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The Functions of Law and their Challenges: The Differentiated Functionality of International Law

  • Dana Burchardt


This Article illustrates the functional and conceptual variances of law in different contexts. Whereas legal actors on the international level might normatively aim for law to have a similar effect to that of domestic law, the way in which international and supranational law can fulfill these potential functions is different. Accordingly, this Article argues that an awareness of the particularities and challenges that the potential functions of law encounter in the international and supranational context is needed. Moreover, it suggests an analytical lens to conceptually frame and locate current developments, offering a broader perspective on—or even an element of explication for—the apparent crisis that law is currently facing on the international and supranational scale. After describing the potential functions of law on an abstract scale and grouping them into analytical categories, the Article uses these categories as a lens in order to assess in which way international law can fulfill these potential functions, where priorities regarding certain functions might differ, and where some aspects of these functions are challenged when law is made and applied in the international and supranational sphere.

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Dr. iur., postdoctoral researcher at Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin Potsdam Research Group “International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?”.



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1 John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights 6–8 (2d ed. 2011).

2 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics: Book I.

3 Andrei Marmor & Alexander Sarch, The Nature of Law, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive (Edward N. Zalta ed., 2015),

4 Philip Allott, The True Function of Law in the International Community, 5 Ind. J. Glob. Legal Stud. 391, 395 (1998).

5 Nonetheless, scholarly discussion often seems to assume the existence of the function of law as a singular aim of legal norms.

6 See Allott, supra note 4, at 396 (stressing the existence of many competing explanations of law and its functions, as well as the problems following from that).

7 See Kenneth M. Ehrenberg, The Functions of Law 20–30 (2016) (discussing the different concepts of “function”).

8 See S.R. Perry, Interpretation and Methodology in Legal Theory, in Law and Interpretation: Essays in Legal Philosophy 97, 114 (Andrei Marmor ed., 1995) (discussing the link between effects and functions of law); see also Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 27 (stressing the intentional aspect of these effects).

9 See Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality 167 (1979) (discussing the risk of an analysis of the functions of law that is too closely tied to particular moral or political principles).

10 See Allott, supra note 4, at 396 (discussing the incompatibility of the competing approaches to the functions of law).

11 Peer Zumbansen, Transnational Legal Pluralism, 1 Transnat’l Legal Theory 141, 154 (2010).

12 Allott, supra note 4, at 399.

13 See Lina Eriksson, Rational Choice Explanations of Norms: What They Can and Cannot Tell Us, in Norms and Values: The Role of Social Norms as Instruments of Value REalisation 179 (Michael Baurmann et al. eds., 2010) (presenting a critical discussion of this approach).

14 Harry W. Jones, The Creative Power and Function of Law in Historical Perspective, 17 Vand. L. Rev. 135, 139 (1963).

15 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 189.

16 Christoph Möllers, Die Möglichkeit der Normen: Über eine Praxis jenseits von Moralität und Kausalität 425 (2015); see also Allott, supra note 4, at 399.

17 Raz, supra note 9, at 169.

18 Id. at 172; see also Allott, supra note 4, at 405 (stressing the foundations of this function in “tribal law”).

19 Möllers, supra note 16, at 422 (discussing the aspect of norm fidelity (Normtreue)).

20 Raz, supra note 9, at 167–68.

21 Id. at 176–77.

22 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 181 (presenting additional discussion on this understanding).

23 Cass R. Sunstein, On the Expressive Function of Law, 144 U. Pa. L. Rev. 2021 (1996).

24 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 184; see also Scott J. Shapiro, Legality 213–17 (2011).

25 H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law 249 (1961).

26 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 184.

27 Shapiro, supra note 24, at 213–14.

28 See Allott, supra note 4, at 399 (claiming the latter point referenced); see also Lon L. Fuller, The Morality of Law (1964); see also Finnis, supra note 1, at 276, 335 (stressing law as tool of cooperation in pursuit of the common good of a society).

