Seminar: Jorge Fabra – A Concept of Global Law

The seminar will discuss some attempts to offer a systematic account of what global law is. Jorge Fabra will begin his seminar by attacking the most important elucidations of the concept available in the literature — those advanced by William Twinning, Günther Teubner, and Neil Walker. Then, he will present some methodological clarifications regarding the value of a jurisprudential account of the concept of global law. Finally, he will propose his own account of the concept of global law. His account distinguishes between three phenomena: (1) ‘global legal norms’, norms that do not belong to any particular jurisdiction, but emerge from the interaction of different legal orders; (2) ‘global legal orders’, i.e. sets of primary and secondary norms (e.g. lex mercatoria); and, more importantly, (3) the ‘fundamental norms of the international community’, i.e. norms that constitute the international legal order. He claims that these three sets of norms seem to have two particular moral features: They seem to be the only kinds of legal norms that are genuinely inescapable, and, they play an important role actualizing the demands of global justice.

Jorge will also argue that we should distinguish between “classic international law” and the third sense of “global law”. While the former is more suited to characterize norms that represent the interests of states and other actors, the latter is a different category of norms that do not reflect the particular interest of any state or any other actors, but the interests of humanity as a whole. In this sense, the third type of global law characterizes a form of emerging “public” law, with a particular complex rule of recognition that claims to be based on the interests of a putative international community.

Discussant: Professor Neil Walker

This event is kindly sponsored by the Global Justice Academy

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