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Constitutionalizing the International Normative Environment: An Investigation of the Systemic Nature of International and Global Law

Andersson, Jens LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
In 2005 the United Nations International Law Commission released the report Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of International Law. Although fragmentation of international law had been a topic of discussion long before 2005 the report really made the debate take off, becoming one of the most debated issues in recent years among international law scholars. Interestingly the discussion has largely neglected the fact that for something to be fragmenting, it has to at one point been a unified whole, and in the case of international law, a legal system.

This thesis picks up the discussion at a stage where legal scholars are trying to find different approaches on how to systematize... (More)
In 2005 the United Nations International Law Commission released the report Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of International Law. Although fragmentation of international law had been a topic of discussion long before 2005 the report really made the debate take off, becoming one of the most debated issues in recent years among international law scholars. Interestingly the discussion has largely neglected the fact that for something to be fragmenting, it has to at one point been a unified whole, and in the case of international law, a legal system.

This thesis picks up the discussion at a stage where legal scholars are trying to find different approaches on how to systematize international law. Two of the most prominent approaches are institutional and normative constitutionalism, which both are aspiring to become the hegemonic explanatory theory under which international law, can be perceived as a quantifiable one legal system. The institutional constitutionalists are trying to identify single constitutional documents, which can act as a universal constitution of the world, while the normative constitutionalists are arguing that there exist objective superior norms from which all international law seeks its legitimacy. These two approaches however are in the thesis critically investigated and found not only to be internally challenged from within the very legal theory they are based in, but also by the external transformation of contemporary international law.

International law has long been perceived as being merely a set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states. However, the thesis shows that the sovereignty of states in recent years has eroded and that the importance of international organizations and transnational actors for guiding the normative and cognitive expectations of actors within the international sphere has grown. In the thesis it is therefore argued that the concept of international law is not adequate to fully understand the contemporary international normative environment and that a shift to the wider concept of global law therefore is necessary.

However, the shift of concepts does not provide any answer as to the systemic nature of the international normative environment. To understand how global law has systematized itself into self-referential internally differentiated systemic entities the theory of Societal Constitutionalism is introduced. With the help of this theory it is explained how global law encompasses a numerous of differentiated normative international legal spheres. These spheres are by self-reference producing and reproducing themselves in accordance with their own rationale, without being a part of a larger systemic entity. From this position fragmentation is not a phenomenon isolated to international law, but an effect of the changes to society in large. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
2005 släppte Förenta Nationernas folkrättskommission rapporten "Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of International Law". Även om fragmenteringen av folkrätten hade varit ett diskussionsämne långt före 2005 fick rapporten verkligen debatten ta fart och fragmentering att bli en av de mest omdebatterade frågorna under senare år bland folkrättsjurister. Intressant är dock att diskussionen i stort har försummat det faktum att för att något ska kunna fragmenteras, måste det vid ett tillfälle varit en helhet, och i fallet folkrätten, ett rättssystem.

Denna uppsats tar vid diskussionen i ett skede där jurister försöker hitta olika metoder för hur man kan systematisera folkrätten. Två... (More)
2005 släppte Förenta Nationernas folkrättskommission rapporten "Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of International Law". Även om fragmenteringen av folkrätten hade varit ett diskussionsämne långt före 2005 fick rapporten verkligen debatten ta fart och fragmentering att bli en av de mest omdebatterade frågorna under senare år bland folkrättsjurister. Intressant är dock att diskussionen i stort har försummat det faktum att för att något ska kunna fragmenteras, måste det vid ett tillfälle varit en helhet, och i fallet folkrätten, ett rättssystem.

Denna uppsats tar vid diskussionen i ett skede där jurister försöker hitta olika metoder för hur man kan systematisera folkrätten. Två av de mest framstående tillvägagångssätten är institutionell och normativ konstitutionalisering. Dessa båda teorier strävar efter att bli den dominerande teorin enligt vilken internationell rätt kan uppfattas som en kvantifierbar rättsordning. De institutionella konstitutionalisterna försöker identifiera enskilda konstitutionella dokument, som kan fungera som en universell grundlag för världen, medan de normativa konstitutionalisterna argumenterar att det finns objektiva överordnade normer från vilka all folkrätt legitimeras. I uppsatsen undersöks dessa två teorier dock kritiskt. Författaren finner att de inte bara utmanas internt av den juridiska teori de grundar sig på, men också av den transformation folkrätten på den senaste tiden genomgått på grund av yttre omständigheter.

