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16 - Rule of Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2021

Jean d'Aspremont
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
John Haskell
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
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Summary

Consider the well-travelled question, ‘What is international law?’ Unlike its confident counterparts in fields like constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, and the like, the field of international law is downright famous for not really being sure of what it is. In its search for some closure, this uncertainty tends to flow in one of three directions. First, we have the issue of whether international law is really law at all, and so, we want to know, well then what is ‘international law’ if we cannot take its name seriously? Relying upon philosophers like John Austin or H. L. A. Hart as a starting point, the interrogation builds a particular conception of what law requires to be law qua law: something about an enforceable command issued from a superior to an inferior, or something about primary and secondary rules.

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Chapter
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Tipping Points in International Law
Commitment and Critique
, pp. 271 - 292
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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