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On Communitarian and Constitutional Approaches to International Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013


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Copyright © Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law 2013

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1 Yee, S., ‘Towards an International Law of Co-Progressiveness’, in Yee, S. and Tieya, W. (eds.), International Law in the Post-Cold War World: Essays in Memory of Li Haopei (2001), 18 at 18Google Scholar.

2 Following H. L. A. Hart, The Concept of Law (1994), 94–9 and passim, these two types of rules are usually named ‘primary’ and ‘secondary rules’. However, as there still is some doubt whether the distinction of primary and secondary rules in the way Hart has shaped the terms can be applied to international law, a more neutral terminology seems to be more appropriate.

3 A. Paulus, Die internationale Gemeinschaft im Völkerrecht; Eine Untersuchung zur Entwicklung des Völkerrechts im Zeitalter der Globalisierung (2001), 252–69.

4 Delbrück, J., ‘Prospects for a “World (Internal) Law”? Legal Developments in a Changing International System’, (2002) 9 Ind. JGLS 401Google Scholar, at 414–27, 429–30; Herdegen, M., ‘Asymmetrien in der Staatenwelt und die Herausforderungen des “konstruktiven Völkerrechts”’, (2004) 64 ZaöRV 571Google Scholar, at 579–82; Payandeh, M., ‘The Concept of International Law in the Jurisprudence of H. L. A. Hart’, (2010) 21 EJIL 967CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 982–8.

5 Cf. among many others A. Emmerich-Fritsche, Vom Völkerrecht zum Weltrecht (2007); Paulus, supra note 3; Simma, B., ‘From Bilateralism to Community Interest in International Law’, (1994) 250 RCADI 217Google Scholar, at 229–376; Tomuschat, C., ‘International Law: Ensuring the Survival of Mankind on the Eve of a New Century’, (1999) 281 RCADI 9Google Scholar; and the extensive literature on the constitutionalization of international law. See also the critical perspective of Weil, P., ‘Towards Relative Normativity in International Law?’, (1983) 77 AJIL 413CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 In order to avoid misunderstandings it should be noted that the concept of international communitarianism as it is used here is meant to indicate a stream of legal thought that places emphasis on the concept of the international community. As such it is not to be confused with communitarian stances in political philosophy as, for example, championed by M. Walzer, Spheres of Justice: A Defence of Pluralism and Equality (1983) or M. Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982). In fact, the majority of communitarian philosophers would be rather sceptical about the application of the community paradigm to the international sphere; see M. Payandeh, Internationales Gemeinschaftsrecht: Zur Herausbildung gemeinschaftsrechtlicher Strukturen im Völkerrecht der Globalisierung (2010), 73–5.

7 For recent contributions to the debate see Villalpando, S., ‘The Legal Dimension of the International Community: How Community Interests Are Protected in International Law’, (2010) 21 EJIL 387CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and many of the articles in Fastenrath, al. (eds.), From Bilateralism to Community Interest: Essays in Honour of Judge Bruno Simma (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 H. Mosler, The International Society as a Legal Community (1980), 2; A. Verdross, Die Verfassung der Völkerrechtsgemeinschaft (1926), 4.

9 Simma, supra note 5, at 234.

10 C. Tomuschat, ‘Obligations Arising for States without or against Their Will’, (1993/IV) 241 RCADI 195.

11 Ibid., at 240.

12 In a similar vein see Nettesheim, M., ‘Das kommunitäre Völkerrecht’, (2002) 57 JuristenZeitung 569, at 570Google Scholar; Paulus, supra note 3, at 423–5.

13 Emmerich-Fritsche, supra note 5, at 708; Wahl, R., ‘Der Einzelne in der Welt jenseits des Staates’, (2001) 40 Der Staat 45, at 47Google Scholar; see also Walter, C., ‘Constitutionalizing (Inter)National Governance – Possibilities for and Limits to the Development of an International Constitutional Law’, (2001) 44 GYIL 170Google Scholar, at 175.

