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Homework answers / question archive / How to Brief your Case Substance? Don’t use any abbreviation or term which you do not understand! ONE INCH MARGINS; Limited Indents; Do NOT INDENT deeply into the paper … FILENAME PROTOOCOL: brief number, your username followed by the word ‘brief’ and (followed by

How to Brief your Case Substance? Don’t use any abbreviation or term which you do not understand! ONE INCH MARGINS; Limited Indents; Do NOT INDENT deeply into the paper … FILENAME PROTOOCOL: brief number, your username followed by the word ‘brief’ and (followed by

Law

How to Brief your Case

Substance? Don’t use any abbreviation or term which you do not understand!

ONE INCH MARGINS; Limited Indents; Do NOT INDENT deeply into the paper …

FILENAME PROTOOCOL: brief number, your username followed by the word ‘brief’ and (followed by .doc or .docx, etc., depending). For instance, my second brief would have the filename 2spaldingnbrief.docx. If you prefer, you may use your full first name; i.e., 2spaldingnancybrief.

Times New Roman 12 point; for lists of “questions” or “principles” use bullets, 1-2-3, or a-b-c; don’t run them together!,

Single space within paragraphs, a line between sections, as below:

 

Name or title of the Case (with date/court where pertinent)

[probably 2 lines, centered at top]

Limited Indents; Do NOT INDENT deeply into the paper …

  1. Facts or Situation

 

  1. Name of court, commissioner, arbitrator, or decision agent; date

 

  1. Concise statement of events/circumstances; lower court decisions and/or length of negotiations

 

  1. Plaintiff (appellant, claimant) and claimed wrong

 

  1. Defendant (appellee, respondent) and arguments in defense

 

  1. Question(s) or Issue(s) which parties claimed;

 

    1. What are the issues or questions in terms of International Law?

 

Use ONE sentence per question; cases usually contain several questions

 

  1. Decision (Court’s finding; its answer to question; the vote if pertinent)

 

Follow this with a concise statement of the court’s reasoning in reaching this decision; use the finding’s logic

 

Note dissent that clarifies majority position or oversights

 

  1. Principles. List International Law points in this case

Most important rule(s) of law that the case illustrates/proves/refers to (bold)

 

Cite specific rules and general principles this decision illustrates; tax your creativity but remain logical

 

Use ONE sentence per principle

 

[if you mention a treaty, use date, and then put it in the bibliography, full cite; Chekhov’s rule of play writing: if you have a pistol lying on a table in the first act, you must use it in the third]

 

  1. Conclusion (Analysis and Notes)

Show where this case fits in the study of International Law; play the publicist. For example, you cited general principle “X,” weigh this case’s impact on principle “X” and on principles the case seems to contradict. Has subsequent law built on this case? Was this case a turning point? Or has law gone another direction? Was this case the zenith of this principle? Is the case reliable now or is it “history”? Etc...

 

  1. Bibliography (Specific aids you used in briefing this case; include page numbers)

 

DO NOT use web addresses as citations.

 

Some Names of courts and abbreviations:

International Court of Justice [thereafter, ICJ]

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea [thereafter, Tribunal or ITLOS]

 

Some Frequently used treaties:
1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations [thereafter Convention (1961) or Vienna Convention (1961)]

1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [thereafter Convention (1963)]

1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [hereafter Treaty on Treaties (1969)]

1982 Law of the Sea Treaty (or Convention)

           

 

 

I will put up a discussion Q for you to enter the case you choose each time; I need to know in advance, so that I can organize the discussion.

To help you get the most from your briefs, please note the following:

 

  1. Briefing helps you grasp the essentials of a case and the law. Doing a brief is essential to understanding cases well enough to use that understanding in class and examinations. A brief is a device to help you later recapture the material. You must capture before you can recapture.

 

  1. Do not begin briefing a case until you understand it, until you have reread it and a number of evaluations of it. This is very important! You must know the important particulars of the case on a visceral level before you can relay them to paper.

 

  1. Write a brief. Most cases will fit on a page or two—single-spaced.

 

  1. Use your own words, not the justices’; you will remember them longer.

 

  1. Use appropriate reference materials to help you understand the case. Find references and discussion of a case in relation to as many points of International Law as possible.

 

  1. For an ICJ case, you need to read the pertinent ICJ Report (library and online at the ICJ site: http://www.icj-cij.org/ ).

 

  1. Become familiar enough with the range of casebooks available that you know which half dozen you like best—use them. Do not try to rely on one or two casebooks only. You will miss important points. Bederman and Keitner can help, but other sources offer more help. If you do not go outside the textbook and case, you should not expect an excellent grade. Always consult the American Journal of International Law (at the library and on JSTOR) for helpful commentaries and reviews.

 

  1. Before you start writing the case to brief, email me for approval of the case.

 

  1. Of course follow the style sheet when writing your case brief. However, you are allowed to single-space your briefs if you would like; however, if you do so, add a line between each paragraph.

 

  1. When you turn these in to me, you will email a copy of the brief to me, also by start of class on the due date.

 

  1. The filename for the brief will be the brief number, your username followed by the word ‘brief’ and (followed by .doc or .docx, etc., depending). For instance, my third brief would have the filename 3spaldingnbrief.docx.

 

  1. On the day the briefs are due, expect to present and answer questions about your case.

 

Case Study 2: 1980. United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran (United States of America v. Iran); ICJ Reports 1980. https://t.co/3KNliRRQQ7

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