Conspicuous Absence and Mistaken Presence - A Note on the Ambiguous Role of Scandinavian Legal Realism in Nordic Approaches to International Law
Forthcoming, Nordic Approaches to International Law (A. Kjeldgaard-Pedersen (ed.), Brill Publishers, 2017)
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 90
26 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 6, 2017
This contribution deals with more methodological and theoretical issues in relation to the study of Nordic approaches to international law. It focuses, in particular, on the role played by Scandinavian realism in relation to two different aspects of this question. On the one hand, there is the legal political dimension of shaping international law directly in treaties. On the other hand, there is the more legal doctrinal dimension in national constitutional law having to do with the domestication of such international law particularly through the integration by national judiciaries of the case law of international courts and tribunals. In the contribution, I argue that Scandinavian realism apparently plays two rather different roles in international legal scholarship relating to these two dimensions: it is conspicuously absent in discussions about the direct shaping of international law, and it is mistakenly present in discussions about the apparently reluctant domestication of such law in the national judiciaries of the Nordic countries.
Keywords: Scandinavian realism; Alf Ross; History of Ideas; Nordic Exceptionalism; Majoritarianism; Constitutionalism; Constitutional Law
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