29 Raz, supra note 9, at 158 (discussing the difference between a moral and a legal assessment of law); see also Ronald Dworkin, The Elusive Morality of Law, 10 Vill. L. Rev. 631 (1965).

30 Möllers, supra note 16, at 418; Niklas Luhmann, Law as a Social System (2004) 142–72.

31 Möllers, supra note 16, at 419.

32 Edward Jenks, The Functions of Law in Society, 5 J. Comp. Legis. & Int’l L. 169, 170 (1923) (understanding order to be one of the two elements implied by law).

33 Möllers, supra note 16, at 179.

34 Möllers, supra note 16, at 181.

35 Raz, supra note 9, at 175 (calling these two aspects—regulating law-creation and law application—the secondary functions of law). According to this terminology, the secondary function of instituting law-applying bodies serves to regulate and solve disputes.

36 Allott, supra note 4, at 400.

37 Eriksson, supra note 13, at 185 (referring to this concept as the signaling function of norms).

38 Manfred Zuleeg, Die Europäische Gemeinschaft als Rechtsgemeinschaft, 1994 Neue Juristiche Wochenschrift 545 (1994) (using the term “unifying tie of law” (einigendes Band des Rechts)).

39 Möllers, supra note 16, at 418

40 See Jan Ruzicka & Vincent Charles Keating, Going Global: Trust Research and International Relations, 5 J. Tr. Res. 8 (2015) (discussing trust in international relations).

41 See Hart, supra note 25, at 249; see also Jenks, supra note 32, at 171; see also Hans Kelsen, The Pure Theory of Law 31 (Max Knight trans., Univ. Cal. Press 1967); see also Lon L. Fuller, Human Interaction and the Law, 14 Am J. Juris. 1, 23 (1969); see also Anton-Hermann Chroust, The Managerial Function of Law, 34 Bos. Univ. L. Rev. 261 (1954).

42 Finnis, supra note 1, at 153, 245.

43 Jenks, supra note 32, at 173; see also Lon L. Fuller, A Reply to Professors Cohen and Dworkin, 10 Vill. L. Rev. 655, 657 (1965) (“[A] system directing human conduct by rules ….”); Raz, supra note 9, at 169–70. These guiding structures can include, for example, legal facilities and frameworks for private arrangements between individuals.

44 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 183; see, e.g., Gerald J. Postema, Coordination and Convention at the Foundations of Law, 11 J. Legal Stud. 165, 183 (1982). Some, however, point out that instead of solving problems, law can also maintain, or even create, them in the first place.

45 See Allott, supra note 4, at 392 (providing an additional example: some see the transformation of the American colonies into a new kind of society at the end of the eighteenth century as an achievement of law).

46 Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 190.

47 Raz, supra note 9, at 103–21.

48 Miro Cerar, The Relationship Between Law and Politics, 15 Ann. Surv. of Int’l & Comp. L. 19, 22 (2009).

49 See id. at 37 (presenting law, from the perspective of power, law as an “obstacle on the way toward the realization of certain political goals”); see also Frank Schorkopf, Gestaltung mit Recht: Prägekraft und Selbststand des Rechts in einer Rechtsgemeinschaft, 136 Archiv Des Öffentliches Recht 323 (2011) (discussing the power-limiting function).

50 Benedict Kingsbury, The Concept of “Law” in Global Administrative Law, 20 Eur. J. Int’l L. 23, 32 (2009).

51 See Robert McCorquodale, Defining the International Rule of Law: Defying Gravity?, 65 Int’l & Comp. L. Q. 277 (2016) (providing a general overview of the discussion on the international rule of law).

52 See Wouter Werner, The Never-Ending Closure: Constitutionalism and International Law, in Transnational Constitutionalism: International and European Perspectives 329, 330 (Nicholas Tsagourias ed., 2007) (discussing constitutionalism aiming for a “legal control of politics”).

