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Fragmentation of International Law? Postmodern Anxieties

  • Martti Koskenniemi and Päivi Leino
Abstract

Successive ICJ Presidents have expressed concern about the proliferation of international tribunals and substantive fragmentation of international law. This is not a new phenomenon. International law has always lacked a clear normative and institutional hierarchy. The problem is more how new institutions have used international law to further new interests, especially those not predominant in traditional law. The anxiety among ICJ judges should be seen less as a concern for abstract “coherence” than a worry about the demise of traditional principles of diplomatic law and the Court's privileged role as their foremost representative. As jurisdictional conflicts reflect divergent political priorities, it is unclear that administrative co-ordination can eliminate them. This does not, however, warrant excessive worries over fragmentation; it is an institutional expression of political pluralism internationally.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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