14 For an influential article, see Peters, A., ‘Compensatory Constitutionalism: The Function and Potential of Fundamental International Norms and Structures’, (2006) 19 LJIL 579CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 580, 609; see also Peters, A., ‘Global Constitutionalism Revisited’, (2005) 11 International Legal Theory 39, at 39Google Scholar.

15 Fassbender, B., ‘The United Nations Charter as Constitution of the International Community’, (1998) 36 Col. JTL 529Google Scholar; Doyle, M. W., ‘The UN Charter – A Global Constitution?’, in Dunoff, J. L. and Trachtman, J. P. (eds.), Ruling the World? Constitutionalism, International Law, and Global Governance (2009), 113CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dupuy, P.-M., ‘The Constitutional Dimension of the Charter of the United Nations Revisited’, (1997) 1 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 1Google Scholar; Franck, T., ‘Is the UN Charter a Constitution?’, in Frowein, J. al. (eds.), Verhandeln für den Frieden; Liber amicorum Tono Eitel (2003), 95Google Scholar; Tomuschat, C., ‘International Law as the Constitution of Mankind’, in United Nations (ed.), International Law on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century (1997), 37Google Scholar.

16 Herdegen, M., ‘The “Constitutionalization” of the UN Security System’, (1994) 27 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 135Google Scholar.

17 McGinnis, J. O. and Movsesian, M. L., ‘The World Trade Constitution’, (2000) 114 Harvard Law Review 511CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

18 Bodansky, D., ‘Is There an International Environmental Constitution?’, (2009) 16 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 565CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 Walter, C., ‘Die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention als Konstitutionalisierungsprozeß’, (1999) 59 ZaöRV 961Google Scholar.

20 Dunoff, J. L., ‘Why Constitutionalism Now? Text, Context and Historical Contingencies of Ideas’, (2004–5) 1 Journal of International Law & International Relations 191, at 198Google Scholar.

22 See the two Kammerhof, J. pieces: ‘Law-Making by Scholarship? The Dark Side of 21st Century International Legal “Methodology”’, (2010) 3 Select Proceedings of the European Society of International Law 115Google Scholar; and ‘Constitutionalism and the Myth of Practical Reason: Kelsenian Responses to Methodological Problems’, (2010) 23 LJIL 723 (both articles appeared after the printing of Kleinlein's monograph).

23 See Merkl, A. J., ‘Prolegomena einer Theorie des rechtlichen Stufenbaus’, in Klecatsky, H. R., Marcic, R., and Schambeck, H. (eds.), Die Wiener rechtstheoretische Schule; Ausgewählte Schriften von Hans Kelsen, Adolf Julius Merkl, Alfred Verdross, Vol. II, (2010) 1071, at 1091–1103Google Scholar; for an application to international law see Kammerhofer, J., ‘Hans Kelsen's place in international legal theory’, in Orakhelashvili, A. (ed.), Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law (2011), 143 at 148–62Google Scholar.

24 Schwöbel, C. E. J., ‘Organic Global Constitutionalism’, (2010) 23 LJIL 529CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 539 (this article was only published after Kleinlein's book went into print).

25 Ibid., at 543.

26 Alexy, R., Theory of Constitutional Rights (2002), 4468Google Scholar; Alexy draws on Dworkin, R., ‘The Model of Rules’, (1967) 35 University of Chicago Law Review 14Google Scholar.

