Document Type


Publication Title

Studies in Transnational Legal Policy

Publication Date



This publication is based on Professor Drumbl's remarks on September 1, 2015, at the Ninth International Humanitarian Law Dialogs held in Chautauqua, New York.

What I do not want to do is review and repeat what has already been said about the international arena. I thought what I would do is boil it down to a couple observations that I have about the activities at the international institutions over the past year, and discuss four elements that have emerged.

One is transition. What I mean by this is that the work of a number of the international institutions is winding down, moving on, relocating. The second criterion is what I would call unevenness. With the International Criminal Court (ICC) in particular, I think we see some high highs and some low lows. It is a staccato process. And I cannot fully figure out if it is two steps forward and one back or one step forward and two back; or maybe even higher numbers, probably more in the backwards direction. But I am an optimist, so I would say that there are two forward and one back.

The third theme: migration. This grafts onto the theme that I opened with: proceedings moving from the international level to the national level and being dealt with there.

And then, the final criterion that I see emerging is what I would simply call omissions. I woke up this morning agape at another omission that we have been talking about quite a bit: a photo I saw from the latest torture practices that ISIS is deploying. There was a photo of four men on a bar-it actually looks like a swing set-and there is a bar that goes across the middle. These men are tied to the bar, arms and legs up above, so they are face down. In front of these four men is a row of kerosene: a row with straw on it. There are four of them. Their bodies are also doused with kerosene. Each of these four rows is lit on fire. Kerosene advances, and the men burn to death, face down.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.