Is International Law International? Exploring its Normative Underpinnings
6 Questions of International Law 54 (2018) 5-19
15 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2018
Date Written: October 31, 2018
Is International Law International? The title of the celebrated book authored by Anthea Roberts poses a prima facie straightforward, binary question. The present contribution starts with a synopsis of the driving concepts that constitute the backbone of the book under consideration, namely ‘difference’, ‘dominance’, and ‘disruption’. It then sheds light on the benefits of the proposed comparative (approach to) international law. The next part traces lines of critique of Roberts’s main arguments. In this respect, the existence of an underlying normative framework is investigated, as Roberts’s endeavor could be construed as being too neutral. The connecting thread of the propounded critical remarks lies in the author’s approach towards international law’s universality. The idea of law as a unity of perceptions constitutes a domestic presumption that is not directly transposable at the international level. The question that naturally flows from the preceding observations concerns the possibilities and the promises that international law offers.
Keywords: Comparative International Law, Universality of International Law, International Legal Profession
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