The Future of the City and the International Law of the Future
Law of the Future and the Future of Law, Sam Muller et al. (eds), (Torkel Opsahl EPublisher, 2011).
30 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2011
Janne Nijman observes that globalisation is accompanied by urbanisation, and that many – if not most – of the challenges of globalisation come to the fore in cities: environmental pollution, crime, inequality, migration, cultural diversity, unemployment; to name a few. She distinguishes between the private city (the collective of private economic interests) and the public city (the city governments who increasingly operate as global actors). In her article she presents six propositions on how the public city will affect international law. She sees that direct links between cities and global institutions will intensify. This is already very visible in the area of environmental law, with NGO‘s facilitating these links. Cities will also be implementers of international law of their own accord, thus bypassing the state. Connected with this, Janne Nijman envisages that the international law of the future will 'de-formalise'; following local judges city governments will apply it simply by way of 'persuasive authority‘. Last but not least, cities themselves will directly become part of the processes of international rule making. Given all this, cities will increasingly become actors in the making of international law and informal rules. They will be significant influencers of international negotiations. Proceeding from these phenomena, Nijman even asks the question whether cities will, in the future, acquire the status of international legal person, alongside that of states. Such a formal development would all the more change the state-centric system of today into the multi-actor system of the future.
Keywords: Global city, international law, globalisation, urbanisation, decentralisation, international legal personality, multi-actor system, global governance
JEL Classification: K
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