Toward a dignity-based account of international law
Scarffe, Eric John
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Since the end of World War II there has been a rapid proliferation of international law and international legal institutions. Once limited to issues in maritime and trade law, today the most recognizable examples of international law govern issues such as human rights, intellectual property, crimes against humanity and armed conflict. In many ways, this proliferation has been a welcomed development. However, when coupled with international law’s decentralized structure, this rapid proliferation has also posed problems for how we (and in particular judges) identify if, when, and where international law exists. This dissertation puts forward a novel, dignity-based account for how we answer these questions. The upshot of my account is two-fold. First, it explains many features of international law that other theories leave unaccounted for or under-explained. And second, my dignity-based account provides for a mechanism through which the system can continue to be developed and improved.