How Interpretation Makes International Law

On Semantic Change and Normative Twists

Author: Ingo Venzke

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191631965

Category: Law

Page: 338

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Challenging the classic narrative that sovereign states make the law that constrains them, this book argues that treaties and other sources of international law form only the starting point of legal authority. Interpretation can shift the meaning of texts and, in its own way, make law. In the practice of interpretation actors debate the meaning of the written and customary laws, and so contribute to the making of new law. In such cases it is the actor's semantic authority that is key - the capacity for their interpretation to be accepted and become established as new reference points for legal discourse. The book identifies the practice of interpretation as a significant space for international lawmaking, using the key examples of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Appellate Body of the WTO to show how international institutions are able to shape and develop their constituent instruments by adding layers of interpretation, and moving the terms of discourse. The book applies developments in linguistics to the practice of international legal interpretation, building on semantic pragmatism to overcome traditional explanations of lawmaking and to offer a fresh account of how the practice of interpretation makes international law. It discusses the normative implications that arise from viewing interpretation in this light, and the implications that the importance of semantic changes has for understanding the development of international law. The book tests the potential of international law and its doctrine to respond to semantic change, and ultimately ponders how semantic authority can be justified democratically in a normative pluriverse.
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Interpretation in International Law

Author: Andrea Bianchi,Daniel Peat,Matthew Windsor

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191038709

Category: Law

Page: 380

View: 917

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International lawyers have long recognised the importance of interpretation to their academic discipline and professional practice. As new insights on interpretation abound in other fields, international law and international lawyers have largely remained wedded to a rule-based approach, focusing almost exclusively on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Such an approach neglects interpretation as a distinct and broader field of theoretical inquiry. Interpretation in International Law brings international legal scholars together to engage in sustained reflection on the theme of interpretation. The book is creatively structured around the metaphor of the game, which captures and illuminates the constituent elements of an act of interpretation. The object of the game of interpretation is to persuade the audience that one's interpretation of the law is correct. The rules of play are known and complied with by the players, even though much is left to their skills and strategies. There is also a meta-discourse about the game of interpretation - 'playing the game of game-playing' - which involves consideration of the nature of the game, its underlying stakes, and who gets to decide by what rules one should play. Through a series of diverse contributions, Interpretation in International Law reveals interpretation as an inescapable feature of all areas of international law. It will be of interest and utility to all international lawyers whose work touches upon theoretical or practical aspects of interpretation.
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The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law

Author: Jean d'Aspremont,Samantha Besson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745362

Category: Law

Page: 1136

View: 4897

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The question of the sources of international law inevitably raises some well-known scholarly controversies: where do the rules of international law come from? And more precisely: through which processes are they made, how are they ascertained, and where does the international legal order begin and end? These traditional questions bear on at least two different levels of understanding. First, how are international norms validated as rules of international "law", i.e. legally binding norms? This is the static question of the pedigree of international legal rules and the boundaries of the international legal order. Second, what are the processes through which these rules are made? This is the dynamic question of the making of these rules and of the exercise of public authority in international law. The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law is the very first comprehensive work of its kind devoted to the question of the sources of international law. It provides an accessible and systematic overview of the key issues and debates around the sources of international law. It also offers an authoritative theoretical guide for anyone studying or working within but also outside international law wishing to understand one of its most foundational questions. Thisandbook features original essays by leading international law scholars and theorists from a range of traditions, nationalities and perspectives, reflecting the richness and diversity of scholarship in this area.
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The Evolutionary Interpretation of Treaties

Author: Eirik Bjorge

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191025771

Category: Law

Page: 280

View: 3607

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If an old treaty regulating 'commerce' or forbidding 'degrading treatment of persons' is to be interpreted decades after its conclusion, does 'commerce' or 'degrading treatment of persons' have the same meaning at the time of interpretation as they had when the treaty was concluded? The evolutionary interpretation of treaties has proven one of the most controversial topics in the practice of international law. Indeed, it has been seen as going against the very grain of the law of treaties, and has been argued to be contrary to the intention of the parties, breaching the principle of consent. This book asks what the place of evolutionary interpretation is within the understanding of treaties, at a time when many important international legal instruments are over five decades old. It sets out to place the evolutionary interpretation of treaties on a firm footing within the Vienna rules of interpretation, as codified in Articles 3133 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The book demonstrates that the evolutionary interpretation of treatiesin common with all other types of interpretationis in fact based upon an objective understanding of the intention of the parties. In order to marry intention and evolution, the book argues that, on the one hand, evolutionary interpretation is the product of the correct application of Articles 3133 and, on the other, that Articles 3133 are geared towards the objective establishment of the intention of the parties. The evolutionary interpretation of treaties is therefore shown to represent an intended evolution.
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The Sources of International Law

Author: Hugh Thirlway

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191508608

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 785

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In recent years States have made more and more extensive use of the International Court of Justice for the judicial settlement of disputes. Despite being declared by the Courts Statute to have no binding force for States other than the parties to the case, its decisions have come to constitute a body of jurisprudence that is frequently invoked in other disputes, in international negotiation, and in academic writing. This jurisprudence, covering a wide range of aspects of international law, is the subject of considerable ongoing academic examination; it needs however to be seen against the background, and in the light, of the Courts structure, jurisdiction and operation, and the principles applied in these domains. The purpose of this book is thus to provide an accessible and comprehensive study of this aspect of the Court, and in particular of its procedure, written by a scholar who has had unique opportunities of close observation of the Court in action. This distillation of direct experience and expertise makes it essential reading for all those who study, teach or practise international law.
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In Whose Name?

A Public Law Theory of International Adjudication

Author: Armin von Bogdandy,Ingo Venzke

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191026956

Category: Law

Page: 400

View: 4005

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The vast majority of all international judicial decisions have been issued since 1990. This increasing activity of international courts over the past two decades is one of the most significant developments within the international law. It has repercussions on all levels of governance and has challenged received understandings of the nature and legitimacy of international courts. It was previously held that international courts are simply instruments of dispute settlement, whose activities are justified by the consent of the states that created them, and in whose name they decide. However, this understanding ignores other important judicial functions, underrates problems of legitimacy, and prevents a full assessment of how international adjudication functions, and the impact that it has demonstrably had. This book proposes a public law theory of international adjudication, which argues that international courts are multifunctional actors who exercise public authority and therefore require democratic legitimacy. It establishes this theory on the basis of three main building blocks: multifunctionality, the notion of an international public authority, and democracy. The book aims to answer the core question of the legitimacy of international adjudication: in whose name do international courts decide? It lays out the specific problem of the legitimacy of international adjudication, and reconstructs the common critiques of international courts. It develops a concept of democracy for international courts that makes it possible to constructively show how their legitimacy is derived. It argues that ultimately international courts make their decisions, even if they do not know it, in the name of the peoples and the citizens of the international community.
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