Julian Ku, Lawfare

Julian Ku


United States

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  • Lawfare
  • Opinio Juris

Past articles by Julian:

China’s Successful Foray Into Asymmetric

The Chinese government’s use of its own weak legal system to carry out “hostage diplomacy" may herald a new “asymmetric lawfare” strategy to counter the U.S. → Read More

What to Make of Secretary Pompeo Decertifying Hong Kong Autonomy

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made history yesterday when he refused to certify that Hong Kong is autonomous from China. What’s the significance of that move? → Read More

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Is Redundant, but Still Worthwhile

The House and the Senate have passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. What is the significance of the Act? → Read More

The Detention of Huawei’s CFO is Legally Justified. Why Doesn’t the U.S. Say So?

The complexity of the legal process surrounding Meng’s detention has allowed China’s government to sow doubts about the legal legitimacy of the arrest. → Read More

Why China’s Disappearance of Interpol’s Chief Matters

Meng Hongwei’s sudden detention should cause the rest of the world to think harder about how to respond to China’s ongoing campaign to build legitimacy and influence among international organizations. → Read More

Ignore the Hype: The Taiwan Travel Act is Legally Binding

While there are no legal sanctions for violating the Taiwan Travel Act, that does not mean the legislation lacks any legal force. → Read More

Congress Leads on Taiwan Again by Opening the Door to High-Level US Government Contacts

The Taiwan Travel Act is politically significant despite its limited legal force. → Read More

The British are Coming to the South China Sea, and It's About Time

U.S. allies are beginning to perform Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea. → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive Is International Law....Law?

One of the many reasons I am so pleased that Opinio Juris can host this discussion on Anthea Roberts’ new (and award-winning) book is that it speaks directly to and about this blog’s core audience: students, scholars, and practitioners of international law from all over the world. When we founded this blog in 2005, we hoped to use the internet to open conversations with other scholars in the… → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive International Law Pays No Homage to Catalonia's Declaration of Independence

International law is famously mushy and subject to a variety of interpretations. But there are some issues upon which there is more consensus under international law, such as the illegality of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But is there any reasonable argument favoring the legality of the Catalan Parliament’s recent declaration of independence from Spain? I don’t think so. At the outset, it is… → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive A Farewell Note from Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni

A Farewell Note from Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni by Julian Ku As most of our readers know, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, a leading figure in the creation of the field of international criminal law, passed away yesterday at the age of 79. Professor Bassiouni had a large email list of friends and acquaintances, and his email account sent out one last posthumous message last night. We are… → Read More

The South China Sea and China's "Four Sha" Claim: New Legal Theory, Same Bad Argument

China may abandon the "Nine-Dash Line" claim in the South China Sea, but it's not abandoning its bad legal arguments. → Read More

The South China Sea and China's "Four Sha" Claim: New Legal Theory, Same Bad Argument

China may abandon the "Nine-Dash Line" claim in the South China Sea, but it's not abandoning its bad legal arguments. → Read More

Tentative Observations on China’s Views on International Law and Cyber Warfare

As I noted in my post yesterday, the Chinese government has declined to clarify how and whether it believes the international law governing the use of applies to cyber warfare. Its refusal to do so has drawn sharp criticism from the U.S. and other cyber powers. → Read More

Assessing the South China Sea Arbitral Award after One Year: Why China Won and the U.S. is Losing

A year ago today, an arbitral tribunal formed pursuant to the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea issued a blockbuster award finding much of China’s conduct in the South China Sea in violation of international law. As I detailed that day on this blog and elsewhere, the Philippines won about as big a legal victory as it could have expected. But as many of us also warned that day, a… → Read More

Why the U.S. Can’t Take Sides in South China Sea Sovereignty Disputes, Even Against China

An overview of the difficult diplomatic and legal consequences. → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive Dear Secretary Tillerson (and the World Media): Qatar is NOT Under a "Blockade"

Longtime readers of this blog may have noticed that one of my pet peeves is the incorrect usage of international legal terms in public and diplomatic discourse. Hence, Israel did NOT commit “piracy” during the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid despite lots of governments claiming otherwise. Cuba is not under a “blockade” despite tons of Cuban government propaganda otherwise. So you can imagine my dismay… → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive Emailing Does Not Pass the Kiobel Test: US Court Dismisses ATS Case Against Anti-Gay Pastor

Distracted by #ComeyDay and other international crises, I missed this recent U.S. federal court decision in Sexual Minorities of Uganda v. Lively, dismissing an Alien Tort Statute lawsuit on Kiobel extra-territoriality grounds. While using unusually critical language to denounce U.S. pastor-defendant Scott Lively’s involvement in Uganda’s anti-homosexual laws and actions, the U.S. District Court… → Read More

Opinio Juris » Blog Archive Actually, President Trump CAN Unilaterally Withdraw the U.S. From NATO

The estimable professor-pundit Daniel Drezner has a typically smart blogpost on President Trump’s refusal to affirm the U.S. commitment to Article 5’s collective defense provision of the North Atlantic Treaty. I don’t have a problem with his views here, but I can’t help jumping in to correct this paragraph from his post: > So why is this such a big deal of a story? The United States is a… → Read More

The US Conducts the First South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation of the Trump Era, But It Was “Off the Record”

The Trump administration may have authorized its first "freedom of navigation operation" in the South China Sea, but no U.S. government officials will go on the record to provide details. → Read More