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Author Topic: 2011-12 Topic paper - Treaties by Whit Whitmore  (Read 17478 times)
Whit
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 09:58:05 PM »

Looking for clarification:

To my understanding, CEA is an alternate way of ratification, not an alternative to ratification. It competes with a process by which the Senate normally ratifies treaties using a super-majority.

Is there an argument why the advocates of treaties think this competes if the plan says (as it will) "ratify" without further specification other than "normal means"?

I'm fairly certain ratification is distinct from a CEA. I believe that is term most teams used to generate competition on the last treaties topic. Although there is some literature that may conflate the two or refer to the approval of a CEA as ratification.
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Paul Elliott Johnson
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 10:01:05 PM »

it became hard to win that it was NOT a form of ratification, I think that, along with the ample content-specific strats, explained the waning of that strat after the first couple tournaments
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sspring
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Posts: 51


« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2011, 10:15:06 PM »

Card on CEA question:

OONA A. HATHAWAY 2008 Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School. The Yale Law Journal May, 2008 117 Yale L.J. 1236 Treaties' End: The Past, Present, and Future of International Lawmaking in the United States
It is worth pausing to consider whether there are any international legal consequences of ceasing to use treaty ratification through the Treaty Clause for nearly all international agreements. Would changing the way international law is made in the United States mean relinquishing the power to join agreements designated as "treaties" or agreements that require states to "ratify" in order to bind themselves? The answer, in a nutshell, is no.  To begin with, the term "treaty" does not have the same meaning in U.S. and international law. In the United States, the term is generally used to refer to international agreements that are submitted to the Senate for advice and consent. 332 In international law, the term "treaty" means "an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation." 333 Hence all congressional-executive agreements are in fact "treaties" as that term is used in international law.
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Whit
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 11:05:35 AM »

Not a slam against you Whit, so don't take the following personal, or in reference to your paper. But you assumption that the wayt he Topic Committee currently does it is the best of all possible worlds is just wrong. Remember, Democracies have produced George Bush I, George Bush II, and Barak Obama....not a big fan of letting the masses make choices on important matters. Plato and Socrates had a point. There is ZERO reason why the topic selection process has to be driven by crisis politics and artificial time constraints. This funky thing called the internet means that the Topic Committee can communicate over a longer period of time. There is no need to stay in a hotel for four days to pound out a piece of garbage that vaguely appeals to everyone's interests. Structural changes need to be made to enable the Topic Committee to engage in more reflective thought.

I have a few suggestions:
1) pick the topic area a year in advance; give the Topic Committee time to think about wording a topic correctly.
2) Adopt a rotational schedule of topic areas similar to Galloway and other's suggestions. Example: Foriegn Policy, Legal, Environmental, Domestic policy, and Miscellanious. This would mean that say, for the Foriegn Policy Topic Year, all of the topic papers would be competing against each other within the realm of foriegn policy.
As it stands now, we have topic papers coming from all fields, it is like comparing apples and oranges.

Sco

Scott,

1). Pick a topic a year in advance - I have no problem with this. We could do a double vote one year or have the second choice be automatically nominated as next year's topic to get it started and it would give more time to write wording papers.
2). I think topic rotation is a great idea. I would probably narrow it to four different types and have two of them be flex-slots. With a mandate that you have to use each flex option once before using one again. So like, you don't have to debate a legal topic every four years, but you do have to have one every eight years.

If you draw up wording to amend the CEDA constitution for either of these proposals, I will encourage people to vote for them.

