Theory of International Law

Page 2 of 33

Filter category

Feature post image

The German National Security Strategy and International Legal Order’s Contested Political Framing

Germany’s newly released National Security Strategy (NSS) has (intentionally or not) entered a contentious global contest over the political framing of international legal order. Germany has long joined its partners and allies in framing commitment to international law in terms of the ‘Rules-Based Order’ (RBO) — which continues with the NSS. Russian and Chinese officials disparage that formulation as derogating from international law, yet have simultaneously promoted the political frame of a ‘multipolar international order’ (MIO) as essential to law’s integrity. The 2023 NSS now adds to these frames with a novel concept of ‘free international order’ (FIO), which sits alongside the RBO, but ostensibly as a more fundamental commitment. The meaning and relationship between these concepts is deeply complex, but their influence attests to the unavoidable nature of political contestation over the ‘selection and salience’ of the values and power structures that define the international legal order. Rules Based Order vs. Multipolar International Order…

Read more

The Credit Suisse Crisis and International Law II: We Live in a Swap Line World

Immediately after the public announcement of the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse (CS) by UBS on 19 March 2023, six of the world’s major central banks announced a coordinated action to prevent a global liquidity crisis in reaction to the CS collapse. The Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England (BoE), the…

Read more

EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 20: Disordering International Law

Much of international law is about ordering. But in her article in EJIL issue 33(3), Michelle Staggs Kelsall calls for the disordering of international law. This is not an appeal to create more chaos in the world – there seems to be plenty of it. It is…

Read more

The Credit Suisse Crisis and International Law: Time to Embrace Regime Complexity?  

There is a quasi-existential urge among international lawyers to present international law as salient whenever the “opportunity” of a crisis presents itself. Judge Charlesworth has famously lamented this urge because it distracts us from the subtle ways in which international law may deliver everyday justice. Yet, when it comes to financial crises, this “quest for international…

Read more

Are sovereignty referendums but a tool to legitimize territorial claims of the powerful?

This is the impression one could be left with in the wake of the popular votes organized by Russia in the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. This impression might be reinforced by the fact that, as recently shown by Sze Hong Lam on these pages, these were by far not the first…

Read more