53 Gianluigi Palombella, The Rule of Law as an Institutional Ideal, in Rule of Law and Democracy: Inquiries into Internal and External Issues 1 (Leonardo Morlino & Gianluigi Palombella eds., 2010).

54 Dimitry Kochenov, EU Law without the Rule of Law: Is the Veneration of Autonomy Worth It?, 34 Y.B. Eur. L. 74, 75, 82 (2015); Palombella, supra note 53, at 24, 27–30.

55 Richard S. Kay, Judicial Policy-Making and the Peculiar Function of Law, 26 Univ. Queensl. L.J. 237, 251 (2007) (stressing this aspect).

56 Martti Koskenniemi, The Mystery of Legal Obligation, 3 Int’l Theory 319 (2011).

57 Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire 93 (1986); see also Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 55–68 (presenting a recent discussion of this approach).

58 See Ehrenberg, supra note 7, at 180 (discussing this aspect).

59 Jenks, supra note 32 at 171.

60 Raz, supra note 9, at 171.

61 Hans Kelsen, General Theory of Law and State 21 (Anders Wedberg trans., Lawbook Exch. 2011).

62 This is irrespective of the debated question whether law requires a coercive aspect to be called law. See Kelsen, supra note 41, at 33 (considering it to be a requirement that the law have a coercive aspect); Hart, supra note 25, at 20–25 (denying that law requires a coercive aspect to be called law and understanding the coercive aspect of law to be marginal).

63 See Jenks, supra note 32, at 175 (describing law as “a rule of conduct enforced by the State”).

64 See Simon Chesterman, Asia’s Ambivalence About International Law and Institutions: Past, Present, and Futures, 27 Eur. J. Int’l L. 945, 947–50 (2016).

65 Hungdah Chiu, Communist China’s Attitude Towards International Law, 60 Am. J. Int’l L. 245, 246–49 (1966).

66 See, e.g., R.A. Mullerson, Sources of International Law: New Tendencies in Soviet Thinking, 83 Am. J. Int’l L. 494 (1989) (discussing the critique of these influences on international law by classical Marxist approaches).

67 Mark Tushnet, Critical Legal Studies: A Political History, 100 Yale L.J. 1515, 1517 (1991).

68 Philip Allott, The Health of Nations: Society and Law Beyond the State 309 (2002) (describing law-making processes as a “by-product of politics”).

69 See Cerar, supra note 48, at 22–23.

70 Anne Peters, Compensatory Constitutionalism: The Function and Potential of Fundamental International Norms and Structures, 19 Leiden J. Int’l L. 579, 609 (2006).

71 1 Integration Through Law: Europe and the American Federal Experience (Mauro Cappelletti et al. eds., 1986).

72 For domestic courts, this is primarily based on the possibility of a preliminary ruling procedure.

73 See Karen Alter, The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (2014) (discussing the role of international court in this development).

74 Allott, supra note 4, at 413.

75 Alter, supra note 73.

76 See, e.g., Anne Peters, Global Constitutionalism, in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought 1484 (Michael Gibbons et al. eds., 2014); see also Jan Klabbers et al., The Constitutionalization of International Law (2009); Ruling the World?: Constitutionalism, International Law, and Global Governance (Jeffrey L. Dunoff & Joel P. Trachtman eds., 2009).

77 See Daniel Joyce, Liberal Internationalism, in Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law 471, 478 (Anne Orford & Florian Hoffmann eds., 2016) (discussing the critique of this idealism).

78 Möllers, supra note 16, at 425.

79 Allott, supra note 4, at 404.

80 See, e.g., G.A. Res. 60/1, 2005 World Summit Outcome (Sept. 16, 2005); see also Theodor Meron, The Humanization of International Law (2006).

