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18:00 - 19:00 2 June 2015

The stagnation of international law


Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre | 25 Gordon Street (link Map)
London | WC1H 0AY | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Joost Pauwelyn, Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland and Co-Director of the Institute’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI).

Formal international law is stagnating both in terms of quantity and quality. It is increasingly superseded by “informal international lawmaking” involving new actors, new processes and new outputs. On many occasions, the traditional structures of formal lawmaking have become shackles, but informal structures can also limit freedom. Informal lawmaking must therefore be kept accountable, through tailor-made accountability mechanisms, especially toward stakeholders not involved in the network but affected by it. In this respect, we witness the slow emergence of procedural meta-norms against which informal cooperation forms ought to be checked, which we refer to as “thick stakeholder consensus” imposing limits in respect of actors (authority), process and output. Intriguingly, this benchmark may be normatively superior (rather than inferior) to the validation requirements of traditional international law, coined here as “thin state consent”.


Monica Barbone
+44 (0)20 3108 9289 | m.barbone@ucl.ac.uk


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