While the rule of law is the cornerstone of the international legal order, the analysis of intergovernmental instruments, statements made by States, and negotiation records, indicates that within the UN the rule of law has grown increasingly contested in the past years, culminating at the post-2015 process leading to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This research article, first, sets out the background of the rule of law debate at the UN, followed by analysis of the rule of law elements in the 2030 Agenda, and finally, explores whether the rule of law is a universal concept that carries normative authority, in particular within the SDGs framework. Reflections drawn from the post-2015 process illustrate that the rule of law - or at least the “thick” understanding of the concept - is in decline in institutional and normative contexts. Simultaneously with the broadening of the rule of law - with more substance and interpretations attached to it - its normative specificity is being diluted, which creates uncertainty and disagreement among States on its core content. This conceptual weakness impacts also the implementation of the rule of law elements in the 2030 Agenda, and can be perceived as symptomatic of a broader crisis of the international legal order.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Arajärvi: The Rule of Law in the 2030 Agenda
Noora Arajärvi (Berlin/Potsdam Research Group "The International Rule of Law - Rise or Decline?") has posted The Rule of Law in the 2030 Agenda (Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: