• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Backgrounder posted April 24, 2014 by Steven Groves, Dean Cheng A National Strategy for the South China Sea

    On December 5, a Chinese warship nearly collided with the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser operating lawfully in the South China Sea (SCS). This was only the most recent incident highlighting the unsustainable situation in the SCS. In a throwback to the time of John Selden’s Mare Clausum,[1] China has claimed sovereign rights to the entirety of the SCS within a…

  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

  • Commentary posted February 11, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.N. Preaches to the Vatican

    The international “smart set” regularly chastises the United States for not ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). One need only look to a recent report by the CRC’s treaty committee for full justification of U.S. reticence. Human-rights “experts” on U.N. treaty bodies like the Committee on the Rights of the Child often take liberties with…

  • Commentary posted January 20, 2014 by Steven Groves The U.S. Doesn't Need the U.N.'s Disability Treaty

    Backers of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received a major blow last month when Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top GOP member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, announced he would not support ratification. And that's good because ratification of the CRPD will not benefit Americans with disabilities. The United States…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2013 by Steven Groves The Shameful Selling of the Disabilities Treaty

    Perhaps the American people have come to expect less than straight talk from the White House. But blowing smoke that misleads Americans with disabilities -- including U.S. veterans badly wounded in combat -- crosses a red line even by today's standards. That is precisely what the White House and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are doing in their…

  • Backgrounder posted November 15, 2013 by Steven Groves U.S. National Human Rights Institution: A Bad Idea

    For several years elements of the international human rights community have advocated that the United States should establish a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) to promote and monitor implementation of international human rights treaties, norms, and standards in the United States. However, creating a NHRI is a bad idea. Human rights activists would use a NHRI to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 11, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves Syria Policy Should Be Driven by U.S. Interests, Not the U.N.

    There are good reasons why Americans, under the current circumstances, should question a military intervention in Syria.[1] But President Obama has muddied the waters further by giving as much weight to international law as he did to U.S. interests in presenting his case for military intervention, frequently expressing the need to enforce an “international norm”…

  • Play Movie Does Obama Need Authorization to Strike Syria? Groves on CNN Video Recorded on September 8, 2013 Does Obama Need Authorization to Strike Syria? Groves on CNN

    Senior Research Fellow Steve Groves discusses whether President Obama needs Congressional authorization to strike Syria on CNN's 'Global Public Square.'…

  • Backgrounder posted June 24, 2013 by Steven Groves Ratifying the Disabilities Convention Will Not Help Americans with Disabilities at Home or Abroad

    The United States should ratify a treaty only if it advances its interests. In the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),[1] U.S. interests may be characterized in both domestic and international terms: Would ratifying the CRPD benefit the lives of Americans with disabilities living in the United States? Would ratifying the CRPD…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves U.N. Human Rights Experts: More Transparency and Accountability Required

    Recent statements by United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Richard Falk rekindled a debate over how such experts should be held accountable when their behavior violates the conduct expected of them. Moreover, the scrutiny elicited by Falk’s statements has exposed the fact that funding for special procedures deserves more transparency, especially regarding…

  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2013 by Steven Groves Drone Strikes: The Legality of U.S. Targeting Terrorists Abroad

    The debate over the circumstances in which lethal force may be used against terrorist organizations operating from foreign territory is not new. Nor is it a new reality that the United States must confront armed, non-state actors that threaten its national security and the lives of its people. Lethal force, including targeted drone strikes, may lawfully be used against an…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2012 by Steven Groves The U.S. Can Mine the Deep Seabed Without Joining the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

    Abstract: The United States can mine the deep seabed without acceding to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). For more than 30 years, through domestic law and bilateral agreements, the U.S. has established a legal framework for deep seabed mining. In fact, U.S. accession would penalize U.S. companies by subjecting them to the whims of an…

  • Testimony posted November 27, 2012 by Steven Groves Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Treaty Doc. 112-7)

    Testimony before theUnited States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations July 12, 2012 Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee: Thank you for inviting me to testify before you today regarding the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD or Convention). I had the opportunity to testify before this Committee a…