The Two Faces of the Invisible College: Cooperation and Competition in the International Judicial Community
21 Pages Posted: 10 May 2022
Date Written: 2022
Over the last 50 years, the invisible college theorized by Oscar Schachter has burgeoned into a full-blown profession attracting ever-growing numbers of individuals and institutions. Today, its centre is occupied by a tight and cohesive club of legal experts specialized in international litigation. This club, which I call the international judicial community, is characterized by socioprofessional interactions that are at once cooperative and competitive. On the one hand, its members have gradually developed a distinctive set of structures and dispositions that differentiate it and make it autonomous from the rest of the international legal profession. On the other hand, the community is the site of a ruthless contest among its participants, who strive to assert their dominance and to consolidate their position relative to one another. This paper explores these two ‘faces’ of the international judicial community and tentatively connects its internal dynamics to the production of legal outcomes in the international world.
Keywords: Invisible college of international lawyers, International courts and tribunals, Social field, Legal profession, Reflexivity
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