THE PRESIDENT’S WORD

CRISIS OR COLLAPSE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW?

 

I have been involved in international law for about 50 years, and I have heard for almost as long that international law is in crisis. It was said to be so as it got shaken by the new States born out of the decolonization process when I first became interested in the field in the second half of the 1960s (yes – already!). It was still so when Prosper Weil in his famous pamphlet on relative normativity referred to the “pathology of the international normative system” in the early 1980s. After the ephemeral euphoria of the first half of the 1990s, it was again so, for other reasons, when the United States attacked Iraq and, less conjuncturally, because of globalization and the new understanding of international law that it has imposed. And, it is even more than ever in crisis today with… there is ample choice: the systematic demolition of the post-war international order by Donald Trump, the dubious annexation of Crimea by Russia, the refusal of several States (China, Colombia, Croatia) to respect judgments or arbitral awards that prove them wrong, etc.

As Jean-Marc Sauvé, the former Vice-President of the French Conseil d’État, said recently in a remarkable speech to the European Society of International Law: “notre époque semble marquer une double rupture : la crise n’est plus ponctuelle ou périodique, elle est devenue permanente ; elle ne nous éclaire plus sur le sens d’une évolution ; elle est devenue source d’indécision, de désordres et d’incertitudes quant à ses causes et ses effets, à son diagnostic et ses remèdes. Les crises […]

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  • 40 years of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

    In 1976, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development […]

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