Friday, December 17, 2010

Singh: Is There Third World Approaches to International Law?

Prabhakar Singh (Jindal Global Law School) has posted Is There Third World Approaches to International Law? Here's the abstract:
Modern critical legal thinking is pivoted on the critique of universalism. The critique of international law’s universalism has been done through theoretical workouts. Consequently, the new international legal scholarship is able to accommodate novel movements and intellectuals. TWAIL is such a movement. It has focused on capturing the relation between international law and the production of disadvantage for the subalterns of diverse geographies. However, self-satisfaction of legal scholars aside, is social-science-type discourse seeding the various parts – economic, human rights and humanitarian law – of positive international law? After all, how many judgments of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ), among other international courts, have ever mentioned “thinkers”? Given that all these international institutions operate with a treaty based constitutional mandate, lawyers have begun to think international law in constitutional terms. I will use Chimni’s scholarship to introduce the idea of TWAIL and Žižek’s “suspension of the law” to evaluate TWAIL’s criticality.