Why should sovereign states obey international law? What compels them to owe allegiance to a higher set of rules when each country is its own law of the land? What is the basis of their obligations to each other? Conventional wisdom suggests that countries are too different from one another culturally to follow laws out of mere loyalty to each other or a set of shared moral values. Surely, the prevailing view holds, countries act simply out of self-interest, and (...) they eventually consent to norms of international law to regulate matters of common interest.In this groundbreaking book, Fernando Tesón goes against this prevailing thought by arguing, in the Kantian tradition, that a shared respect for individual human rights underpins not just the obligation countries feel to follow international law but also international laws themselves and even the very legitimacy of nations in the eyes of the international community. Tesón, both a lawyer and a philosopher, proposes that an overlapping respect for human rights has created a moral common ground among the countries of the world; and moreover, that such an outlook is the only one that is rationally defensible. It is this common set of values rather than self-interest that ultimately provides legitimacy to international law. Using the tools of moral philosophy, Tesón analyzes the concepts of sovereignty, intervention, and national interest; the contributions of social contact theory, game theory, and feminist theory; and the puzzles of self-determination and group rights.More than simply outlining his theory, Tesón goes on to give detailed examples of international laws, international institutions, and their human rights foundations, putting his ideas to work and addressing legal reforms called for by the theory. He suggests that treaties, for example, should be considered binding if, and only if, the consent to the treaty was given by a genuinely representative government, one that acts out of interest for the human rights of its citizens. Although the theoretical achievement of this book is to challenge received wisdom on the foundation of international law, the practical ambition is a call to reform the international legal system for the post–Cold War era, to substitute for the old order one that gives primacy to human dignity and freedom over state power. (shrink)
This essay investigates the possibilities and limits of interdisciplinary research into terrorism. It is shown that approaches that combine philosophy and international law are necessary, and when such an approach needs to be adopted. However, it is also important not to underestimate how much of a challenge is posed by the absence of agreement concerning the definition of terrorism, and also by the structural differences in the way the two disciplines address the problem and formulate the issues. Not (...) least, the discussion enables us to reach conclusions as to how terrorism research that combines philosophy and international law in particular, and interdisciplinary research into terrorism in general, can be meaningfully implemented. The individual aspects are clarified on the basis of the discussion surrounding justified measures for combating terrorism and the justification of the targeted killing of terrorists. (shrink)
Charles Covell examines the jurisprudential aspects of Kant's international thought, with particular reference to the argument of the treatise Perpetual Peace (1795). The book begins with a general outline of Kant's moral and political philosophy. In the discussion of Perpetual Peace that follows, it is explained how Kant saw law as providing the basis for peace among men and states in the international sphere, and how, in his exposition of the elements of the law of peace, Kant (...) broke with the secular natural law tradition of Grotius, Hobbes, Wolff and Vattel in the view he took of the foundations of the law to make peace in the international sphere. In the conclusion to the book, Kant and his law of peace are considered in relation to the condition of contemporary international society. (shrink)
This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, "the right of self-determination of peoples," human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, (...) not simply peace among states, a primary goal, and rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the "national interest." He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science, international law, and political philosophy. (shrink)
International Criminal Law and Philosophy is the first anthology to bring together legal and philosophical theorists to examine the normative and conceptual foundations of international criminal law. In particular, through these essays the international group of authors addresses questions of state sovereignty; of groups, rather than individuals, as perpetrators and victims of international crimes; of international criminal law and the promotion of human rights and social justice; and of what comes after international criminal (...) prosecutions, namely, punishment and reconciliation. International criminal law is still an emerging field, and as it continues to develop, the elucidation of clear, consistent theoretical groundings for its practices will be crucial. The questions raised and issues addressed by the essays in this volume will aid in this important endeavor. (shrink)
This book offers an intelligent and thought-provoking analysis of the genealogy of Western capitalist 'development'. Jennifer Beard departs from the common position that development and underdevelopment are conceptual outcomes of the Imperialist Era and positions the genealogy of development within early Christian writings in which the western theological concepts of sin, salvation, and redemption are expounded. In doing so, she links the early Christian writings of theologians such as Augustine and , Anselm and Abelard to the processes of modern identity (...) formation of which the West, the First World, the Rule of Law and the individual subject and his or her freedoms are but a part. The concept of development is thus identified within western culture as a symptom of loss within the desire for completion; as the logic behind the economic restructuring of nations as underdeveloped is revealed as that ruthless imaginary by which First World nations maintain their ideal of themselves. Drawing upon anthropology, economics, historiography, philosophy of science, theology, feminism, cultural studies and development studies, this book contains the best of interdisciplinary work in international law. (shrink)
Professor John Gardner says on the jacket, “these essays – without exception insightful and penetrating – set a high standard for the rest of us to aspire to.” This collection of 15 essays by 16 Canadian authors originated in a conference at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. The majority of contributors are based in southern Ontario . Two are from western Canada , two from the UK and one from the US . The essays are arranged in three parts, (...) the first being subdivided according to subject matter. It is a good thing for criminal law theorists to interest themselves in all facets of the subject. On the other hand, some will be deterred by the presence of essays on topics outside their specialty. It must be said that it is a well-produced book, even containing a subject index. I hope this book has wide circulation. (shrink)
A theory of customary international law -- Case studies -- A theory of international agreements -- Human rights -- International trade -- A theory of international rhetoric -- International law and moral obligation -- Liberal democracy and cosmopolitan duty.
