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The Dogs That Didn't Bark: Why Were International Legal Scholars MIA on Kosovo
Chicago Journal of International Law
  • John C. Yoo, Berkeley Law
Publication Date
While legal scholars loudly protested that presidential US military intervention without Congressional approval in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, & the Persian Gulf was unconstitutional, they were silent during presidential intervention in Bosnia & the recent war in Kosovo. Yet Kosovo was a glaring example of unconstitutional presidential war-making because President Clinton never received ex ante Congressional approval; did not provide a legal justification; conducted extensive offensive operations against Serbian military & civilian assets without UN approval; has occupied part of Kosovo with thousands of American troops for the indefinite future; & passed the time limits of the War Powers Resolution. The international legal community desired to show that establishing a new world order under international law could be achieved with less cost than during the Cold War & that human rights protection served higher ends. Silence when an unconstitutional act has met their goals has saved scholars the risk of declaring that human rights justifies intervention into a nation's domestic affairs. By attaching themselves to ambiguous normative goals of promoting international justice & abandoning attention to the study & analysis of the nature of international law, scholars undermine the process of neutral law governance in international affairs. Adapted from the source document.
Citation Information
John C. Yoo, The Dogs That Didn't Bark: Why Were International Legal Scholars MIA on Kosovo, 1 Chi. J. Int'l L. 149 (2000)