the other country lets us; and if they do, it's because they want to trade with the us. so, that's not really 'international law' in the sense of any truly binding obligations. (and is probably not what you're going to learn in any international law course; which i can only assume focuses on the laws of war, international human rights, etc.)

the only area i can think of where true international law is important to an american practitioner would be antitrust, where you need to work with foreign competition law and regulatory agencies. that is, when a us firm merges with a european firm, the firms will have to convince the european competition commission that it's ok. even then, the us firm will most likely retain european counsel to deal with those issues; it's probably good for the us attys to know european competition law so they can keep abreast of what's going on and help make arguments, if necessary.

but at the end of the day, where foreign law is in play, forein counsel will be handling it.

there is such a thing as international arbitration, but i don't think that's taught much in schools.