Digest of United States Practice in International Law 1991-1999

The Office of the Legal Adviser is pleased to announce the publication of the two-volume Digest of United States Practice in International Law 1991-1999. In order to assist readers in locating the full text of documents that are excerpted in the 1991-1999 Digest and accessible elsewhere, the volume includes citations to Internet or other public sources. The listing here has been created for documents that are not readily available in hard copy or retrievable elsewhere in electronic format.

In his Introduction to the 1991-1999 Digest, John B. Bellinger, III, Legal Adviser for the Department of State, commented:

With the publication of these volumes, the Office of the Legal Adviser completes the effort to document the period when publication of the Digest was temporarily suspended. We hope that practitioners, scholars and the public, as well as governmental officials, will find this multi-year compilation a useful source of information regarding U.S. views and actions in the most important areas of international law. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible within the limitation of available resources.

The material addressed retroactively in these volumes covers an important historical period involving many issues we believe readers will find highly relevant today. During this period, for instance, the United States became party to important human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. International terrorist acts such as the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, posed new challenges, to which the United States responded through negotiation of new international terrorism conventions, efforts in both the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice, and changes in U.S. domestic laws including the creation of an exception to sovereign immunity for certain acts of state sponsors of terrorism.

Legal issues involving the use of force arose with U.S. participation in the Gulf War and the military intervention in the territory of the Former Yugoslavia, and were addressed in several instances before the International Court of Justice. U.S. participation in the peace process and in peacekeeping in areas as diverse as the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti gave rise to both international and domestic legal issues. Major efforts Were pursued in arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, including the establishment of the Korean Energy Development Organization.

The 1990s were an era of new international institutions and political structures. The United States was actively engaged, for instance, in the Security Council's creation of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and the UN Mission in Kosovo, and in the negotiation stage of the establishment of the International Criminal Court. In the area of trade, the United States was deeply involved in the establishment of the World Trade Organization and the conclusion of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The breakup of the Soviet Union was only the biggest example of geo-political changes with a wide range of legal implications for the United States and other countries.

In other fields, to list only a few examples, after completion of the 1994 Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI, the President transmitted both the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Agreement to the Senate for advice and consent. Maritime interdiction of aliens and other aspects of immigration and naturalization generated important legal issues. Cases concerning the right of aliens in the United States to consular notification arose in U.S. courts and the International Court of Justice.

The current volume has been edited by Sally Cummins and David Stewart of the Office of the Legal Adviser. The Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law 1991-1999, as well as volumes for 1989-1990, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 can be purchased from the International Law Institute, The Foundry Building, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, DC 20007. Contact Bill Mays, Publications Department, at (202) 247-6006. Volumes for 2004 and 2005 will be available by the end of 2006.

-List of Documents

Digest of United States Practice in International Law 1991-1999