In April 2013, the US Supreme Court left a mark on the spatiality of law. In a decision on human rights violations in Nigeria, state territoriality served as a technique to rule out the application of transnational law against private corporations. Paradoxically, the private actor turned out to be the primary beneficiary of this jurisdictional territorialism. Drawing on work in critical geography, the article argues that this was only possible against the background of a certain geographical knowledge as reproduced in the course of legal practice. The corporate production of space consisted of a ‘private use of territoriality’ to resist the extraterritorial application of law and thus transnational state regulation. During a spatial analysis of a number of the 82 amicus curiae briefs to Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, the article reveals how the geographical configurations of our contemporary order not only withstand transnational challenges, but are even reproduced transnationally by a multiplicity of state and non-state actors. While international law builds upon and reproduces territoriality as a foundational principle of global normativity, it also provides the means for the doing away with territoriality. In order to demonstrate how legal practice contributes to a critical reproduction of normativity on different scales (national and international, local and global), the article establishes a spatial gaze on transnational relations at work.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Liste: Geographical knowledge at work: Human rights litigation and transnational territoriality
Philip Liste (Univ. of Hamburg - Political Science & Global Governance) has posted Geographical knowledge at work: Human rights litigation and transnational territoriality (European Journal of International Relations, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: