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85 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1787 (2009-2010)


Legal scholars have debated intensely the role of customary international law in the American federal system. The debate involves serious questions surrounding the United States's constitutional structure, foreign relations, and human rights. Despite an impressive body of scholarship, the debate has stood at an impasse in recent years, without either side garnering a consensus. This symposium–Re-examining Customary International Law and the Federal Courts–aspires to help advance the debate over the status of customary international law in the federal courts.

The symposium received thoughtful and constructive contributions from Professors Curtis A. Bradley, Bradford R. Clark, Andrew Kent, Carlos M. Vizquez, and Ingrid Wuerth. The authors presented early versions of their papers at the annual meeting of the Federal Courts Section of the American Association of Law Schools in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 7, 2010. The papers address the general status of customary international law in the federal system and, more specifically, the scope and effect of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which confers jurisdiction upon federal courts to hear an important category of cases involving customary international law.


Reprinted with permission of the Notre Dame Law Review.



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