Between Universal Aspiration and Local Application: Concluding Observations
H.P. Aust and G. Nolte (eds), The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts. Unity, Diversity, Convergence (OUP 2015)
12 Pages Posted: 15 May 2015
Date Written: April 30, 2015
This chapter argues that the interpretation of international law by domestic courts is situated between a universal aspiration of international law — which is connected with claims for a need for uniform interpretation — and the requirements that international law is applied with a view to the local realities. The contribution argues that although domestic courts are not technically under an obligation to make use of the international rules of interpretation, a normative preference on the part of the international legal system exists which militates for a common approach to (treaty) interpretation. Articles 31–33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties supply the necessary toolbox in this regard. In and of themselves, these international rules of interpretation do not demand very much of domestic judges. It is convergence at a very high level of abstraction which is called for in the interest of a basic systemic unity of international law.
Keywords: Treaty interpretation; Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Rule of Law, Domestic Courts, Systemic unity, Universality of international law
JEL Classification: K00, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation