Theories of Justice and International Economic Law
Research Handbook on Global Justice and International Economic Law (John Linarelli ed. 2013), Forthcoming
45 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2011 Last revised: 16 May 2013
Date Written: November 21, 2011
In this paper, we examine the essential and increasingly recognized relationship between theories of justice and international economic law. As international economic law institutions have increased in number and power, and the stark figures of global poverty prove stubbornly persistent, justice is becoming a central element in globalization and global justice debates. International economic law and its institutions are powerful engines of resource allocation between states, and within states among various groups, firms and individuals. We identify three questions that will help clarify the scope and nature of this relationship. First, theories of justice can help us determine the proper objective of international economic law and policy. Second, theories of justice can help us evaluate whether or not international economic law as a whole, and specific treaties, rules and institutions, are “fair” or “unfair” according to our various competing understandings of such principles. Finally, theories of justice can help us evaluate whether international economic law institutions are legitimate.
Keywords: International Trade, Law and Economics, Global Justice, WTO, CAFTA, Trade Agreements, Internal Principles of Structural Equity, Fairness, Consent, Linkage, Legitimacy
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