A Retreat from Universality in International Environmental Law? Law’s Limbo between Universality and Particularity
14 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019
Date Written: September 13, 2018
With an emphasis on the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, this paper critically reflects upon a traditional dichotomy found in the literature on environmental law according to which universality and the States are pitted against one another. It argues that this dichotomic view fails to appreciate that States are simultaneously the focal point of countless particularities necessary for the rule of law at the international level. This argument is premised on the idea that law is necessarily in a state of limbo between universality and particularity. In this context, it will be shown that the Paris Agreement reflects a new way to strike a balance between universality and the particularity of States, the latter being not necessarily in contradiction with universality. In doing so, this paper shows that particularity as an indispensable element of the international rule of law.
Keywords: International Law, International Legal Theory, International Environmental Law, Concept of Law, Universality, Particularity, Heterogeneity, Paris Agreement, Climate Change, Post-Modernity, Authority
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