With Interests at Stake, Great Powers Balk at International Law

With Interests at Stake, Great Powers Balk at International Law
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki waits to give an interview outside the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, June 25, 2015 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

Can international legal mechanisms defuse tensions among the West, Russia and China? Last week, U.S. and European officials praised their Chinese and Russian counterparts for helping seal the nuclear deal with Iran. Yet there were warning signs of new spats with Beijing and Moscow over the South China Sea and Ukraine. These tensions concern not only the countries’ core national interests, but also their readiness to submit these interests to legal reviews. China and Russia seem determined to ensure that, as great powers, they cannot be contained through international law. In The Hague, the low-profile but august Permanent Court of […]

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