The ‘Turn To Ethics' and the ‘Turn to Science’ in International Law

Campus Kulmbach Legal Working Paper Series 01/2022

25 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2022

See all articles by Alexandra Molitorisova

Alexandra Molitorisova

University of Bayreuth, Faculty of Life Sciences; Masaryk University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 10, 2022

Abstract

In 2002, Martti Koskenniemi, in a widely cited article for the Modern Law Review, traced eight steps through which international lawyers are transformed into moralists as a means of illustrating how international law may engage with pressing policy issues. This article attempts to reconstruct Koskenniemi’s argument in the light of the climate emergency. It inquires whether Koskenniemi was right about this finality of ‘logical’ steps in the reasoning of international lawyers, and whether the final logical step might be the ‘turn to science’. Do international lawyers turn to science if they are disillusioned by the ‘turn to ethics’, or do they follow the steps in a forever-repeating carousel? Could a ‘turn to science’ replace the ‘turn to ethics’, so that lawyers have reference to a less subjective, more neutral, and more – therefore – morally defensible discipline on which to ground their preferences? Or do the ‘turn to science’ and the ‘turn to ethics’ represent essentially identical directions? In that sense, could the ‘turn to science’ represent the singular finality or merely one of the possible finalities in the legal reasoning in international law? Or may the ‘turn to science’ be found in each of Koskenniemi’s steps?

Keywords: Evidence, international law, environmental law

Suggested Citation

Molitorisová, Alexandra, The ‘Turn To Ethics' and the ‘Turn to Science’ in International Law (June 10, 2022). Campus Kulmbach Legal Working Paper Series 01/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4133755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4133755

Alexandra Molitorisová (Contact Author)

University of Bayreuth, Faculty of Life Sciences ( email )

Masaryk University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Veveri 70
Brno, 61180
Czech Republic

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