Advanced

The language of law and the laws of language

Bartelson, Jens LU (2016) In Millennium 44(2). p.250-257
Abstract

The Status of Law in World Society by Friedrich Kratochwil is a sophisticated attempt to reassert the importance of international law in a globalised world by grounding it in the actual practices of legal reasoning. Yet this attempt to ground normativity in practice strikes me as problematic. As I shall argue, what law is cannot be determined with reference to legal practices only, but will depend on the fulfillment of certain background requirements which themselves stand in need of further justification. Thus the recourse to linguistic practice is beset by an ambivalence that stems from the fact that language and law always already are intertwined, an ambivalence that cannot therefore be overcome with recourse to either. If it is the... (More)

The Status of Law in World Society by Friedrich Kratochwil is a sophisticated attempt to reassert the importance of international law in a globalised world by grounding it in the actual practices of legal reasoning. Yet this attempt to ground normativity in practice strikes me as problematic. As I shall argue, what law is cannot be determined with reference to legal practices only, but will depend on the fulfillment of certain background requirements which themselves stand in need of further justification. Thus the recourse to linguistic practice is beset by an ambivalence that stems from the fact that language and law always already are intertwined, an ambivalence that cannot therefore be overcome with recourse to either. If it is the case that law has a language of its own, we must also be prepared to admit that language has its own laws. What then is gained by the recourse to linguistic practice is not so much a resolution but rather a temporary displacement of indeterminacy from the realm of law to that of language.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Foundationalism, International law, Linguistic turn, Practice
in
Millennium
volume
44
issue
2
pages
8 pages
publisher
Millennium Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:84975780722
  • wos:000371555300006
ISSN
0305-8298
DOI
10.1177/0305829815619779
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fe812705-c1ca-4377-9f62-ee1df80dbe26
date added to LUP
2016-07-08 08:14:36
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:30:05
@article{fe812705-c1ca-4377-9f62-ee1df80dbe26,
  abstract     = {<p>The Status of Law in World Society by Friedrich Kratochwil is a sophisticated attempt to reassert the importance of international law in a globalised world by grounding it in the actual practices of legal reasoning. Yet this attempt to ground normativity in practice strikes me as problematic. As I shall argue, what law is cannot be determined with reference to legal practices only, but will depend on the fulfillment of certain background requirements which themselves stand in need of further justification. Thus the recourse to linguistic practice is beset by an ambivalence that stems from the fact that language and law always already are intertwined, an ambivalence that cannot therefore be overcome with recourse to either. If it is the case that law has a language of its own, we must also be prepared to admit that language has its own laws. What then is gained by the recourse to linguistic practice is not so much a resolution but rather a temporary displacement of indeterminacy from the realm of law to that of language.</p>},
  author       = {Bartelson, Jens},
  issn         = {0305-8298},
  keyword      = {Foundationalism,International law,Linguistic turn,Practice},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {250--257},
  publisher    = {Millennium Publishing Group},
  series       = {Millennium},
  title        = {The language of law and the laws of language},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0305829815619779},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2016},
}