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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

The Limits of International Human Rights Law in the U.S. Constitution

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life


Hiroshi Nakazato
Boston College

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road

Abstract: Supreme Court observers have noted that recent legal cases (e.g., Atkins v. Virginia; Lawrence v. Texas; Roper v. Simmons) have made references to foreign and international legal developments as relevant but non-binding sources for interpreting the Constitution. Battle lines are being drawn up between those judges and legal scholars who support this development and those who decry it. What is the status of international law for constitutional purposes, and how should we understand the implications of these important cases as indicative for future Supreme Court jurisprudence?


Hiroshi Nakazato is an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the International Studies Program at Boston College. He teaches courses in international politics, international law, security studies, and research methods. His research interests include international relations theory and U.S. civil-military relations. Nakazato received his Ph.D. in international politics at Boston College.


In the News:

Following Oklahoma's lead, Wyoming and Texas are attempting to ban Sharia law from being considered in their state legal systems, the Huffington Post recently reported. On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Hiroshi Nakazato discussed a similar question: the role of international law in the U.S. legal system.