National Legislatures: The Foundations of Comparative International Law

18 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016  

Kevin L. Cope

University of Virginia School of Law

Hooman Movassagh

University at Albany- SUNY

Date Written: June 5, 2016

Abstract

One critique of some common-law comparative legal academies is their intensively “court-centric” focus, which, some believe, “marginalize[s]” the role of the legislative branch. The same may be said of the extant comparative international law literature: most of it concerns the interpretive approaches of national courts. In fact, one of the field’s seminal pieces defines comparative international law as the process of “seeking to identify and interpret international law by engaging in comparative analyses of various domestic court decisions.” Not surprisingly, then, nearly all of this volume’s contributions deal mostly or exclusively with courts and judicial decisions. While we agree with this volume’s other contributors that courts can play a significant part in diversifying how international law works across different systems, we contend that the foundation of the comparative international law project lies elsewhere. We argue that among the most important and underappreciated interpretative acts — and therefore, those currently most needing study — are the international law interpretations of national legislatures.

Keywords: international law, comparative law, comparative international law, legislatures

Suggested Citation

Cope, Kevin L. and Movassagh, Hooman, National Legislatures: The Foundations of Comparative International Law (June 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2790507 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2790507

Kevin L. Cope (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
WB302E
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kevinlcope.com

Hooman Movassagh

University at Albany- SUNY ( email )

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
United States

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