Delegation and Conflicts (of Law)

This Faculty Working Paper has been updated and posted within the Faculty Scholarly Works Series. It is currently available here.


The Supreme Court's recent decision in Medellin rekindled a long-standing debate over delegation, which concerns the legal effect given to the decisions of foreign bodies (like the International Court of Justice) in the United States. Drawing on conflicts-of-law principles, this paper identifies and seeks to correct three distortions in the debate. First, it broadens the definition of delegation. Second, it advances a more nuanced system for classifying different types of delegations. Third, it wades into the normative debate over the desirability of various delegations. The closing section draws a parallel between the strategies employed in Medellin to those employed in the EC to expand the reach of European law in Member States.