Letter to Minister of Defence by Amnesty International and BC Civil Liberties Association
Comity of Nations is a principle under the Doctrine of Consent & Reciprocity [DCR]
INTRO FILM → Syria’s War Newsweek [Full Product]
This thought experiment was created by the American philosopher John Rawls. He asks us to imagine ourselves in a situation in which we know nothing of our true lives — we are behind a “veil of ignorance” that prevents us from knowing the political system under which we live or the laws that are in place. Nor do we know anything about psychology, economics, biology, and other sciences.
Along with a group of similarly situation-blind people, we are asked, in this original position, to review a comprehensive list of classic forms of justice drawn from various traditions of social and political philosophy. We are then given the task of selecting which system of justice we feel would best suit our needs in the absence of any information about our true selves and the situation we may actually be in in the real world.
So, for example, what if you came back to “real life” to find out that you live in a shanty town in India? Or a middle class neighborhood in Norway? What if you’re a developmentally disabled person? A wealthy elite? A Syrian citizen internally displaced by the on-going war? Or for our purposes, A Syrian who suffered from the use of internationally banned chemical weapons launched by the Syrian President against his own people? (Or as was proposed in a paper, “All Together Now,” a different species?)
According to Rawls, we would all likely end up picking something that guarantees equal basic rights and liberties to secure our interests as free and equal citizens, and to pursue a wide range of conceptions of the common good. He also speculated that we’d likely choose a system that ensures universal human rights, both negative and positive rights (such as fair educational and employment opportunities). In short, we would all choose to maximize justice for the least favoured persons in a country or the world.
i.e., COULD R2P have been the best way to MAXIMIZE JUSTICE for the SYRIAN PEOPLE?
WATCH → The Obama Doctrine that Wasn’t Washington Post
FULL Case Problem
Syrian War Fact Pattern
LISTEN → Syria and the Chance for Peace Interview
FILM 1 → The Boy Who Started the Syrian War Al Jazeera English [0 to 11:05]
FILM 2 → Syria’s War Newsweek [Full]
FILM → CANADA’S RESPONSE IN-DEPTH Canada in Iraq: The Hidden War (CBC The Fifth Estate 30 October 2015)
IN-DEPTH READINGS ON 4 OPTIONS
FULL BBC ARTICLE → Islamic State Crisis: What Does International Law Allow?
Global Justice Slides (Professor Mark Kersten Munk School of Global Affairs)
Council on Foreign Relations Guest Speaker → “impunity is the new rule of law“
STEP 1 → Decide if You Prefer to Work Solo or Partnered
STEP 2 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in ARTICLE A Syria Air Strikes: Were They Legal?
STEP 3 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in ARTICLE B U.K. Briefing Paper on Legal Basis for Air Strikes
STEP 4 → Read, Pull Out, & Make Detailed Notes on the Options, Actions, or Responses Set Out in the Following 6 SOURCES [note partners can divide up the sources]
STEP 5 → Based on Your Detailed Notes from Step 1 to 4 SELECT A LENS FROM BELOW to use in Mapping Out The Landscape of Possible International Responses
NOTE → You can combine or use more then one of the suggested lenses in your map OR create your own lens.
STEP 6 → Build Your Map [11 x 17 Large Format Paper Provided] & Select the OPTION Your Group Supports [Use the GREEN, YELLOW, RED Light Format]
STEP 7 → Project & Present Your Map
STEP 8 → Class Discussion on What the Response Should Be
CLOSING ARTICLE Syria → How International Law Has Changed to Help Intervention
READ → Here’s What International Law Says About Russia’s Intervention in Ukraine (The New Republic 02 March 2014)
Dr. Taras Kuzio’s Guest Seminar Presentation
Y = Yes, IL is Ineffective / IL is a Failure
N = No, IL is Effective / IL Works
EACH GROUP HAS 7 MINUTES TO OPEN, MAKE THEIR ARGUMENTS, & CLOSE (30 seconds to open, 30 seconds to close, and 6 minutes (2 minutes x 3 group members) to make your arguments using supporting points, research, and evidence). Each group will have 2 minutes to plan rebuttal for the free debate. The free debate will be 4 minutes in length.
WATCH A World in Disarray VICE → Linking the Syria & Ukraine Cases Together by Building Case Ratios (minute 2:32 to 46:01)
WATCH A World in Disarray VICE → Examining China’s Maritime Disputes by Building a Case Ratio (minute 46:01 to 58:10)
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS READINGS ON THE Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations AND U.S. v. Iran CASE
SKETCHING OUT THE FACT PATTERN
SKETCHING OUT THE FACT PATTERN
OPENING FACT PATTERN A → Iranian Revolution & Protests Outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran
OPENING FACT PATTERN B → The U.S. Embassy in Tehran Stormed & Occupied
Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, Nov. 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them hostage for 444 days.
Murals leading up to the “Den of Spies” museum housed in the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran portray a part of the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was engineered by the U.S. and Israel to help justify invading the Middle East.
According to a fantastic NY Times article that everyone should read, reconstruction was first brought to light during the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. The Iranians elicited the help of local carpet weavers to reconstruct sensitive documents, which were sold on the streets of Tehran as a testament to US imperialism.
Diplomatic Immunity Cases