81 Niklas Luhmann, Paradigm Lost: On the Ethical Reflection of Morality, 29 Thesis Eleven 82, 86 (1991).

82 Matej Avbelj, Transnational law Between Modernity and Post-modernity, 7 Transnat’l Legal Theory 406, 425 (2017).

83 See, e.g., Ilias Bantekas & Lutz Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice 27 (2d ed. 2016) (discussing this challenge for Human Rights); M. Cherif Bassiouni, Universal Jurisdiction for International Crimes: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Practice, 42 Va. J. Int’l L. 81, 155 (2001) (discussing hegemonic tendencies in international criminal law). See also Martti Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations (2001) (presenting a historical account); Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (2005).

84 See, e.g., Li-ann Thio, Implementing Human Rights in ASEAN Countries: “Promises to Keep and Miles to Go Before I Sleep”, 2 Yale Hum. Rts. & Dev. L.J. 1 (1999) (discussing the challenge of western human rights by Asian values); see also David P. Fidler, Eastphalia Emerging?: Asia, International Law, and Global Governance, 17 Ind. J. Glob. Legal Stud. 1, 3 (2010) (discussing a concept of ‘Eastphalia’ in contrast to ‘Westphalia’ reflecting Asian power structures and principles); Chesterman, supra note 64, at 972 (discussing the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as an alternative regime to the Bretton Woods institutions).

85 See generally, Christopher Schoenfleisch, Integration Durch Koordinierung? (2018) (discussing the impact of the so-called intergovernmental method replacing supranational regulation).

86 Armin von Bogdandy, Jenseits der Rechtsgemeinschaft: Begriffsarbeit in der Europäischen Sinn-und Rechtsstaatlichkeitskrise, 52 Europarecht 487 (2017) (discussing the crisis of trust).

87 See Armin von Bogdandy, European Law Beyond “Ever Closer Union” Repositioning the Concept, its Thrust and the EJC’s Comparative Methodology, 22 Eur. L.J. 519, 527–28 (2016) (discussing the need to emancipate European unity from integration).

88 This goes back to Walter Hallstein, Die EWG – Eine Rechtsgemeinschaft, in Europäische Reden 341 (Thomas Oppermann ed., 1979). See also ECJ, Case 294/83, Les Verts v European Parliament, ECLI:EU:C:1986:166, Judgement of 23 April 1986, at 23 (referring to the concept of a “community based on the rule of law” for the first time).

89 Joost Pauwelyn et al., When Structures Become Shackles: Stagnation and Dynamics in International Law Making, 25 Eur. J. Int’l L. 733 (2014).

90 Heike Krieger & Georg Nolte, The International Rule of Law–Rise or Decline? Points of Departure, in The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline? – Approaching Current Foundational Challenges (Heike Krieger et al. eds., forthcoming).

91 See, e.g., B.S. Chimni, International Law Scholarship in Post-Colonial India: Coping with Dualism, 23 Leiden J. Int’l L. 23, 42–45 (2010) (discussing India`s disillusionment with the capacity of law to change the international economic order).

92 Chesterman, supra note 64, at 964; see also Dong Wang, China’s Unequal Treaties: Narrating National History (2005) (discussing unequal treaties).

93 See Upendra Baxi, What May the “Third World” Expect from International Law?, 27 Third World Q. 713 (2006) (discussing the hope of better reflecting a strong position of third world states).

94 Hungdah Chiu, supra note 65, at 246–49 (discussing international law as traditionally conceived by China—as instrument of the state and not as an element of control thereof).

95 Allott, supra note 4, at 404; see also Ruzicka & Keating, supra note 40, at 10 (describing this as anarchy, from the perspective of international relations).

96 Pauwelyn et al., supra note 89, at 742.

97 See, e.g., William Burke-White, Regionalization of International Criminal Law Enforcement: A Preliminary Exploration, 38 Tex. Int’l L.J. 729 (2003) (discussing the regionalization of international criminal law).

98 Pauwelyn et al., supra note 89, at 743 (discussing the inflexibility of formal international lawmaking).

99 Id. at 739 (stressing how existing conventions in one area of law make the conclusion of new treaties difficult).

100 See, e.g., Hersch Lauterpacht, The Function of Law in the International Community 248–50 (1933) (addressing the problem of change in the international sphere.

