Alvin Cheung. Intra-Executive Policy Laundering: A New Look at an Old Problem. North Carolina Journal of International Law

Winter 2016

Associated Scholar Alvin Cheung's article on police laundering has been included in the North Carolina Journal of International law.


"Policy laundering" is an executive-branch tactic of negotiating provisions into an multilateral agreement and then smuggling them back home under the guise of complying with international obligations. It has drawn criticism since 1998, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act implemented U.S. obligations under two intellectual property treaties. Erstwhile literature has focused on its use in treaties, with an executive branch presumably unified against potential opposition from a skeptical legislature. But individual executive agencies have also used international regulatory organizations to push their own unique agendas at the expense of other domestic agencies. While this dynamic may sometimes have salutary results, higher-level policymakers should ensure that important regulatory agendas are not too often circumvented by cannier bureaucratic jiu-jitsu.

Read the article here.