International Law (IL) is consumed by crisis from both within and without. As a discipline and profession, IL is grappling to (re)define its identity and purposes in light of how the legal institution can no longer be equated solely with the traditional nation-states system. IL, today, is increasingly spoken of with reference to ‘networks’ as opposed to ‘nations’, and more nuanced shades of legal personality appear manifest as illustrated by a bricolage of states, aspiring states, international organizations, international courts/tribunals, non-state actors, transnational corporations, arbitrators, nongovernmental organizations and ‘terrorists’. What once appeared to be a consolidated discipline with a common vocabulary has now transformed into a dense web of specialized, overlapping and sometimes competing ‘legal’ prescriptions: e.g. international human rights, global administrative law and international investment. Looking outward, IL must also confront its greatest challenge of social relevance in face of the ‘global’, as opposed to simply ‘international’, scales of political, economic and social life. The complexity of interconnections in contemporary legal practice that have emerged now prompt questions over once constitutive axioms for international legal thought and ordering: i.e., public versus private, international versus domestic and ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ law. In sum, this course takes the view that law does not stand apart and simply mediate world affairs; law is in fact a constitutive element of the defined problems of our time. Thus, the aim will be to examine how international law, whether explicitly or implicitly, is involved in structuring inequalities of international power and welfare. In this way, the course focuses on the institutional and normative aspects of an emergent global legal system.
Type of instructionsLectures and seminars
Type of examsAssignment, Take Home exam and presentation
- James Crawford and Martti Koskenniemi eds., The Cambridge Companion to International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- The Cambridge Companion to International Law., Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Jan Klabbers, International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2013. Students in need of general knowledge on International Law are recommended to obtain this work