101 See Niklas Luhmann, The Differentiation of Society 94 (Stephen Holmes & Charles Larmore trans., Colum. Univ. Press 1982) (discussing alterability as a main characteristic of law).

102 See, e.g., Jan Klabbers, The Redundancy of Soft Law, 65 Nordic J. Int’l L. 167, 181 (1996) (discussing the discussion about “binding or less binding” legal norms).

103 Allott, supra note 4, at 404.

104 Bruno Simma, From Bilateralism to Community Interest in International Law, 250 Collected Courses of the Hague Acad. Int’l L. 217 (1994); Benedict Kingsbury & Megan Donaldson, From Bilateralism to Publicness in International Law, in From Bilateralism to Community Interest: Essays in Honour of Judge Bruno Simma 79, 81 (Ulrich Fastenrath et al. eds., 2011).

105 Allott, supra note 4, at 409.

106 Mortimer Sellers, What Is the Rule of Law and Why Is It So Important?, in Democracy and Rule of Law in the European Union: Essays ins Honour of Jaap W. de Zwaan 3, 6 (Flora A.N.J. Goudappel & Ernst M.H. Hirsch Ballin eds., 2016).

107 Martti Koskenniemi, Between Coordination and Constitution: International Law as a German Discipline, 15 Redescriptions 45, 63 (2011) (labeling the lens of legal order as a German academic approach that emphasizes consistency more than other legal orders).

108 See Andrea Bianchi, International Law Theories: An Inquiry Into Different Ways of Thinking 38–39 (2016) (discussing legal order as a main stream idea).

109 Ralf Michaels & Joost Pauwelyn, Conflict of Norms or Conflict of Laws?: Different Techniques in the Fragmentation of Public International Law, 22 Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L. 349, 375 (2012).

110 Andreas Fischer-Lescano & Gunther Teubner, Regime Collisions: The Vain Search for Legal Unity in the Fragmentation of Global Law, 25 Mich. J. Int’l L. 999, 1017 (2004). Mario Prost, The Concept of Unity in Public International Law (2012) (criticizing the narrative discourse of unity).

111 Koskenniemi, supra note 107, at 63 (criticizing the perception of international law as a system).

112 See Jean D’Aspremont, Formalism and the Sources of International Law: A Theory of the Ascertainment of Legal Rules (2011) (discussing of the formalist understanding of the sources of international law).

113 See, e.g., Benedict Kingsbury & Lorenzo Casini, Global Administrative Law: Dimensions of International Organizations Law, 6 Int’l. Orgs. L. Rev. 319, 333 (2009) (regarding common procedural principles); see also Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization [ILO] Judgment No. 2991, para. 13 (Feb. 2, 2011) (indicating that international administrative tribunals have started to refer to general principles of international civil service law); World Bank Administrative Tribunal, De Merode et al v. The World Bank, Decision No. 1, para. 28 (June 5, 1981).

114 Eyal Benvenisti, The Conception of International Law as a Legal System, 50 German Y.B. Int’l L. 393, 402 (2008); see, e.g., Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation (Margaret A. Young ed., 2012) (discussing fragmentation in general; Anne Peters, Fragmentation and Constitutionalisation, in Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law 1011 (Anne Orford & Florian Hoffmann eds., 2016).

115 See Mattias Wendel, Permeabilität im europäischen Verfassungsrecht (2011) (discussing the concept of permeability of legal orders).

116 See, e.g., Carol Harlow, Global Administrative Law: The Quest for Principles and Values, 17 Eur. J. Int’l L. 187, 190 (2006) (tying back global administrative law standards to domestic law principles).

117 See, e.g., Case 6339/05, Evans v. the United Kingdom, Grand Chamber Decision of 10 April 2007, paras. 79, 90 (as an example of the “European consensus” standard in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights).

118 Pauwelyn et al., supra note 89, at 743. However, other political motivations might have contributed to this development such as e.g. third world approaches which aspired to changing international law making processes, see Bianchi, supra note 108, at 214.

