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114 Am. J. Int'l L. 189 (2020)
The Corporate Keepers of International Law

handle is hein.journals/ajil9114 and id is 222 raw text is: 





Copyright © 2020 by The American Society of International Law
doi: 10. 1017/ajil.2020.1







                 THE   CORPORATE KEEPERS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW


                                        By Jay Butlers

ABSTRACT

   In transborder environmentalprotection,   territorial disputes, internet governance, anticor-
ruption, international  human   rights, and humanitarian   law, private businesses are increas-
ingly supporting  the implementation and enforcement of international law. This Article
analyzes  the various ways  that corporate decision making   contributes to this phenomenon,
and  assesses its prospects for enhancing international law's existing enforcement paradigms.
In doing so, the Article opens new ground  for scholarly and policy consideration of the proper
role of corporations in the global legal order.




                                      I. INTRODUCTION

   Airbnb  is not a state.' As such, the homestay bookings company   is not bound  by interna-
tional law concerning the legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.2 In fact, U.S. law
explicitly encourages  the company   and  other American   businesses  to operate there.3 Yet,
when   Airbnb   removed   all listings in the disputed  area from  its website  in November
2018,`  its decision potentially helped enforce international law declaring the settlements to
be  illegal,5 including a UN  Human Rights Council resolution call[ing] upon business


  * Associate Professor, William & Mary Law School. This Article was selected for the 20th Session of the Yale/
Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum (June 2019). It also benefited from comments made  at the
Jerome M. Culp Colloquium at Duke Law School and generous support from the Program in Law and Public
Affairs at Princeton University.
    Company  Overview ofAirbnb, Inc., BLOOMBERG, at https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/
snapshot.asp?privcapld=115705393.
  2 See, e.g., East Timor (Port. v. Austl.), 1995 ICJ Rep. 90, paras. 26-29 (June 30) [hereinafter Portugal
v. Australia]; Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, 1975 ICJ Rep. 12, paras. 126-27 (Oct. 16); Legal
Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia, Advisory Opinion, 1971 ICJ
Rep. 16, paras.124-27 (June 21). ICJ reports are available at http://www.icj-cij.org. See also ANTONIO
CASSESSE, INTERNATIONAL LAW IN A DIVIDED WORLD 103 (1986).
  3 See 50 U.S.C. § 4607.
  4 Listings in Disputed Regions, AIRBNB: NEWSROOM (Nov. 19, 2018), at https://press.airbnb.com/listings-in-disputed-
regions (announcing Airbnb's decision to remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank ...).
  5 See Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory
Opinion, 2004 ICJ Rep. 136, para. 120 (July 9) (The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international
law.); SC Res. 2334 (Dec. 23, 2016) (stating the Security Council [r]eaffirms that the establishment by
Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity
and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law). See also Adam Roberts, Prolonged Military
Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967, 84 AJIL 44, 83-86 (1990).


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