Another day brings another example of one of Donald Trump’s initiatives being thwarted by international law. A judge in California has blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to prevent people from making asylum claims at the Southern US border–a move that is in direct contravention to both US law and international law.
This latest ruling provides good evidence for the thesis offered by Harold Hongju Koh in his new book “The Trump Administration and International Law.” The book surveys issues in which the Trump administration has clashed with international law, including immigration and refugees, human rights, and climate change. Koh concludes that forces of international law are far more resilient than we might expect, and in fact, Trump’s power has been constrained by international law.
Harold Hongju Koh is one of the America’s leading scholars of international law. He is the Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, where he formerly served as the dean. He’s also served as the Legal Advisor in the State Department and was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
In this episode, Professor Koh explains the process through which international law has so far been able to blunt some of Trump’s more aggressive impulses.