Journal Article

Unity, Diversity and the Fragmentation of International Law: How Much Does the Multiplication of International Organizations Really Matter?

Mario Prost and Paul Kingsley Clark

in Chinese Journal of International Law

Volume 5, issue 2, pages 341-370
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 1540-1650
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1746-9937 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chinesejil/jml022
Unity, Diversity and the Fragmentation of International Law: How Much Does the Multiplication of International Organizations Really Matter?

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Abstract

It seems to be presumed by many that the simple multiplication of international organizations (IOs) weakens the unity and integrity of international law. There is, in reality, nothing obvious in this assumption. First, there needs to be evidence of duplication or overlaps in the various competences of IOs. Second, it needs to be proven that, in the instances in which the activities of IOs do overlap, such overlap translates into competition, divergence or conflict. Last, and most importantly, rival or competing activities must be of normative significance. This essay proposes to address the preliminary question which, in fact, precedes and underpins all the others as regards the multiplication of IOs and international legal unity: how do IOs matter in the making of international law? IOs, we argue, are more shapers than makers of international law and their multiplication is therefore not a source of increased chaos in the international normative puzzle.

Journal Article.  15874 words. 

Subjects: International Law

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