Chapter

Forums of Fairness

Thomas M. Franck

in Fairness in International Law and Institutions

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198267850
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683398 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267850.003.0015
Forums of Fairness

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Since legitimacy and justice together constitute fairness which is perceived as such, it is inevitable that fairness discourse will, in large measure, take the form of attempts to reconcile claims of legitimacy with those of distributive justice. Much of this book has been devoted to demonstrating that this discourse now takes place throughout the international system. Notions of fairness are incorporated in the rule structures applicable to the sea bed, continental shelves and international rivers, the ozone layer, outer space and the moon, Antarctica, and tropical forests. Fairness discourse is necessary for the implementation of international human rights, self-determination, collective security, and free trade. This discursive enterprise consists primarily of advancing claims and testing them against rival claims based on alternative values: national security, self-interest, economic efficiency, and others. Since fairness discourse is central to the concept of fairness in international law and institutions, attention must be paid to how the discourse is organised: who has a voice and how decisions are reached.

Keywords: legitimacy; justice; fairness; international law; distributive justice; human rights; collective security; free trade

Chapter.  3491 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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