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Does Brexit Spell the Death of Transnational Law?

  • Ralf Michaels (a1)

Extract

Philip Jessup would not be pleased. Exactly sixty years after he published his groundbreaking book on Transnational Law, a majority of voters in the United Kingdom decided they wanted none of that. By voting for the UK to leave the European Union, they rejected what may well be called the biggest and most promising project of transnational law. Indeed, the European Union (including its predecessor, the European Economic Community), is nearly as old Jessup's book. Both are products of the same time. That invites speculation that goes beyond the immediate effects of Brexit: Is the time of transnational law over? Or can transnational law be renewed and revived?

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References

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1 Philip Jessup, Transnational Law (1956).

2 Id. at 113.

3 Jessup, supra note 1, at 2. Later in the book, in a less-often quoted passage, he clarified: “Transnational law then includes both civil and criminal aspects, it includes what we know as public and private international law, and it includes national law, both public and private.” Id. at 106

4 Philip Jessup, Diversity and Uniformity in the Law of Nations, 58 Am. J. Int'l L. 341, 347-8 (1964).

5 Jessup Calls International Democracy PostWar Ideal, 65 Columbia Daily Spectator No 131 (2 (June 1942), p. 1, available at http://spectatorarchive.library.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/columbia?a=d&d=cs19420602-01.2.7&e=——-en-20–4934–txt-txIN-columbia—50.

6 Jessup, supra note 1, at 41.

7 Neil MacCormick, Beyond the Sovereign State, 56 Modern Law Review 1 (1993); Neil Walker, Constitutional Pluralism Revisited, 22 Eur. L.J. 333 (2016).

8 Jessup, Philip C., International Law in the PostWar World, 36 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 46, 49 (1942).

9 See, e.g., Tuck, Richard, The Left Case for Brexit, Dissent (June 6, 2016), available at https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/left-case-brexit.

10 Id. at 11.

11 See Common Statement by the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands, 25/06/2016, available at http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infoservice/Presse/Meldungen/2016/160625_Gemeinsam_Erklaerung_Gruenderstaatentreffen_ENG_VERSION.html. See also https://euobserver.com/political/132204/.

12 David Kennedy, A World of Struggle: How Power, law & Expertise Shape Global Political Economy (2016).

13 See, e.g., Jessup, supra note 5; Jessup, Philip C., Democracy Must Keep Constant Guard for Freedom, 25 Dep't St. Bull. 220 (1951).

14 Jessur, supra note 1, at B2.

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