119 Laurence R. Helfer, Nonconsensual International Lawmaking, 2008 Univ. Ill. L. Rev. 71, 79–90 (2008); see also Pauwelyn et al., supra note 89, at 743.

120 Here again, interpretation provides a mechanism, albeit limited, for development.

121 See, e.g., U.N. Econ. & Soc. Council, Comm. No. 15 of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the Right to Water, U.N. Doc. E/C.12/2002/11 (2003),

122 See Lauterpacht, supra note 100, at 254–57.

123 See The Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Draft Copenhagen Declaration (Feb. 5, 2018) (presenting a recent critique of the jurisprudence of ECHR by member states); see, e.g., Monica Hakimi, Secondary Human Rights Law, 34 Yale J. Int’l L. 596, 599 (2009) (discussing the critique of expert bodies engaging in “aggressive interpretations”).

124 Eckart Klein, Impact of Treaty Bodies on the International Legal Order, in Developments of International Law in Treaty Making 571, 575 (Rüdiger Wolfrum & Volker Röben eds., 2005) (discussing the norm-creating function of expert bodies).

125 See, e.g., Daragh Murray, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Armed Groups (2016).

126 Allott, supra note 4, at 404

127 Id. at 404.

128 Whereas the coordination of private law has been attempted by organizations such as the Hague Conference on Private International Law, UNCITRAL, and UNIDROIT, the outcome is still a long way from a harmonized global private law.

129 See, e.g., Bogdandy, supra note 87, at 519, 527–28; see also Christian Joerges, Recht und Politik in der Krise Europas: Die Wirkungsgeschichte einer verunglückten Konfiguration, 66 Merkur 1013 (2012).

130 These approaches include various critical legal scholars, TWAIL scholars, and Marxist scholars such as David W. Kennedy, A New Stream of International Legal Scholarship, 7 Wis. Int’l L.J. 1 (1988); see also Martti Koskenniemi, The Politics of International Law, 1 Eur. J. Int’l L. 4 (1990); B.S. Chimni, An Outline of A Marxist Course on Public International Law, 17 Leiden J. Int’l L. 1 (2004); Anghie, supra note 83.

131 See, e.g., Kennedy, supra note 130, at 1,7.

132 See Cerar, supra note 48, at 36.

133 Philip Allott, Eunomia: New Order For A New World 304 (2001) (criticizing the concept of “conceiving of international law as the self-limiting of equal sovereigns”).

134 See Jack L. Goldsmith & Eric A. Posner, The Limits of International Law (2006) (presenting a skeptical view of whether international law can in fact restrain the interest based relations between states); but see Jens David Ohlin, The Assault on International Law (2015) (criticizing this approach).

135 Christoph Möllers, The Three Branches: A Comparative Model of Separation of Powers 189 (2013).

136 See discussion, supra Section B.III. (presenting the term jurisdictio).

137 See Jure Vidmar, Norm Conflicts and Hierarchy in International Law: Towards a Vertical International Legal System?, in Hierarchy in International Law: The Place of Human Rights 13 (Erica DeWet & Jure Vidmar eds., 2012) (opining as to the merely limited trumping impact of jus cogens norms on other international law norms).

138 See, e.g., Rain Liivoja, The Scope of the Supremacy Clause of the United Nations Charter, 57 Int’l Comp. L.Q. 583 (2008) (discussing the mitigated precedence of the UN Charter over conflicting obligations of the member States).

139 See, e.g., Benedict Kingsbury, The Administrative Law Frontier in Global Governance, 99 Am. Soc. Int’l L. 143 (2005) (exemplifying the broad accountability discussion); see also Armin Von Bogdandy & Ingo Venzke, In Whose Name? A Public Law Theory of International Adjudication 111 et seq (2014) (discussing international public authority).

