Progress in International Law – an Explanation of the Project
Washington and Lee University - School of Law
Rebecca M. Bratspies
City University of New York - School of Law
PROGRESS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, Russell A. Miller & Rebecca M. Bratspies, eds., 2008
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2011-51
Three epochal developments have thrown the international legal order into a state of flux. First, the world has clearly moved beyond the Cold War stalemate between the Western and Eastern superpowers. Second, we are already confronted with what appears to be its paradigmatic successor: the era of global terrorism. Third, both of these developments have been facilitated and amplified by the rapid pace of technological change that has permitted instantaneous and ongoing transnational social, political and economic management. One consequence has been an erosion of the universal nature of foundational assumptions in international law.
Manley Hudson, a staunch advocate for a modernist-positivist internationalism, was convinced that the world was growing irreversibly more interconnected, was committed to the need for international cooperation, and believed that international law had a special capacity to secure such cooperation, thereby moving the world community progressively closer to peace. Hudson’s theory was that the structure and function of “collections of sovereign states that have banded together as states to create, under a constitutive international agreement governed by international law..., an apparatus, more or less permanent, charged with the pursuit of certain defined common ends.” Hudson believed that international law represented progress, and was confident that it was possible to definitively mark that progress with regard to the existence and content of legal doctrines.
Part 2 explores the history and theory of international law. Part 3 is a meditation on the sources of international law. Part 4 explores the evolving notion of what should be recognized and permitted to operate as a subject of international law. Part 5 assesses the growing phenomenon of transnational judicial dialogue. Part 6 confronts one of the most pressing questions facing international law today – the use of force and the world’s peace. Finally, Part 7 maps out the international terrain of environmental protection and human rights.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Transnational Law, international law
JEL Classification: K10, K33
Date posted: January 24, 2012