Release of 2012 Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law

I’m pleased to report that the U.S. Department of State has published on-line the 2012 edition of the Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law. The Office of the Legal Adviser publishes the annual Digest to provide the public with a historical record of the views and practice of the Government of the United States in public and private international law. This is the second year that I have served as editor of the Digest and the second year it has been exclusively published on-line rather than delaying on-line release to coincide with book publication, as in years past. We have been able to get the Digest out to readers much earlier in the year by going exclusively on-line. I hope that many IntLawGrrls are among those who find the Digests’ more timely, on-line availability useful.

The Digest is introduced each year by the Legal Adviser. This year, with Harold Koh’s departure, Mary McLeod introduced the Digest as Acting Legal Adviser. Excerpted below from her introduction is a summary of some of the material covered in the 2012 Digest:

Significant legal issues arose in 2012 relating to ongoing United States efforts to address the crisis in Syria. The Digest discusses the U.S. designation of Syria for temporary protected status, actions at the Human Rights Council on Syria, U.S. and international acceptance of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, U.S. sanctions relating to Syria, and UN General Assembly and Security Council actions on Syria.

In 2012, the United States remained engaged in the development of international law by negotiating and concluding treaties. The administration worked to support ratification of the Disabilities Convention, which the Senate considered in 2012 but declined to give its advice and consent to by a vote of 61-38. Secretary Clinton testified before the Senate in support of U.S. ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”). The United States signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances and the UN Food Assistance Convention. The United States also became a party to the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships and transmitted to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification the Convention on the Law Applicable to Certain Rights in Respect of Securities Held with an Intermediary. In addition, the United States participated actively in the negotiation of the new UN Arms Trade Treaty.

As described in the announcement on IntLawGrrls of the release of the 2011 Digest, the Digest has a long history of women editors, going back to Marjorie Whiteman.