Chapter

Are we Moving towards Constitutionalization of the World Community?

Anne Peters

in Realizing Utopia

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691661
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738593 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.003.0010
Are we Moving towards Constitutionalization of the World Community?

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In the past twenty years international law has evolved quite dramatically. Many aspects of this evolution can be described and interpreted as constitutionalization in the sense of an evolution from an international order based on some organizing principles such as state sovereignty, consensualism, non-use of force to an international legal order which acknowledges and has creatively appropriated principles and values of domestic constitutionalism. Constitutionalization is a matter of degree. It is an ongoing but not linear process, and is often disrupted. It is not all-encompassing, but is accompanied by antagonist trends. The constitutionalization process of international law is mainly driven by academics and to some extent by international courts, not by governments and treaty-makers. Nevertheless, the constitutionalist discourse has the merit of uncovering the structural deficiencies of current international law and assessing them in a new light. This chapter points to a set of failings of the present ‘constitutionalization’ of international law and suggest ways of moving forward towards a more ‘constitutionalized’ international society.

Keywords: international law; international order; constitutionalization; non-use of force

Chapter.  8603 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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