International Law in Art, Literature, Thought

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Making Humanity Greater Again: Self-evolving and self-perfecting

January 20, 2021 is an important date in the history of the United States.  It could be an important date in the history of the human world.  The neo-isolationism of the previous administration was unusual even by American standards.  It succeeded in disrupting all kinds of international system from the UN and UN Specialised Agencies and WTO to military alliances and bilateral diplomatic relations across the world and, not least, the always fragile authority of international law itself.  If the new administration can resume its rightful position in the international world, it will be doing so in a world in desperate need of some revolutionary re-thinking. The modern law of nations began after 1492, when Europe adjusted itself to the idea of a humanity which included countless peoples and sophisticated cultures and societies which were not Christian.  It began as an idea of a law for all-humanity.  Some new version of that idea is what the world needs now.  It would be a great step forward in human progress. Pessimism is a…

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Concluding Rejoinder: The Art of International Law and Altruism of International Lawyers

In the introductory essay, I sought to apply The Art of Law in the International Community as a response not only to military force and other ills, but to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four colleagues have contributed on how they believe the book works and could work better. They have done so at a time of extraordinary challenge and…

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The Art of International Law-Making: Musings on The Art of Law in the International Community

The new book of Mary-Ellen O’Connell, The Art of Law in the International Community, has a number of merits. One merit is to have placed extra-positive approaches to law-making back at the centre of the stage. A second merit is to consider their role to explain the rise of two pillars of contemporary international law, namely the…

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Aesthetic Philosophy and the Art of Law in the International Community

Inspired by Sir Hersch Lauterpacht’s writings, Mary Ellen  O’Connell, in the Art of Law in the International Community, provides a contemporary response to the ever increasing erosion by states –in the majority of  cases based on self-interest - of the most fundamental peremptory norm of the international legal order, the prohibition of the use of…

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We Can ‘Recover Better’ Through The Art of Law in the International Community

Editor's Note:  This week, EJIL:Talk! runs its first Book Discussion for the year 2020.  As a timely thematic reflection for all international lawyers and international law academics contemplating the role, function, and purposes of the international legal system at this time of a shared global emergency, we are featuring Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell's Hersch Lauterpacht Memoral…

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