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Our Moderator has asked us to look ahead into the Constitution's third century and anticipate the emerging issues. I believe the changes in the field that I have selected, international organizations and institutions, are likely to be dramatic, perhaps more so than the more incremental changes in the areas being addressed by my copanelists. With all respect to our Moderator, I would like to take note of the rather modest treatment given to international organizations in the leading work on foreign affairs and the Constitution published by Louis Henkin in 1972. I hope he will forgive me if I suggest that his chapter on international organizations, which is already rather short, boils down to the following three propositions. First, international organizations are not doing anything very ambitious yet. Second, the United States can veto or otherwise block most decisions of international organizations. Third, in any event, the United States remains constitutionally free to disregard obligations imposed through international organizations, although we would have to accept the consequences of violating international law.


Constitutional Law | International Law | Law


© 1991 American Society of International Law. This article has been published in the Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting and is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.