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The Development of International Law, Perception, and the Problem of Time

Forthcoming in L Pasquet, K Polackova Van der Ploeg, and L Castellanos Jankiewicz (eds) International Law and Time: Narratives and Techniques (Springer)

19 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2017  

Gregory Messenger

University of Liverpool

Date Written: July 13, 2017

Abstract

‘International law develops over time’ – an uncontroversial statement. Yet the mechanism of this development is not entirely clear. This paper suggests that the conceptual foundations of both rule-identification and rule-interpretation in international law are problematic, specifically due to ignoring the temporal dimension as we experience it.

The argument set out here is as follows: discussions over the development of international law are necessarily related to the concept of change; that the concept of change necessarily contains a temporal element; and the principal tools for rule-identification and rule-interpretation in international law fail to acknowledge this temporal element and thus distort the findings of the aforementioned exercises.

Keywords: International law, legal theory, time, customary international law, sources of international law, treaty interpretation.

Suggested Citation

Messenger, Gregory, The Development of International Law, Perception, and the Problem of Time (July 13, 2017). Forthcoming in L Pasquet, K Polackova Van der Ploeg, and L Castellanos Jankiewicz (eds) International Law and Time: Narratives and Techniques (Springer). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3001816

Gregory Messenger (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool ( email )

Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

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