International Organizations and the Rule of Law: Challenges Ahead

The International Legal Order: Essays Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Xiamen Academy of International Law, Forthcoming

47 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2016 Last revised: 24 Dec 2016

See all articles by José E. Alvarez

José E. Alvarez

New York University School of Law

Date Written: June 10, 2016

Abstract

In this synthesis of some of the themes of a General Course on International Law given at the Xiamen Academy of International Law, Alvarez canvasses the diverse ways that inter-governmental organizations, particularly those of the UN system, have changed the traditional international sources of law contained in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. It argues that the resulting challenge posed to legal positivism underlies the daunting difficulties faced by those seeking to make international organizations “accountable.” It also argues that, paradoxically, the ways that international organizations have sought to make or influence law may make it more difficult for those organizations to subject themselves to the rule of law. If today we question, with good reason, whether the "international rule of law" exists, one reason for doubts may be the ways that international organizations engage in "law-making."

Keywords: public international law, international legal theory, rule of law, international organizations, United Nations law

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, José Enrique, International Organizations and the Rule of Law: Challenges Ahead (June 10, 2016). The International Legal Order: Essays Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Xiamen Academy of International Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2793924

José Enrique Alvarez (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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