Article Of The Day: Oklahoma and Beyond

Evening Standard Newspaper Display: "Sharia Judge: Force Brits Into Burkas"I read an interesting article on the somewhat hysterical statutes or constitutional amendments being enacted in Oklahoma and other US states purporting to bar the courts from making use of international law or Sharia law. The article, Martha F. Davis & Johanna Kalb, Oklahoma and Beyond: Understanding the Wave of State Anti-Transnational Law Initiatives, 87 Ind. L. J. Supp. 1 (2011), provides a useful summary of the statutes, the motivations of their proponents, and the harmful consequences we can expect to follow from their enactment. Blogs I follow, including Opinio Juris and Conflict of Laws .net, have covered the Oklahoma law in particular.

What can we, as lawyers with an interest in private international law, do to roll back this disturbing trend? Is there a pithy soundbite that can effectively rebut the know-nothingism, Islamophobia, lack of respect for the autonomy of parties to contracts, and lack of knowledge of conflict of laws that these new laws embody? (But seriously, let me tell you what I really think about these laws!)

Photo credit: secretlondon123 (license)

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2012), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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