Document Type

Article

Comments

The Spirit of the Laws, 43 Harv. Int'l L.J. 23 (2002)

Abstract

On September 11, 2001, members of Osama bin Laden's AI Qaeda terrorist network apparently hijacked four civilian passenger airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing approximately 3000 innocent civilians from more than 80 different countries. In the days since, I have been struck by how many Americans-and how many lawyers-seem to have concluded that, somehow, the destruction of four planes and three buildings has taken us back to a state of nature in which there are no laws or rules. In fact, over the years, we have developed an elaborate system of domestic and international laws, institutions, regimes, and decision-making procedures precisely so that they will be consulted and obeyed, not ignored, at a time like this.

Date of Authorship for this Version

2002

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