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!)