UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS
CONTROL, UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, et al.,
CASE NO. C04-108JLR
page 7 of the federal judge’s decision on international law and U.S. sanctions
The full ruling is at www.concernforiraq.org/ofac/JudgeRobartDecision22Oct04.pdf.
The legal case citations have been moved to footnotes to make the text more readable.)
The court finds that the international law upon which Plaintiff relies is not binding on the United States. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is not self-executing, and the United States Senate has declined to ratify it. The same is true of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Although the United States has ratified part of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, it also provided that the Convention creates no “substantive or procedural right enforceable by law by any party in any proceeding.” Finally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is aspirational, not binding, and is not recognized as law in the United States.
Customary international law also provides no defense for the Plaintiff. Plaintiff argues that even if the international law he cites has not been ratified or enacted in the United States, customary international law embodying the same principles is controlling. Even if the court accepts the Plaintiff’s interpretation of the relevant customary international law, it cannot overlook the executive and legislative acts that expressly address sanctions against Iraq. Customary international law is not binding where there is a controlling legislative or executive act addressing the same subject. International law does not provide Plaintiff with a legally cognizable claim against the challenged regulations.