Non-State Actor Participation in International Law and the Pretense of Exclusion
Virginia International Journal of Law, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2011
30 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2010 Last revised: 21 May 2011
Date Written: November 2, 2010
For centuries, there have been vast numbers of formally recognized actors in the international legal process other than the state, although far too many assume incorrectly that traditional or classical international law had been merely state-to-state and that under traditional international law individuals and various other non-state actors did not have rights or duties based directly in international agreements or customary international law. Even today, invidious consequences occur when judges cling to manifestly a historical assumptions about international law and rule erroneously that “customary international law consists of only those norms that are... obligatory in the relations of States inter se.” [2d Cir. panel, Kiobel case, 2010] This article seeks to explode such a false and inhibiting myth by identifying a large number of such actors from each inhabited region of the globe and a number of specific forms of formal participation from the 1700s through the early 20th Century when, according to myth, state-oriented positivism allegedly achieved complete and universal acceptance and denied the existence of any status, role, right, or duty of any non-state actor.
Keywords: Indians, Africa, Maori, belligerent, cities, company, corporation, duties, human rights, insurgent, international law, Kiobel, law of war, laws of humanity, last-in-time, nations, non-state actor, peoples, piracy, slave trade, treaty, tribes, vessels
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