Cynical International LawSymposium

From speaking truth to power to speaking power’s truth

Transnational judicial activism in an increasingly illiberal world

From San José to Karlsruhe, Strasbourg to New Delhi, in both the Global North and South, judges have been at the forefront of the establishment of a new jus gentium common to all humankind. Implicit in this narrative, however, lies the idea that transnational judicial activism has inherent progressive outcomes: the rule of law, human rights, or liberalism tout court are the necessary products of these new forms of judicial …

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Interview

Debating Cosmopolitan Law

An interview with Immanuel Kant and Georg Friedrich von Martens (Part II)

This is the second part of a fictional conversation with Immanuel Kant and Georg Friedrich von Martens. These two outstanding scholars never met face-to-face in real life but come together for a fictional debate, set sometime in the year 1801 in a country house a few miles outside of Königsberg. The matter in dispute will be Kant’s idea of a cosmopolitan law. Von Martens, much as he respected Kant, was critical …

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Interview

Debating Cosmopolitan Law

An interview with Immanuel Kant and Georg Friedrich von Martens (Part I)

This fictional conversation will bring together two persons of outstanding importance for science in the late 18th and early 19th century who never met face-to-face. One was a professor of logic and metaphysics from Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), the other a professor of natural and international law from Göttingen. The former revolutionised philosophy through his critical method, the latter paved the way for the modern discipline of international law. Their names …

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