Rethinking the National/International Divide

Is there a deep divide between national law and international law? If so what exactly does it consist in and what are its practical implications? Few today would agree with the conceptual claim made by prominent jurists in the 19th century that international law is not law properly so called, because law is tied to sovereignty and there is a no international sovereign. But other questions remain controversial: Is constitutionalism tied to the idea of "We the People" governing themselves through the framework of a national constitution establishing the supreme law on the level of the state? What is at stake when debating whether or not it makes sense to talk of constitutionalism beyond the state? Does international law face special legitimacy issues, because it is not anchored in the democratic practices of a national constitutional community? Does international law suffer from compliance problems that are qualitatively different from compliance problems on the state level? What follows from the answers to these questions for the future of international law and its relationship to domestic law? In this colloquium we will examine these and related themes focusing each week on the work of a prominent legal scholar who has been invited to discuss her work with us.

with presentations by

Shaheed Fatima, Blackstone Chambers London

Samantha Besson, University of Fribourg

Gareth Davies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Miguel Poiares Maduro, European University Institute

Alec Walen, Rutgers University

Peer Zumbansen, York University Toronto

Alexander Somek, University of Iowa

Neil Waker, The University of Edinburgh

Eyal Benvenisti, Tel Aviv University

Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, both Yale Law School

Summer 2012

Convened by

Mattias Kumm

WZB Center for Global Constitutionalism
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Ingolf Pernice

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin