Last February, the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request to the State Department, asking for documents associated with the department’s review of ACTA.  As explained in a blog post by Gwen Hinze, when a treaty or international agreement is going to be negotiated, the State Department must prepare a “Circular 175 Memorandum” that addresses whether or not the negotiation and implementation of the agreement are carried out in a Constitutional manner.  Hinze says that the Circular 175 is required “for all treaties and other international instruments that bind the United States as a matter of international law under 22 CFR Part 181.  No agencies can conclude an international agreement in the name of the United States without first consulting with the State Department, and the determination of whether an agreement is an international agreement for this purpose must be made by the Office of the Legal Advisor to the State Department.”

Friday, May 18, 2012