Dualism in the Face of a Changing Legal Culture

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Dualism in the Face of a Changing Legal Culture

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This chapter offers some brief observations as to the interplay of public international law and domestic law (whether common law or statutory) in the United Kingdom courts. One important question is whether it is appropriate for international courts directly to address their findings to national courts, rather than to governments. Yet a further interesting topic is the extent to which international judicial decisions are binding within domestic legal systems. The starting point of the relationship between international law and domestic law lies in the legal theories of dualism and monism. Problems relating to the status of international organisations in English law afford further interesting examples of developing attitudes. If human rights law has underpinned some of the changing attitudes, the second strand of a developing international culture underpinning domestic judicial decision-making may reasonably be perceived as beginning with the Tin Council litigation. This change in legal culture has also meant that frequent invitations by counsel to the courts to apply the Buttes Gas doctrine of non-justiciability have not been acceded to.

Keywords: United Kingdom; international law; domestic law; dualism; monism; national courts; judicial decisions; international organisations; legal culture; non-justiciability

Chapter.  6539 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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