Treaties & Customary International Law

Change Without Consent: How Customary International Law Modifies Treaties

41 Yale J. Int'l L. 237 (2016)

Despite much recent scholarly focus on how outdated treaties might be updated, surprisingly little attention has been paid to an alternative route of treaty evolution: modification by subsequently-developed customary international law. This article demonstrates that such modification occurs; argues for recognition of its legitimacy; and highlights how it may result in more consensus-respecting action than arguments grounded in consent-based forms of treaty modification.

Judicious Influence: Non-Self-Executing Treaties and the Charming Betsy Canon

Note, 120 Yale L.J. 1784 (2011) (cited in Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law 79-80 (James Crawford, ed., 8th ed. 2012))

Non-self-executing treaties are commonly, and inappropriately, dismissed as irrelevant in domestic law. This note examines how judges employ the Charming Betsy canon to interpret ambiguous statutes to accord with U.S. international obligations, including those expressed in non-self-executing treaties. The Note concludes that this practice is justified and beneficial.