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Part IV Debates, Ch.48 Fragmentation and Constitutionalization

Anne Peters

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law

Edited By: Anne Orford, Florian Hoffmann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 June 2024

Responsibility of international organizations — Customary international law — General principles of international law — Relationship of international law & host state law — Sources of international law

This chapter discusses fragmentation and constitutionalization—which are understood to be two trends in the evolution of international law. ‘Fragmentation’ has a negative connotation, and is used as a pejorative term (rather than diversity, specialization, or pluralism). ‘Constitutionalization’, in contrast, feeds on the positive ring of the concept of constitution. Both constitutionalization and fragmentation are terms that describe not only legal processes in the real world of law but are also labels for the accompanying discourses (mostly among academics, less so among judges, and even less so among political law-making actors). The putative trends so far do not have a clearly definable end-result, such as a completely fragmented international legal order on the one hand, or a world constitution on the other.

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