Archive for moral philosophy

Discussion Paper: “The Concept of International Law” by John Linarelli

Posted in Discussion Papers and Commentary, General Thoughts and Comments with tags , , , on March 24, 2009 by jeremyleong

We have posted a new discussion paper on international law and moral philosophy: “The Concept of International Law” by John Linarelli. This very thought provoking piece will be presented an ASIL International Legal Theory Interest Group panel at the Annual ASIL Meeting later this week. Linarelli offers a fresh take on what the enterprise of analytical jurisprudence can do for international law. He examines connected concepts of “normativity”, “validity” and “justice” and puts forth, for discussion, a contractualist account of global justice.

 

The paper can be found at:- http://fletcher.tufts.edu/FILA/pdf/FILADiscussionPaperNo0209.pdf. As always, comments are welcome.

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Lunchtime Talk: Listening to What Developing Countries Say in Disbelief: Robert E. Hudec’s Complex Legacy by Prof. C.L. Lim (HKU)

Posted in Discussion Papers and Commentary, Upcoming Events and Announcements with tags , , , , on February 10, 2009 by jeremyleong

FILA…, in association with the Fletcher School‘s International Law Society, invites you to a lunchtime talk by Prof. C.L. Lim, Professor of Law and Associate Dean at Hong Kong University.

 

*LISTENING TO WHAT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SAY IN DISBELIEF: ROBERT HUDEC’S COMPLEX LEGACY*

by

Prof. C. L. Lim, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Hong Kong University Law School

With a special introduction by Prof. Joel P. Trachtman, Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School

*
Lunch shall be provided

Date/Time: 5th March 2009/12.45 pm to 2.30 pm

Venue: The Crowe Room, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy

Kindly RSVP to Jeremy Leong at jeremy.leong@tufts.edu <mailto:jeremy.leong@tufts.edu> (places are limited)

Prof. Lim will speak on international trade law and distributive justice in the development context. In what he terms as the “conventional morality” of trade, Prof. Lim will address existing theories on trade law and developing countries and revisit the legacy of the late Robert E. Hudec. In so doing, build a new paradigm in understanding both the receptiveness and the bias today against arguments about right and wrong in trade law and policy.

More information on the event and the speaker may be found at http://fletcher.tufts.edu/FILA/pdf/Fletcher_5March2009.pdf.

 

 

Discussion Paper: “Doing Justice: The Politics and Economics of International Distributive Justice” by Joel Trachtman

Posted in Discussion Papers and Commentary, General Thoughts and Comments with tags , , , , on November 24, 2008 by jeremyleong

 

We just posted a discussion paper by Prof. Joel Trachtman. This paper was presented at a recent ASIL conference on distributive justice and international economic law. (See https://fletcherfila.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/asil-symposium-on-distributive-justice-and-international-economic-law/) To an extent, this short piece is like the interdisciplinary law scholar’s manifesto. Essentially, Trachtman sketches out the different roles that political science, economics and sociology can play in distributive justice discourse.

 

Importantly, he identifies each discipline’s strengths and weaknesses as analytical tools and where one discipline can cover the weaknesses of the other. His point? The endeavor of distributive justice is itself interdisciplinary. Has Trachtman taken morality discourse away from the exclusive domain of the moral philosopher and placed it in all our hands?

 

I don’t think so. If anything, Trachtman has provided a framework in which moral discourse which finds itself in a legal framework can be critiqued. For example, suppose one argues that Law A should be enacted because it provides distributive justice in a strictly Rawl-sian sense. Trachtman would point out that this argument suffers from “limited consensus”; “limited knowledge of causation”; “limited knowledge of remedies”; or “limited inducement”. Read the paper to find out what he means by this.

 

Different disciplines simply bring different notions of normativity. Moral normativity and legal normativity are merely pieces of the human puzzle. Maybe the complexity of human thought makes it difficult for us to wantonly rule out anything analytical tool. Yet, thanks to Trachtman, at least we have a framework in which we can evaluate the utility of those tools.

 

The paper can be found at http://fletcher.tufts.edu/FILA/pdf/FILADiscussionPaperNo0108.pdf.

 

As always, please feel free to respond or comment.

  

ASIL Symposium on “Distributive Justice and International Economic Law”

Posted in Upcoming Events and Announcements with tags , , , , on October 26, 2008 by jeremyleong

ASIL’s International Legal Theory Interest Group will be hosting a symposium on “Distributive Justice and International Economic Law” in Washington D.C. on November 7, 2008.

 

“This symposium focuses on the role of distributive justice (e.g. questions about the fair allocation of primary goods under international economic law) and how international economic law may intrude upon the basic structure of domestic societies. The symposium seeks to explore this subject by examining its foundations, applications, and critiques.”

 

“Speakers include, Joel Trachtman (Fletcher), Daniel Butt (Oxford), Jeff Dunoff (Temple/Harvard), Carol Gould (Temple), Robert Hockett (Cornell), Aaron James (UC Irvine), Jan Klabbers (Helsinki), Chin Leng Lim (Hong Kong), Sanjay Reddy (Columbia), Kamal Saggi (Southern Methodist), Barbara Stark (West Virginia) Fernando Tesón (Florida State), Chantal Thomas (Cornell/Am. U. Cairo), Frank Garcia (Boston), John Linarelli (La Verne/Northeastern), Chi Carmody (Western Ontario), etc.”

 

It promises to be an exciting inter-disciplinary event featuring international law, moral philosophy and economics.

 

For more information:- http://www.asil.org/activities_calendar.cfm?action=detail&rec=38.

 

Constitutionalism and International Law: Clarity from “Impurity”

Posted in General Thoughts and Comments, Journal Watch with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2008 by jeremyleong

There has been resurgence in discourse relating to the relationship between domestic constitutional law and international law. Further, perhaps in an effort to re-examine normativity in international relations, there has been increased discussion of the prospects of international constitutionalism. The latest edition of the European Journal of International Law has several such articles:- “Human Rights as International Constitutional Rights” by Stephen Gardbaum and “Human Rights, International Economic Law and ‘Constitutional Justice’” by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, amongst others. Similarly, the latest edition of the International Journal of Constitutional Law features a number of articles which examine the impact of international law on domestic constitutional law and vice versa. Elements of this body of scholarship draw on disciplines such as moral philosophy and rational choice theory.

 

This enterprise is, however, not new. But it has undoubtedly taken on added sophistication. Hans Kelsen was one of the first to think about the relationship between the domestic and the international legal orders. From his “Pure Theory of Law”, Kelsen posited that international law is a source of validity for changes in the basic norms of domestic legal systems. This suggests that all domestic constitutional orders derive validity from international law. Further, this theory is considered “pure” insofar as it is derived from cognition focused on law alone. To Kelsen, an “impure” theory of law would include ingredients of psychology, ethics and other disciplines or ideologies.

 

What would Kelsen say about the “purity” of current interdisciplinary scholarship in international constitutionalism then? Domestic constitutional law scholarship has itself evolved along inter-disciplinary lines. For one, fairness and justice discourse is seldom far away, as evidenced by the works of Rawls and other moral philosophers. Further, public choice theory and other law and economics theories have had significant impact on domestic constitutional law scholarship. I suppose it is only natural for these and other extra-legal disciplines to have had the same effect on international constitutional scholarship and hopefully, increased scrutiny from multiple angles will help clarify the factors that continue to divide the international and domestic spheres. I believe a collection of essays edited by Professors Joel P. Trachtman and Jeffrey Dunoff on this very topic is forthcoming. We shall update you accordingly.