27 See on the judicial aspects of these questions recently von Bogdandy, A. and Venzke, I., ‘In Whose Name? An Investigation of International Courts’ Public Authority and Its Democratic Justification’, (2012) 1 EJIL 7CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 Bryde, B.-O., ‘International Democratic Constitutionalism’, in Macdonald, R. St. J. and Johnston, D. M. (eds.), Towards World Constitutionalism: Issues in the Legal Ordering of the Wold Community (2005), 103 at 109Google Scholar; A. Paulus, ‘The International Legal System as a Constitution’, in Dunoff and Trachtman, supra note 15, 69 at 87–107; Tsagourias, N., ‘The Constitutional Role of General Principles of Law in International and European Jurisprudence’, in Tsagourias, N. (ed.), Transnational Constitutionalism (2007), 71CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Uerpmann, R., ‘Internationales Verfassungsrecht’, (2001) 56 JuristenZeitung 565Google Scholar, at 572; see also von Bogdandy, A., ‘General Principles of International Public Authority: Sketching a Research Field’, (2008) 9 GLJ 1909Google Scholar (from the perspective of ‘internal constitutionalization’), and Kadelbach, S. and Kleinlein, T., ‘International Law – a Constitution for Mankind? Attempt at a Re-Appraisal with an Analysis of Constitutional Principles’, (2007) 50 GYIL 303Google Scholar, 337–47. The latter receives the approval of Wellens, K., ‘Discussion Statement’, in Wolfrum, R. and Kojima, C. (eds.), Solidarity: A Structural Principle of International Law (2010), 45 at 46Google Scholar.

29 Klabbers, J., ‘Constitutionalism Lite’, (2004) 1 IOLR 31Google Scholar, at 49.

30 I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (1781), A 51.

31 W. Friedmann, The Changing Structure of International Law (1964), 60–4 and passim. Friedmann's terminology has been adopted and modified by Abi-Saab, Georges, ‘Cours générale de droit international public’, (1987) 207 RCADI 9Google Scholar; and his ‘Whither the International Community?’, (1998) 9 EJIL 248.

32 See generally Schwarzenberger, G., ‘The Three Types of Law’, (1943) 53 Ethics 89CrossRefGoogle Scholar; with regard to international law G. Schwarzenberger, The Frontiers of International Law (1962), 9–16, 21–36.

33 A. Bleckmann, Allgemeine Staats- und Völkerrechtslehre: Vom Kompetenz zum Kooperationsvölkerrecht (1995).

34 See for an outline and critique of similar approaches B. Simma, Das Reziprozitätselement im Zustandekommen völkerrechtlicher Verträge (1972), 274–308.

35 Cf. Weber, M., ‘Die “Objektivität” sozialwissenschaftlicher und sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis’, in Winckelmann, J. (ed.), Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre (1982), 146 at 190–1Google Scholar.

36 See inter alia Delbrück, supra note 4, at 410–31; Herdegen, M., “Das konstruktive Völkerrecht” und seine Grenzen: die Dynamik des Völkerrechts als Methodenfrage’, in Dupuy, al. (eds.), Völkerrecht als Wertordnung; Festschrift für Christian Tomuschat (2006), 899Google Scholar; U. Hingst, Auswirkungen der Globalisierung auf das Recht der völkerrechtlichen Verträge (2001); Tomuschat, supra note 10.

37 Diggelmann, O. and Altwicker, T., ‘Is There Something Like a Constitution of International Law? A Critical Analysis of the Debate on World Constitutionalism’, (2008) 68 ZaöRV 623Google Scholar, at 631.

38 Kleinlein, T., ‘On Holism, Pluralism, and Democracy: Approaches to Constitutionalism beyond the State’, (2011) 21 EJIL 1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 1083.

39 von Bogdandy, A., Dann, P., and Goldmann, M., ‘Developing the Publicness of Public International Law: Towards a Legal Framework for Global Governance Activities’, (2008) 9 GLJ 1375Google Scholar, at 1376.

40 On that point see the contributions to von Bogdandy, al. (eds.), The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and C. A. Feinäugle, Hoheitsgewalt im Völkerrecht (2011).

41 Constitutional approaches to international law share these features with the global administrative law-approach; cf. on the central ideas of the latter Kingsbury, B., Krisch, N., and Stewart, R. B., ‘The Emergence of Global Administrative Law’, (2005) 68 Law and Contemporary Problems 15Google Scholar; Kingsbury, B. and Krisch, N., ‘Introduction: Global Governance and Global Administrative Law in the International Legal Order’, (2006) 17 EJIL 1Google Scholar.

42 Schwarzenberger, G., ‘International Law and Society’, 1947 YBWA 159Google Scholar, at 160.