Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama on international law: Anything for GAL?

From Opinio Juris, we have this link to President-elect Obama's answers to a set of questions on his attitudes towards public international law, posed as part of an ASIL survey during the primary campaign. There's a lot of interesting stuff, ranging from the role of international law in US foreign policy, through trade and climate change to the law relating to the use of force and pre-emption. As might be expected given the timing of the survey, there is nothing particularly surprising in any of the responses (although there is the tantalising inclusion of a very cautious "maybe" to becoming a party to the International Criminal Court); from a GAL perspective, perhaps the only really noteworthy thing is the apparent willingness to leave behind the exceptionalism of the Bush years and re-engage with multilateral and global governance regimes. Here's a taste:

What priorities or goals would you establish for the development of existing or new international legal regimes?

The next president will have to prioritize restoring our traditions of adherence to international legal regimes and norms. When I am President, America will reject torture without exception. America is the country that stood against that kind of behavior, and we will do so again...

What would be your administration's international trade policy?

I would ensure that trade agreements include strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards. Companies operating overseas must not gain a competitive advantage by exploiting workers or the environment. But merely adding words to the core of our trade agreements is not enough. We must enforce our agreements through the World Trade Organization and other existing mechanisms..

What would be your strategy for shoring up the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime and regulation of other weapons of mass destruction?

[amongst a number of other points, quoting from a Bill that he introduced...] it will be U.S. policy "(1) to strongly support the objectives of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; (2) to strongly support all appropriate measures to strengthen the Treaty and to attain its objectives; and (3) to pursue a comprehensive and balanced approach to strengthen the global nuclear nonproliferation system in advance of and during the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to realize a more robust and effective global nuclear nonproliferation system for the 21st century".

What policies would you have toward global climate change regulation?

As president, I will enact a cap on our country's greenhouses gases with a goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050 - the level scientists warn us we must get to in order to limit the most damaging impacts of climate change. Getting our own house in order is the vital first step in assuring we can get the rest of the world's major polluters - like China, which just passed us as the world's largest emitter - to agree to binding caps.


Plenty of global administration then; for the global administrative law, we'll have to wait and see...

1 comment:

Al Gore said...

Yes, We GAL!!!!