Another great idea for the Comm. Profs out there. Set up independent studies with your debaters and have them write a topic paper for course credit. They get something out of it, and the community benefits from an entire semester of work.
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DevenC
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 06:01:59 PM »

OH WOW.....of course there wouldn't be an inclusion of the  International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 06:03:31 PM by DevenC » Logged
chundr6
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2011, 06:12:13 PM »

The United States signed the Convention on September 28, 1966 and ratified it on October 21, 1994.

http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-2&chapter=4&lang=en
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Jessica Kurr
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2011, 07:32:31 PM »

Although the treaty was ratified in 1994. This does raise an interesting issue of RUDs (Reservations, Understandings, Declarations). I'm not sure about other ratified treaties, but a quick google search shows that ICERD was ratified, but a RUD was included requiring implementation legislation by Congress.

Harris 08 -  Executive Director, American University Washington College of Law Center for
Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Hadar, 2008 "RACE  ACROSS  BORDERS: THE U.S. AND ICERD,"  Harvard Blackletter Law Journal, Vol. 24, http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/blj/vol24/Harris.pdf)

The United States ratified the ICERD on October 21, 1994, making it the “supreme law of the land” under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.13 ICERD is one of only three major U.N. human rights treaties ratified by the U.S. Yet despite its ratification, the U.S. used a major loophole for implementation by stating in one of its RUDs (Reservations, Understandings and Declarations) that the treaty would not be self-executing and would thereby require implementing legislation from Congress.14

I can think of two scenarios:

1) If the resolution mechanism says "ratify and implement," then treaties that are ratified aren't topical. But, the negative can ratify with a RUD to make the treaty non-self-executing. That effectively allows the neg to claim a bunch of aff advantage with a implementation based net benefit. I know one of the reasons ICERD wasn't implemented fully was due to immigration quotas. How can affs deal with these type of counterplans especially when the net benefit seems pretty small relative to the size of the treaty?

2) If the resolution mechanism says "ratify and/or implement," then treaties that are ratified with RUDs become topical. However, this allows for affs like ratify but don't implement. That seems pretty bad.

Given these two scenarios, I think Cameron has a point with using "consent to be bound by." That allows for affs to implement ratified treaties that have RUDs attached AND it allows affs to ratify and implement new treaties. Thoughts?
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Adam Symonds
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2011, 12:41:56 PM »

As this thread has evolved, it appears this topic would be either (a) tons of CTBT debates and thus a retread of the nuclear weapons topic or (b) without CTBT there will be very few treaties with enough literature to sustain a year of debate. Neither option sounds particularly satisfying at this point.
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Malgor
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2011, 01:04:48 PM »

(b) without CTBT there will be very few treaties with enough literature to sustain a year of debate

This point has only been "established" by vehement assertion.  If you go back to the original controversy paper from last year, all of the people who wrote sections on the specific treaties (read: the people who actually explored the literature) do a good job at identifying the negative ground (lots of thanks to Whit for resubmitting and updating the proposal).

I think even without the CTBT (which did not have its internal merits *truly* debated on the nukes topic), a treaties topic could certainly sustain a year of debate, given that each of the agreements gets discussed by numerous think tanks, law reviews, and the vast sea of stuff in the internet tubes that Casey pointed out.

it's not just vehement assertion, it's been asking people to reference us to the substantive arguments against each treaty.  even the specific list provided of the most mainstream treaties doesn't contain a comprehensive list. remember, the big benefit is case neg.  Also, people who have made the claim that CTBT would dominate are speaking from history.  the last treaties topic had some of the most debated treaties at the time at its core: kyoto, ICC, CTBT, and SORT were all being debated a lot in the literature.  CTBT still dominated.  So even if you produce a topic that has treaties each with plenty of ground on each treaty, CTBT is likely to dominate.  it's about missiles and wars and dangerous foreigners, which people LOVE to discuss.  

i agree with others, it would be a shame to debate a nuclear weapons policy topic and a treaties topic without discussing CTBT.  BUT, given that CTBT is a complete retread of all the nuclear weapons topic, and adds very little extra, i'm skeptical it should be added.  

Treaties just isn't the best topic proposed.  

« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 01:06:54 PM by Malgor » Logged
Ermo
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2011, 02:14:24 PM »

I think even without the CTBT (which did not have its internal merits *truly* debated on the nukes topic), a treaties topic could certainly sustain a year of debate, given that each of the agreements gets discussed by numerous think tanks, law reviews, and the vast sea of stuff in the internet tubes that Casey pointed out.

I think the treaties topic is strong with CTBT included. We decided against reading it on the nuclear weapons topic based on topicality concerns (not just losing on T, but also 2ac time allocation given the credibility of the T argument. Many, many other teams made the same calculation. Although it certainly accesses some of the same impacts as some affirmatives from that year, it's status as a global treaty makes it quite distinct from unilateral policies plans or even the Start DA.

I also think inclusion of the Law of the Sea will make up for some of the space left open by the loss of SORT and Kyoto from the original topic. It was one of the major affirmatives on the CEDA oceans topic in the 1990s. Although the death penalty was an important topic, it was poorly accessed via the treaty mechanism (teams running it were grasping at straws, imo, against the Customary Intl Law CP). LOST, CTBT, and ICC means there are three affirmatives with a track record of supporting deep policy debates. Although all three have critical potential, we probably want to have more included, and perhaps select which ones based on the possibilities for critical aff's.

I don't disagree with others that we have several excellent topic areas this spring. I'm a topic optimist, in that I've found nearly every topic to be acceptable. A lot of the claims about the relative merits of topics do reflect personal preferences - which is FINE. I do think, however, that treaties has a track record of generating debates with great quality and depth. Other mechanisms may do so as well, but may not have the sort of year long record that the treaty mechanism had. 
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Seth Gannon
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2011, 02:18:37 PM »

I took Cameron's advice and quickly returned to last year's treaties topic paper--which I agree is very well-written--to find the disadvantages suggested for the negative against each treaty.

While CTBT was not in last year's paper, here's what the paper says for the other five treaties Whit suggested, provided here primarily for easy reference:

CRC
- Politics
- Federalism
- Treaty Tradeoff, specifically CEDAW

Ottawa:
- Korean DMZ*
- Modeling impact turns (Israeli, Iranian, Chinese, and Indian landmines are good)
- Civil-Military Relations
- Politics

* Brad notes above that this DA no longer exists.

CEDAW
- Politics
- Federalism
- International Law Bad
- Spillover (Prostitution, Family Problems, and Elimination of Mother's Day)
- Movements (ratification eliminates the motive for domestic reform)

LOST
- Business Confidence (linked to Deep Sea Mining)
- Politics
- Proliferation Security Initiative (searching boats for WMD)
- Moon Development

ICC
- Politics
- Readiness (linked to troop morale and fear of prosecution)
- Civil Military Relations
- Isolating Israel in the eyes of the international community
- Violation of the U.S. Constitution
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 02:21:14 PM by Seth Gannon » Logged
Malgor
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2011, 10:56:16 PM »

Seth

thanks for consolidating the neg args into a list. 

For me, this only proves that some of the treaties don't have good substantive case neg.  A treaty where the ground is politics, 'international law bad', and a movements DA; a treaty where the ground is a 'treaty tradeoff da.'  These just don't do it for me.

But, on quality ground, the args have been presented a lot for both sides, so whatevs-agree to disagree.

One last thing I think should be discussed at this stage of the process is the CTBT.  The paper from last year did not recommend CTBT be in the topic.  CTBT is also the aff many would most look forward to. 

i don't see how we can justify putting it in there....but I also see how hard it is NOT to be drawn to it.  To me it's another deal breaker on treaties. 

People have already presented the case for why it converges with the nuclear weapons topic.  One other thing people should think about is how Obama policies changed the nukes topic.  The best DA against CTBT is deterrence/allied prolif, and in multiple different topic threads people have mentioned that a big phenomenon on the nuclear weapons topic was that the deterrence disad (and other 'nuclear reliance good' DAs) became very hard to defend because of all the uniqueness problems.

