ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 3 december 2018

AJIL SYMPOSIUM: Anthony CARTY replies to B.S. CHIMNI, "Customary International Law: A Third World Perspective" (AJIL CXII (2018), 319-323)

(image source: Cambridge Core)

B.S. Chimni's study of customary international law (CIL) is a review of its role both as a supporter of the existing global capitalist order and as a potential instrument to challenge that order in favor of a postmodern deliberative reasoning as the shaper of a new CIL. It has been my view, since the The Decay of International Law? in 1986, that general customary international law is not an intelligible concept and not actually used in practice to demonstrate empirically the existence of any rule of law. I follow Hans Morgenthau, who wrote in 1940 in the American Journal of International Law that the manner in which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) uses this concept is to decide what it likes and call it customary law. I reiterated this view in my review of the ICJ in the first edition of my Philosophy of International Law in 2007. While Chimni quotes my writings on general custom frequently and very positively in his article, this is always to support a progressive customary law and never to do what I would propose, which is to make a complete break with CIL in favor of an independent approach to the problems it is supposed to answer.

Read the whole response for free on Cambridge Core.