On October 15th, the Brooklyn Law Review hosted its second-annual Author Spotlight, designed to introduce students to authors submitting pieces to this scholarly journal.
This year, the Law Review invited Craig Martin, a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and a former Naval Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, to speak about his forthcoming article, “Taking War Seriously: The Case for Constitutional Constraints on the Use of Force, in Compliance with International Law and Constitutional Theory.” His article will be published in the second issue of Volume 76 in the Law Review.
"We were delighted to have Professor Martin speak at BLS. His article touches on themes that not only affect our daily lives, but also strike at the core of what it means to live in a liberal democracy. His presentation seamlessly weaved international relations theory, constitutional law, and political philosophy in a way that was both engaging and enlightening,” said Jameson Dempsey ’11, this year’s Law Review Editor-in-Chief.
Professor Martin described his three-part constitutional model for checking the war-waging decisions of liberal democracies. The model, he explained, would improve compliance with international law through mechanisms already widely accepted in constitutional theory.
The event was followed with an extensive question-and-answer session from a crowd of nearly 80 students. One student asked about the practicality of the solution in a country like America, where it is near impossible to pass constitutional amendments absent a crisis. Another questioned whether the theory would ultimately disincentivize countries from joining international organizations.
Yet another asked about the recent rise in drone strikes in Afghanistan, and the extent to which those actions would fall under Martin's proposal. Professor Martin provided thoughtful and well-supported responses for each of the questions, highlighting the post-war experience of Japan as an example of successful constitutional constraints on warmaking power.
Professor Martin’s scholarly articles have been published in the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, The University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, and The University of British Columbia Law Review.
Learn more about the Brooklyn Law Review.