ARTICLE: Consent to the Use of Force and International Law Supremacy Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright (c) 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Harvard International Law Journal

ARTICLE: Consent to the Use of Force and International Law Supremacy

Winter, 2013

Harvard International Law Journal

54 Harv. Int'l L.J. 1


Ashley S. Deeks*



"Blind obedience to the supremacy of international law is not the same thing as the rule of law." 1
Consider the following hypothetical: Thailand allows the United States to detain a terrorist suspect who is unlawfully present in Thailand and to transfer him out of the country. Thailand's domestic law forbids the government from deporting an individual without first giving him a hearing. Does that prohibition extend beyond the Thai government's own actions to prevent it from allowing other states to take actions that it could not? Or does international law permit the United States to rely on Thailand's consent to remove the person from Thailand without a hearing? One might reasonably assume that international law would reject Thailand's consent in this context on the grounds that Thailand should not be able to consent to something it could not do itself. Currently, however, international law would not preclude the United States from relying on Thai consent.

The reasons for this lie deep in international law. International law allows one state to take at face value the commitments made to it by another state. 2 A state need not search behind another state's consent to unearth tensions between the international arrangement and the consenting state's domestic law. Nor may a state invoke its own domestic law as a reason to breach its international obligations. 3 These concepts often are termed "international law supremacy." 4 Thus, in the above example, international law allows the United States to assume ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities