April 27 was the tenth annual “Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum,” held in Chicago. Over a hundred mayors and other local government leaders assembled to discuss global issues. As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, “Daley convinced more than a dozen of his counterparts from around the world to approve a resolution urging ‘redress against the gun industry through the courts of the world’ in The Hague.”
At a news conference, Daley explained, “This is coming from international mayors. They’re saying, ‘We’re tired of your guns, America. … We don’t want those anymore because guns kill and injure people.'”
Among the supporters of the Daley resolution was Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard Casauban, who said that “85 percent” of Mexican drug cartel guns come from the United States. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter also endorsed a World Court case, because “I love the 2nd Amendment,” but “I have a 1st Amendment right not to be shot.”
In 1998, Chicago Mayor Daley and New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial filed the vanguard of what would become three dozen municipal lawsuits against the firearms industry. The lawsuits were not successful in court, but they did come very close to convincing firearms manufacturers to capitulate. The suits were finally ended by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed into law in 2005.
So what are the rules in the International Court of Justice (which is informally called “the World Court”)? Chapters 36 and 37 of the ICJ statute define the Court’s jurisdiction.
The classic World Court case is a nation vs. nation dispute in which both parties have submitted to the Court’s jurisdiction. For example, Jamaica and the Bahamas ask the World Court to settle their disagreement about who owns some tiny islands in the Caribbean. A World Court ruling [...]