Does CTBT side step these issues?
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RGarrett
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2011, 11:56:16 PM »

CTBT was not debated on the nukes topic, as one of the teams running it latest in the season I can assure you most teams case negs were exactly the same (although there was more than the India DA to CTBT). 

The CTBT does access advantages like the NPT/Prolif that were extensively read on the nuclear weapons topic.  Some people may not really want to have these debates again and that is understandable.  The CTBT also access a wealth of literature on the International Monitoring System (like Earthquake detection which I bet there are a lot better cards about now). 

I think that nuclear DAs may still be non-unique because of Obama, I'm not really sure.  I am pretty sure that precluding any future modernization (which is what opponents say about the treaty) would still allow for a debate about modernization.  Additionally negatives could uniqueness CP anything they wanted the USFG to do.  If you want to debate deterrence good/bad the uniqueness CP certainly solves that problem.

 I think there is other negative ground anyway.  There are lots of countries who aren't members who have relations DAs (India, Israel and China are all quite good of the top of my head).  Additionally Egypt is not a ratifier and that would be a pretty fluid area of the CTBT debate (because if Egypt ratifies that might put Israel on notice and there is already talk of cancelling some treaties with Israel).  These are just relations based components.

I would probably have to think about other negative arguments but there was a lot of CTBT literature.  I hadn't scratched the surface and I debated it for a semester. 
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Malgor
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« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2011, 12:06:01 AM »

no one disputes there is a lot of literature but am honestly surprised when people insist that it isn't largely a rehash of key aff/neg case and DA debates from the topic 2 years ago. even the authors of the paper last year recommended against CTBT
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 12:08:32 AM by Malgor » Logged
Ermo
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« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2011, 07:50:23 AM »

The recommendation against the CTBT in the 2010 topic paper was related to likelihood of passage given the nuclear topic, not concerns about the ability of the CTBT to sustain a year. Some viewed the treaties proposal as even more appealing if the CTBT were included. I am sure programs vary in their opinions about "recycling" - some object to bringing back a mechanism from nearly a decade ago, while others are happy to run a "slightly modified" version of the arguments they read in the previous year. The level of debater turnover is surely over 25% per year (the number of 1-2 year competitors being larger than the number of 5th years) , so probably fewer than half of the debaters in 2011-12 will have even debated the nuclear topic.

That said, CTBT is distinct from common nuclear topic affs in a few ways: a very deep lit base particular to its mechanism, the legacy of Senate rejection in 1999, the size of the neg links (the purpose is to check development of next generation weapons), the unique implications of a multi-lateral mechanism, the relevance of the CTBTO and monitoring policy, the implications of resisting states beyond the USA for the treaty, and relations/domestic political consequences for nearly every nuclear or aspiring state. There were lots of nuclear topic cases that were smaller than the expected Obama revisions in the NPR process, which created much of the link uniqueness complexity. Even the big cases had decent uniqueness shields with the NPR in the front windshield instead of the read windshield.

That said, affirmatives will find uniqueness defense on most topics, so if that criteria is important to your primary concern, every topic should be scrutinized by the same standard. My primary concern is having large affirmatives with deep literature that can find good answers to common disads and counterplans. Having a wide range of possible advantages with a small number of predictable plans seems ideal to me. That said, this phrase of the process is more about what people WANT to debate; the next phase is about trying to make the resolution as good as it can be.

We have a LOT of great topic proposals, and our balloting process means that squads should consider every possible dyad of two topics to ask which they would prefer in order to make sure their rankings represent them well in runoff balloting. Any topic that has lots of #1 votes will stick around the runoffs for a few rounds, but the eventual topic will be the one that the majority ranked higher than the runner up.

If you would enjoy a year of debates that include it, rank it high; if you would hate that, rank it lower. If you think it would be better than some topics, but not your favorite topic, rank it in the middle.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 07:55:21 AM by Ermo » Logged
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