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What effect has Professor Henkin's work had upon your own thoughts or scholarship in the human rights field?

My scholarly work spans the fields of international human rights and U.S. foreign relations law. I am particularly interested in the process by which human rights norms are implemented into domestic legal systems, the role the United States plays in promoting the internalization of human rights norms by other states, and the mechanisms by which the values of the international human rights regime are incorporated into the United States domestic legal system.

To say that Professor Henkin's work has contributed to my own thinking on these issues would be an understatement. In addition to his phenomenal work in constitutional law and international law, Professor Henkin did the pathbreaking work in developing two distinct fields of law relevant to the "war on terror": the field of U.S. foreign relations and the field of international human rights. It was Professor Henkin, first and foremost, who resurrected foreign relations law as a field of study. Professor Henkin's scholarship pushed back forcefully against the Roman observation that in war – and, perhaps, in foreign relations generally – the law is silent. The law, he said in his brilliant book, Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Constitution,' speaks clearly and distinctly in this area, and is equally enforceable. Henkin's foreign relations work reminds us that numerous legal constraints operate in this area – constraints from international law; constraints from constitutional separation of powers and individual rights; and constraints from sub-constitutional framework statutes.


Human Rights Law | International Law | Law | National Security Law