140 See, e.g. CJEU, Joint Cases C-402/ 05 P & C-415/05 P, Kadi & Al Barakaat, ECLI:EU:C:2008:461, Judgement of 3 September 2008; see also CJEU, Joint Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P & C-595/10 P, Kadi II, ECLI:EU:C:2013:518, Judgment of 18 July 2013.

141 A prominent example of this is domestic courts diminishing the broad immunity of international organizations. See, e.g., Siedler (S.M.) v. Union de l’Europe Occidentale, Cours d’Appel de Bruxelles [CA] [Court of Appeals in Brussels] Sept. 17, 2003, Journal des Tribunaux [JT], 2004, 617; Unesco v. Boulois, Tribunal de grande instance de Paris [TGI] [ordinary court of original jurisdiction] Paris, Oct. 20, 1997, Rev. Arb. 575; Cour d’Appel [CA] [regional court of appeal] Paris, 14e ch., June 19, 1998, xxiv Yearbook Commercial Arbitration 294; see also August Reinisch, To What Extent Can and Should National Courts “Fill the Accountability Gap”?, 10 Int’l Orgs. L. Rev. 572 (2014).

142 Possible perspectives on this question include “international public authority” and “global administrative law”, see, e.g., The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions: Advancing International Institutional Law (Armin von Bogdandy et al. eds., 2010); Benedict Kingsbury & Richard B. Stewart, Legitimacy and Accountability in Global Regulatory Governance: The Emerging Global Administrative Law and the Design and Operation of Administrative Tribunals of International Organizations, in International Administrative Tribunals in A Changing World: United Nations Administrative Tribunal Conference: Organized Under the Auspices of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, New York, Friday, 9 November 2007 193 (Katerina Papanikolaou ed., 2008).

143 See, e.g., Philippines v. China, Case No. 2013-19, Award, (Perm Ct. Arb. 2016) (giving rise to China’s rejection of this decision; see also Russian Federation Judgement No. 12-П/2016 of April 19, 2016 of the Constitutional Court, (rejecting a full-fledged execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Anchugov and Gladkov v Russia, App Nos. 11157/04 and 15162/05, Decision of 4 July 2013); the decision by the Danish Supreme Court of 6 December 2016, Case No. 15/2014 (setting aside the CJEU judgement of 19 April 2016, Case C-441/14, Dansk Industri).

144 This includes the withdrawal of Burundi and the Philippines—as well as the attempted withdrawals of South Africa and Gambia—from the International Criminal Court.

145 An example of this is the recent litigation against the UN brought on behalf of the cholera victims in Haiti—where a United States Federal Court of Appeals panel upheld the immunity of the UN in an August 18, 2016 decision.

146 See Dana Burchardt, Die Rangfrage im europäischen Normenverbund (2015) (discussing this intertwinement and its conceptualization).

147 See, e.g., Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Dec. 15, 2015, 140 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 317; see also Conseil Constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Court] decision No. 2006-540 DC, July 27 2006 (Fr.) (identifying constitutional identity as one element of domestic constitutional law used to limit power); Polish Constitutional Court, decision of 24 November 2010, K 32/09 (same); Ústavní soud České republiky (ÚS), 26.11.2008 [Decision of the Czech Constitutional Court of November 26, 2008] Pl. US. 19/08 (Czech) (same); Corte Cost., 23 novembre 2016, n. 24/2017 (It.) (same); Alkotmánybíróság (AB) [Hungarian Constitutional Court], November 30, 2016, 22/2016. (XII. 5.) (Hung.) (same).

148 See, e.g., Kriszta Kovács, The Rise of an Ethnocultural Constitutional Identity in the Jurisprudence of the East Central European Courts, 18 German L.J. 1703 (2017); Gábor Halmai, National(ist) Constitutional Identity? Hungary’s Road to Abuse Constitutional Pluralism, EUI Working Paper LAW 2017/08.

* Dr. iur., postdoctoral researcher at Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin Potsdam Research Group “International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?”.

The Functions of Law and their Challenges: The Differentiated Functionality of International Law

  • Dana Burchardt


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