Folkrätten har länge endast uppfattats som en uppsättning regler som i allmänhet betraktas och accepteras som bindande i förhållandet mellan stater. I uppsatsen visas det dock att statssuveräniteten på senare år har eroderats och att internationella organisationer och transnationella aktörer i allt större utsträckning styr de normativa och kognitiva förväntningar bland de olika aktörer som existerar inom den internationella sfären. Författaren argumenterar därför att konceptet folkrätt inte är adekvat nog att förstå den samtida internationella normativa miljön och att en övergång till det bredare konceptet global rätt därför är nödvändigt.

Däremot ger övergången från ett koncept till nästa inte något svar på frågan om den internationella normativa miljöns systematiska natur. För att förstå hur den globala rätten har systematiserat sig i självrefererande internt differentierade systemiska enheter så introduceras teorin om Societal Constitutionalism. Med hjälp av denna teori förklaras hur den globala rätten omfattar ett flertal normativt differentierade internationella rättssystem. Dessa rättssystem producerar och reproducerar sig själva genom själv- referering helt i enlighet med sin egen logik. Detta gör de utan att vara en del av en större systemisk enhet. Från denna position är fragmenteringen inte ett fenomen isolerat till folkrätten, utan en effekt av förändringarna av samhället i stort. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Andersson, Jens LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
polycentrism, societal constitutionalism, fragmentation, autopoietic social system, International law, self-contained regimes, constitutionalism, systemic integration, constitutionalization, state-centrism, legal system, Luhmann, globalization, monocentrism
language
English
id
3737573
date added to LUP
2013-06-05 09:13:24
date last changed
2013-06-05 09:13:24
@misc{3737573,
  abstract     = {In 2005 the United Nations International Law Commission released the report Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of International Law. Although fragmentation of international law had been a topic of discussion long before 2005 the report really made the debate take off, becoming one of the most debated issues in recent years among international law scholars. Interestingly the discussion has largely neglected the fact that for something to be fragmenting, it has to at one point been a unified whole, and in the case of international law, a legal system.

This thesis picks up the discussion at a stage where legal scholars are trying to find different approaches on how to systematize international law. Two of the most prominent approaches are institutional and normative constitutionalism, which both are aspiring to become the hegemonic explanatory theory under which international law, can be perceived as a quantifiable one legal system. The institutional constitutionalists are trying to identify single constitutional documents, which can act as a universal constitution of the world, while the normative constitutionalists are arguing that there exist objective superior norms from which all international law seeks its legitimacy. These two approaches however are in the thesis critically investigated and found not only to be internally challenged from within the very legal theory they are based in, but also by the external transformation of contemporary international law.

International law has long been perceived as being merely a set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states. However, the thesis shows that the sovereignty of states in recent years has eroded and that the importance of international organizations and transnational actors for guiding the normative and cognitive expectations of actors within the international sphere has grown. In the thesis it is therefore argued that the concept of international law is not adequate to fully understand the contemporary international normative environment and that a shift to the wider concept of global law therefore is necessary.

However, the shift of concepts does not provide any answer as to the systemic nature of the international normative environment. To understand how global law has systematized itself into self-referential internally differentiated systemic entities the theory of Societal Constitutionalism is introduced. With the help of this theory it is explained how global law encompasses a numerous of differentiated normative international legal spheres. These spheres are by self-reference producing and reproducing themselves in accordance with their own rationale, without being a part of a larger systemic entity. From this position fragmentation is not a phenomenon isolated to international law, but an effect of the changes to society in large.},
  author       = {Andersson, Jens},
  keyword      = {polycentrism,societal constitutionalism,fragmentation,autopoietic social system,International law,self-contained regimes,constitutionalism,systemic integration,constitutionalization,state-centrism,legal system,Luhmann,globalization,monocentrism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Constitutionalizing the International Normative Environment: An Investigation of the Systemic Nature of International and Global Law},
  year         = {2013},
}