Amnesty, Cluster Munitions, and Gunfight
Amnesty International won a remarkable victory last week when the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed to end its dealings with companies known to produce cluster munitions. RBS is primarily taxpayer owned, and as a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), the United Kingdom is prohibited from investing in the direct production of cluster munitions, though not from investing in arms manufacturers more generally.
In mid-August, Amnesty International launched an intense campaign to pressure RBS to divest from cluster bomb manufacturers, arguing that the legal gap that permitted companies to invest in manufacturers as long as they did not directly invest in the production of cluster munitions violated the spirit of the cluster bomb treaty.
Pressuring a bank to change its behavior based on the spirit – not the legality, but the spirit – of an international treaty? Impressively done. Read the rest over here.
It’s a good thing I wrote this pre-Oklahoma, because my post-vacation ability to string words together is at an all-time low. I’ll have more on the evolving international law around cluster munitions later this week, when I can write again.
I also got my copy of Adam Winkler’s Gunfight, which I was plowing through on the plane. It’s fantastic and narrative-busting and I highly recommend you pick up a copy right now. I’ll have a review up as soon as I’m done, but really, you should just read it for yourself. It’s everything you never knew about the Second Amendment and America’s history with guns! What could be better?