Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 May 2012
Matthias and I clearly agree on a great deal: a voluntarist approach to defining public international law is unsatisfactory; any rule of recognition in international law must provide a basis for a link between legality and legitimacy; one of the central contributions that law can make to international society is procedural in nature. However, our respective positions on the utility of a binary distinction between law and not-law have significant impacts on our approaches. We are both concerned, I think, with preserving the autonomy of politics – with ensuring that politics (or, more specifically, international public authority) do not come to be invaded by law. My own concern with preserving the autonomy of law leads me to two conclusions with which Matthias would take issue: that international public authority must be constituted by law; and that the rules which those authorities administer must be treated differently, depending on whether or not they meet a set of formal criteria that legal rules must satisfy. I will also address Matthias's discussion of Lon L. Fuller's internal morality of law and Benedict Kingsbury's concept of publicness in international law. I believe that both sets of concepts may be useful to Matthias's argument and deserve further attention. First, however, I would like to explore what it means, or could mean, to cut off the head of the king.
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