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John Scheib's Investigation
Into the Legal Issues of the
Kosovo Crisis

 

    An excerpt from John Scheib's investigation into the legal issues     In addition, there are tricky issues related to respect for international law in the domestic sphere. For example, one rule of treaties is that a treaty, under the constitution, is the law of the land if it meets the Treaty Clause requirements. Thus, a treaty is equal to a statute. When a statute, such as the 1996 Immigration reform, and a treaty, such as the refugee convention, are in conflict, courts first attempt to interpret them to be consistent with one another. Castro v. De Uriarte, 16 F. 93, 96 (S.D. N.Y. 1883)("Treaties duly ratified under the constitution (article 6) are doubtless a part of the supreme law of the land, and their stipulations and obligations will not be deemed annulled by acts of mere general legislation which can be reasonably construed otherwise.")(citing Cherokee Tobacco, 78 U.S. 616 (1870)); McMullen, 796 F. Supp. at 1293 (citing Bassiouni, Extradition at II 4-7.). When that is not possible, the last in time is the law of the United States. Whitney v. Robertson, 124 U.S. 190, 194 (1888); Chae Chan Ping v. United States, 130 U.S. 581, 600 (1889). Thus, the rights granted under the refugee treaty would not be recognized in the United States when in conflict with the more recent legislation. I wonder how it would work in the European countries that are receiving the bulk of the refugees.