Interaction and Delimitation of International Legal Orders
Abstract: This dissertation concerns developments in international law which are occurring as a result of a coexistence of different regimes for adjudication. It traces the processes through which a treaty regime may develop into an autonomous legal order and considers the formation of relationships between international tribunals operating in regime contexts that embed certain values, political ideals and structural biases.For these purposes, a substantial selection of cases, primarily from EU law, WTO law and international environmental law, are analysed from several points of view.The cases reviewed are those that cross-refer to rulings of other courts or to general international law or other international treaty regimes, either for application or for guidance for what is labelled ‘extrinsically informed interpretation’.References are qualitatively analysed with regard to the legal basis for invoking extraneous norms, the criteria for selecting extrinsic norms by which to be influenced, and the potential impact this has on the rules intrinsic to the regime.Perspectives include jurisdictional limitations placed on dispute settlement bodies set up under regimes and constraints as to the choice of applicable law or the influences that may legitimately be factored into legal interpretation; the perceived role of the court as tasked with the continuous development of a legal discipline, or as merely providing dispute resolution; and the tools available to judicial bodies to confine their delineation of the dispute and the legal solutions to it to its own legal order, by distinguishing or declare redundant references to extrinsic norms or judgments.The various connotations attached to the concept of a ‘self-contained regime’ are critiqued, as are the existing approaches to resolving issues arising from the ‘fragmentation’ of international law.Important analytical aspects are sovereign consent, the uncoordinated formats for international law-making and the role of courts and tribunals in fixating relationships of priority between international legal orders.Finally, the implications of this complex web of legal interrelationship at regime level are discussed in terms of the formation of meta-principles for regulating regime relationships and the repercussions for how we perceive of agency, authority and legitimacy in international law.
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