'Transnational Law' as Proto‐Concept: Three Conceptions

German Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 7, p. 877, 2009

CLPE Research Paper No. 32/2009

23 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009 Last revised: 26 Oct 2014

See all articles by Craig Scott

Craig Scott

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: October 13, 2009


The purpose of this article is to identify three understandings of transnational law, all of which have a certain integrity depending on one’s premises about the nature and institutional operation of law. The approach adopted is not to make an argument for the single best reading of the concept of transnational law but instead to outline three candidate conceptions of that notion. For purposes of the article, these conceptions are not assumed necessarily to be competing conceptions. Rather, their potential compatibility is left open for future consideration. In this sense, 'transnational law' is presented in the article as a kind of fuzzy or suggestive 'proto-concept.' After a scene-setting discussion of various caveats concerning the notion of “transnational” within 'transnational law,' the three conceptions - transnationalized legal traditionalism, transnationalized legal decisionism, and transnational socio-legal pluralism - are briefly discussed in turn. Alongside the conceptual discussion, the article uses the implications for legal education as one way of expressing the significance of each conception. The article ends with the contention that 'transnational law' is an idea that pushes the boundaries of the legal imagination in such a way that, at the very least, legal theory and legal education based entirely on ‘domestic’ (state) and ‘international’ (interstate) constructs of law must be open to developing in ways that might take all concerned out of current conceptual comfort zones.

Keywords: Legal education, Transnational law, Transnationalized legal traditionalism, Transnationalized legal decisionism, Trnasnational socio-legal pluralism

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Scott, Craig M., 'Transnational Law' as Proto‐Concept: Three Conceptions (October 13, 2009). German Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 7, p. 877, 2009; CLPE Research Paper No. 32/2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1488245

Craig M. Scott (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )


HOME PAGE: http://craigscott.ndp.ca

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