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U.S. habitually ignores adverse international rulings

President Joe Biden. File Photo

Biden administration has moved slow to reverse its predecessor’s attack on international dispute settlement

Washington, U.S. | Xinhua | U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, which has lectured China about respecting a so-called arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea, is in itself a breacher of the international rule of law, said Project Syndicate in a recent commentary.

The Biden administration has moved slower than expected to “reverse its predecessor’s attack on international dispute settlement,” which is evident in the use of veto power by former President Donald Trump to block all appointments to the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body, wrote Robert Howse, an international law professor at New York University, and Ruti Teitel, professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School, on Monday.

The two scholars noted that walking away from an international court after losing a case is not a fresh practice created by the recent U.S. leadership; instead, in 1985, the Ronald Reagan administration had also removed recognition of the International Court of Justice when the latter ruled against the United States in a suit over the country’s aid to the Contras, the various right-wing rebel groups in Nicaragua.

Not to mention the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although Biden has just lifted the sanctions imposed by Trump against high ICC officials, his administration “persists in adopting stances that undermine the court’s legitimacy and effectiveness,” they wrote.

The United States should engage “in constructive ways” with international courts, rather than sticking to its “old sore loser strategy by default,” added the scholars.



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