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Vol 22 No 8 August/Sept 2017

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The Concept of Unity in Public International Law (eBook)


ISBN13: 9781847319173
Published: March 2012
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: eBook (ePub)
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'Fragmentation' has become a defining metaphor of international law scholarship in the era of globalisation, albeit the subject is highly controversial among international lawyers. Some accept while others oppose the idea of fragmentation; some see it as a new development, others as history repeating itself; some approach it as a technical issue and some as the reflection of deeper political struggles. But there is near-consensus about the fact that something is happening today which challenges established visions of international law as a unitary whole. At the same time, the concept of unity, which lies at the very core of the fragmentation debate, is hardly ever rationalised in the literature. As a rule, the notion of unity is more assumed than explained. Unity is presented as fragmentation's theoretical opposite but its meaning remains vague and intuitive. The present book attempts to dispel that vagueness by exploring the various possible meanings of the concept of unity in international law. However, rather than proposing one grand theory of unity, it identifies and compares five candidate conceptions of unity in international law. Intentionally pluralistic in its outlook, the book does not engage in normative arguments about whether international law is or should be unitary. Instead, it seeks to show that unity is a fundamentally contested concept and that discourses on fragmentation are therefore necessarily contingent.

The thesis on which the book is based won the 2009 Prize for best doctoral thesis from the Association des professeurs de droit du Québec (APDQ).

Subjects:
Public International Law, eBooks
Contents:
1. Introduction
I. The roots of a postmodern anxiety
II. From too little to too much law: mapping the fragmentation debate
III. Towards an exploratory philosophy of unity
IV. Outline of the book
V. Some caveats and clarifications
2. Of Unity, Perspective and Perception: An Ontological Preamble
I. From the simple to the complex: elementary unity and unity by composition
II. In flesh and ideas: unity as interpretation
III. Multi-causational unity
IV. Unity and the laws of perspective
V. Intermediate conclusions: unity, choice and ruse
3. Unity, Unification, Universality: A Terminological Disambiguation
I. Unity and unification
II. Unity and universality
III. Intermediate conclusions – complexity on the global marketplace of law: the MOX Plant Dispute
4. Material Unity
I. The 'no conflict' theory of unity
II. The definition of 'norm conflict' in theory and practice
III. Intermediate conclusions
5. Formal Unity
I. Three conceptions of the legal order
II. Taking Hart seriously: secondary rules, determinacy and acceptance
III. Issues of determinacy: questioning the sources of international law
IV. Issues of acceptance: the International Islamic Court of Justice and the Shari'a as the ultimate rule of recognition
V. Intermediate conclusions
6. Cultural Unity
I. International law as an intellectual and professional discipline
II. The concept of legal culture
III. The unity of international law as a cultural system
IV. Intermediate conclusions: the invisible hand of legal culture
7. Logical Unity
I. Epistemo-logical unity: Ah! In the hypothesis!
II. Axio-logical unity
III. Intermediate conclusions: the hesitant fettering of the thousand necks
8. General Conclusion: Unitas Multiplex
I. Changing lenses: Tadic revisited
II. Territorial battles and merchants of unity

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