In many domestic legal systems, the highest court has a special role in interpreting the constitutional or other foundational documents of the society. In the arena of international law there is no single high court and no rule of stare decisis—no rule of precedent. However, the U.S. is alleging that the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is treating its past rulings as binding precedent, and is blocking appointments of new judges to fill vacancies until the matter is resolved. In a new brief, Cato scholars Simon Lester and James Bacchus examine the U.S. objections to the use of previous legal judgments in new disputes, and offer some suggestions for how best to move forward on this issue.
- "Of Precedent and Persuasion: The Crucial Role of an Appeals Court in WTO Disputes," by Simon Lester and James Bacchus
The United States has long been the world’s leading arms exporter. But over the past decade American weapons have wound up in the hands of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, sold on the black market in Yemen and elsewhere, have been used by oppressive governments to kill their own people, and have enabled nations to engage in bloody military conflicts. To help improve decision making about arms sales, A. Trevor Thrall, Caroline Dorminey, and Jordan Cohen have created the Arms Transfer Risk Index, which provides a way to measure the risk involved with arms sales to every nation.
- "The Arms Transfer Risk Index," by A. Trevor Thrall, Caroline Dorminey, and Jordan Cohen
Over the past 50 years, homeschooling has grown from a fringe act to a widely accepted education model reflective of a diverse American population. Increasingly, homeschooling is driving education innovation, as entrepreneurial parents and educators create hybrid learning models that redefine and expand the homeschooling paradigm. A new paper from Kerry McDonald offers an overview of homeschooling trends and a glimpse at the current homeschooling population while arguing that educational freedom creates momentum for families to seek alternatives to conventional mass schooling.
- "Homeschooling and Educational Freedom: Why School Choice Is Good for Homeschoolers," by Kerry McDonald