B. Limits of traditional international law

Structurally, international regulation is an appropriate response to global developments since it is able to govern transboundary technical, economic and legal issues. It should not be forgotten, however, that international law currently consists of a patchwork of different legal instruments. It is limited to minimal rules which nation states have been willing to agree on, following tough negotiations. It therefore tends only to address a limited and fragmented field.[1] Furthermore, international law lacks a constitution as a fundamental source and basis of law. It possesses neither legislative nor administrative agencies to produce regulations and does not have a general judiciary in place with plenary jurisdiction over disputes that arise.[2]

Contemporary international law tends to acknowledge a wider definition of international law, according to which it is no longer limited to relations between nation states, but generally accepts the increasing role ofother international players such as individual human beings, international organizations and juridical en- tities.[3] Indeed, history and present experience show that general principles of international law can be developed under different social circumstances, as the enormous number of non-state (‘private’) regulations that shape and rule transnational banking relations, issued by private standard-setting bodies and business associations, clearly demonstrate.[4]

  • [1] Thomas Cottier, ‘Multilayered Governance, Pluralism, and Moral Conflict’, 16(2) IndianaJournal of Global Legal Studies 647 (2009), at 648.
  • [2] Ibid, at 648—50.
  • [3] Samantha Besson, The Morality of Conflict: Reasonable Disagreement and the Law (Oxford andPortland: Hart Publishing, 2005) 534—5.
  • [4] Rainer Nickel, ‘Participatory Transnational Governance’, in Christian Joerges and Ernst-UlrichPetersmann (eds), Constitutionalism, Multilevel Trade Governance and Social Regulation (Oxford andPortland: Hart Publishing, 2006), 157—98 at 157, 162.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >