Foreword: International Law and Policy in the Age of Trump.

Author:Scharf, Michael P.


A self-styled disruptive innovator, when he became president Donald Trump promised to make radical changes to America's relationship with international law and its institutions. To that end, in the first two years of his presidency, Trump instituted an immigration ban from six predominantly Muslim states, (1) initiated a trade war with China, (2) withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, (3) the Iran Nuclear Deal, (4) and the U.N. Human Rights Council, (5) engaged in a presidential summit with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, (6) and launched airstrikes against Syria's chemical weapons facilities. (7)

In the midst of these tumultuous developments, on September 14, 2018, Case Western Reserve University School of Law hosted a conference featuring two dozen former government officials, NGO officers, distinguished academics and leading practitioners from all sides of the political spectrum who engaged in discussion and debate about what the Trump Administration's policies have meant for the future of international law.

In the few months since our Conference, President Trump has continued to shake up the international system by denouncing the International Migration Compact, (8) withdrawing the United States from the 1987 U.S.-Russia Intermediate Range Nuclear Treaty, (9) declaring a national emergency to fund construction of a wall on the Mexican border, (10) and banning officials from the International Criminal Court from entering U.S. territory. (11) More sweeping changes are likely during his administration. In that context the insights of our expert panelists, as memorialized in this special double issue of the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, are as important as they are timely.


This 51st volume of the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law is organized in four parts. First, the volume begins with eleven articles and two speeches born out of this year's symposium topic: "International Law and Policy in the Age of Trump." Each article fits within one of the symposium's four thematically-arranged panels. Next, this volume includes our annual Klatsky Endowed Lecture, delivered this year by Catherine Marchi-Uhel. The third section includes two transcripts from our law school's unique radio-program, "Talking Foreign Policy," which include discussion of U.S.-North Korean relations and its policies toward rogue states. This volume's final section includes five student notes discussing a broad range of salient issues in international law.

The symposium's first panel centered on the Trump administration's influence on financial integrity and foreign entanglements. This panel was the foundation for an article on the enduring role of international regulatory cooperation, written by Professor David Zaring of the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. Professor Zaring's fellow panelists included the Honorable Sue Eckert--former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Sanctions and fellow at the Center for a New American Security, as well as Professor Richard Gordon--Director of the Institute for Financial Integrity at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The second panel discussed impacts of...

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