EJIL Book Discussion

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Comment on Lefkowitz, Philosophy and International Law: a critical introduction

David Lefkowitz has produced a book of remarkable clarity, depth, and insight, which directly explains and addresses international legal scepticism. It is a persuasive demonstration of how to enrich the philosophy of law through attention to matters other than myopic insider debates and systems other than state law; and how to cut through to the core of key questions in jurisprudence (most importantly, ‘what is law’ and ‘is there an obligation to obey it’?) to see their implications for understanding and evaluating international law. The book demonstrates that, in the hands of such a careful and astute scholar of both disciplines, there remains real value in the contributions of legal philosophy for international law, and vice versa. Specifically, Lefkowitz demonstrates the payoff from working back through the philosophy of law, so that understandings of what law is, and whether there is a moral duty to obey the law, not only supports theoretical evaluation of actual legal institutions, but also moral deliberation about what those institutions should be and do.

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What Rule of Law Ideal is Fit for International Law?

This summer in Morocco my tour guide told me he does not want to leave the country but needs a foreign passport. Any foreign passport will do. As a Moroccan, he is subject to arbitrary arrest, detention, and harassment by the police, but a foreign passport will protect him. It will give him other benefits, such as access…

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International Law: System or Set?

“International law is a system …. not a random collection of [] norms.” So concluded the International Law Commission’s Study Group on the Fragmentation of International Law in 2006. Legal philosophers immediately recognized the target. In a footnote to their full report, the Study Group named him: The view that holds international law…

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Introducing David Lefkowitz’s Philosophy and International Law

David Lefkowitz’s new book Philosophy and International Law: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2020) comes at a critical time in the conversation between international law scholars and practitioners, on the one hand, and philosophers, whether legal, moral, or political, on the other. More dialogue among scholars of international law and philosophy Until about fifteen years…

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Book Symposium: David Lefkowitz’s Philosophy and International Law: A Critical Introduction (CUP, 2020)

The blog is pleased to announce that over the next week, we will be hosting a discussion of David Lefkowitz’s recently published book Philosophy and International Law: A Critical Introduction (CUP, 2020). David Lefkowitz is Professor of Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law at the University of Richmond.

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