Matthew Parish 1
  • 1 International Law Firm ‘Holman Fenwick Willan’, University of Geneva (Switzerland), 13-15 Cours de Rive, Geneva, 1204 Switzerland

International law and International Organizations: The Legacy of the Twentieth Century

2014. No. 2. P. 124–141 [issue contents]
Parish Matthew - English Barrister, Partner at the International Law Firm ‘Holman Fenwick Willan’, Lecturer at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Address: 13-15  Cours de Rive, Geneva, 1204 Switzerland. E-mail: matthew.parish@hfw.com. 

The growth in international law is not just a matter of an ever-increasing number of treaties. There has also been a considerable growth in what is known as “customary international law”, being the writings of scholars, principles of international law that grow out of the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals, and the writings of international organizations themselves. Like all forms of law, international law is susceptible to interminable growth. Unlike other branches of law, it is not subject to any democratic check. It is driven by academics, pressure groups, and international organizations, international political institutions who have every interest in there being ever more international law with which to sustain them. The lingering concern is that the growth of international law absorbs money and time, without being developed in the context of a proper policy debate. International law is far more than the signature of treaties between states that see mutual advantage in cooperation. It purports to be a global order of moral principles regulating the conduct of states. Yet states have far more economic and military power than the institutions that administer international law, which calls into question the notion that international law can ever change the balance of power. A curious confluence of interests between states and international organizations means that international law can grow ever more, but persists in having remarkably little effect upon the underlying dynamics of international relations.
Citation: Parish M. (2014) International law and International Organizations: The Legacy of the Twentieth Century. Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki, no 2, pp. 124-141. (in English)
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