Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Singh: How Should the Third World See Constitutionalism in International Law?

Prabhakar Singh (Jindal Global Law School) has posted How Should the Third World See Constitutionalism in International Law? Here's the abstract:
A survey of international law scholarship throws up three kinds of approaches: constitutional, pluralistic and global administrative law (GAL). What is there for the Third World to choose? Both international law and constitutional law are colonial gifts. India in particular and Third World in general is slightly obsessed with a constitutional imagery as seen in the India-Quantitative Restriction Case at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Therefore, it depends; Chimni approaches GAL from a Third World perspective (TWAIL) whereas Koskenniemi prefers constitutionalism. Constitutional vocabularies are often used to address the United Nations (UN) Charter, the WTO, and the European Union (EU). The diversity of legal regimes presents a problem of harmonisation within the monism-dualism ideology of international law. With the increasing assertion of the EU as a strong dualist normative laboratory, new scholarship is replacing constitutionalism by pluralism as the preferred but defensive ideology – the definition of constitutionalism stands upside down now. After the European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s Kadi judgement, pluralism and constitutionalism stand in opposite camps. This paper attempts to address this international constitutional confusion. It ends on an open note: there are issues that cannot be concluded and constitutionalism as an ideology remains, as is often the case, a non-concluded question for an eternally observing Third World.