Curtis A. Bradley, the William van Alstyne Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, testified before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations on December 6. The hearing, titled "The President, Congress, and Shared Authority Over International Accords," was chaired by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn).
Bradley, an expert in the areas of international law in the U.S. legal system, the constitutional law of foreign affairs, and federal jurisdiction, focused his testimony on how the institutional role of Congress relating to international agreements has diminished over time, while unilateral executive branch action has become more common. In his written testimony to the committee, Bradley called for increased transparency regarding executive branch decisions related to international agreements. Congress should “be vigilant about protecting its institutional prerogatives even in situations in which it does not happen to disagree as a policy matter with what the President is doing on a particular issue,” he wrote.
He testified that the Senate should anticipate eventual executive moves to exit treaties during the ratification process in order to ensure it has a voice in termination. “The Senate, when giving its advice and consent to a treaty, could validly include a condition in its resolution of advice and consent limiting the circumstances under which a President could invoke the treaty’s withdrawal clause,” he wrote.
Bradley serves as co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law and is on the executive board of Duke’s Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security. Since 2012, he has served as a Reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement project on The Foreign Relations Law of the United States. In 2016, he received a Carnegie Fellowship to support his work on comparative foreign relations law, and in April 2018 he will become the co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of International Law.