International law and other disciplines, sciences and arts

Forum 6: International Law and Philosophy: The Legitimacy Deficits of International Law

International law broadens its domains, increases in specificity and bolsters its effectiveness. Such increased impact spurs challenges: with what right does such law and its bodies claim authority, that other actors on international arenas should defer, on issues ranging from human rights and criminal law to investment, trade and the environment? The history of international law is replete with calls and responses to such challenges, from Grotius, Pufendorf, Vattel and Kant onwards.

The forum draws on the tradition and recent contributions to explore three clusters of contested normative standards for international law as its impact expands, not least with the recent growth of international courts and tribunals. Such standards and how to institutionalize them have received much but not sufficient attention in recent contributions. Regarding origins: the normative significance of consent by sovereign states and other bases of legitimacy; Concerning function of international institutions: what sort of accountability – democratic, professional and otherwise – is required whilst compatible with the requisite independence?  And concerning effects: how does actual compliance and lack thereof affect the legitimacy of international law?

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