Opinio Juris » Blog Archive Obama’s Bizarre New Theory of Customary International Law » Opinio Juris

I thought that this was an interesting idea about Obama’s phrasing regarding customary international law. According to Obama, “governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population” have banned chemical weapons, therefore it’s a violation. But generally customary norms are judged by the number of states who have ratified, not the percentage of the world population presented. Conveniently, Obama’s unorthodox formulation allows him to claim that all the treaties that the US has refused to ratify do not qualify as customary law.

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