Focused on five prominent scholars of international law, and casting light on the related institutions which frequently engaged them, the present book provides insight into chief currents of international law during the last decades of the twentieth century. Spanning the gap, in some degree, between Anglo-American and continental approaches to international law, the volume consists of short intellectual portraits, combined with interviews, of selected specialists in international law. The interviews were conducted by the editor, Antonio Cassese, (...) between 1993 and 1995 though the present volume was published only last year. -/- Cassese, an Italian jurist and international lawyer, was Professor of International Law at the University of Florence (1975-2008) and specialized in public international law. Among other posts held, he was the first President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the first President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and chaired the UN Inter-national Inquiry into Crimes in Darfur. He authored International Law (2005), a comprehensive commentary on the subject (which makes a fine companion volume to the present book). He was also editor in chief of the Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (2009) and founded the Journal of International Criminal Justice. His work has been credited as providing a chief impetus in the revival of international criminal law from its post-Nuremberg hiatus. -/- Cassese seeks to bring out the central ideas associated with each of his five selected scholarly jurist-professors, focusing on international law and international relations; and he aims to place each of the five scholars within the context of their own intellectual and philosophical back-grounds - and their views of the development of the international community. The interviews were based on Cassese’s “basic questionnaire,” which is reproduced in the opening pages of the volume (pp.xvii-xix). Overall, the book provides an engaging, though intricate, perspective on contemporary developments in international law combined with discussion of its roots in the post-WWII era and in legal philosophies. (shrink)
International law has recently emerged as the subject-matter of an exciting new field of philosophical investigation. This volume is the ideal guide to the current debates, offering 29 specially commissioned essays by leading philosophers and international lawyers, addressing the central philosophical questions about international law.
The specialised vocabularies of lawyers, ethicists, and political scientists obscure the roots of many real disagreements. In this book, the distinguished American international lawyer Alfred Rubin provides a penetrating account of where these roots lie, and argues powerfully that disagreements which have existed for 3,000 years are unlikely to be resolved soon. Current attempts to make 'war crimes' or 'terrorism' criminal under international law seem doomed to fail for the same reasons that attempts failed in the early nineteenth (...) century to make piracy, war crimes, and the international traffic in slaves criminal under the law of nations. And for the same reasons, Professor Rubin argues, it is unlikely that an international criminal court can be instituted today to enforce ethicists' versions of 'international law'. (shrink)
Davidovic asks what gives the international community the authority to punish some crimes? On one prominent view some crimes (genome, torture) are so heinous that the international community, so long as its procedures are fair, is justified in prosecuting them. Another view contends that heinousness alone is not enough to justify international prosecution: what is needed is an account of why the international community, in particular, has standing to hold the perpetrators to account. Davidovic raises concerns (...) about both of these views and then defends her own account. On her view, the heinousness of the crimes is relevant, but what makes these crimes the business of the international community is that the community in fact recognizes certain norms against especially heinous crimes. If the international community fails to prosecute and punish those who perpetrate these crimes, this impunity undermines the rule of law, and thereby hinders the maintenance of peace the the protection of human rights. (shrink)
Emergence of the modern science of international law is usually attributed to Grotius and other somewhat heroic ‘founders of international law.’ This book offers a more worldly explanation why it was developed mostly by German writers ...