Cynical International LawSymposium

Back in time to Roman Law

Thoughts on an analogy of ‘Abuse of Right’ in International Law

The prohibition of abuse of right calls into question that branch of legal positivism that sees law as a ‘pure’ discipline with necessarily no connection with morality (the so-called exclusive positivism). Law prohibits something that is allowed within its own system, but that is rejected according to other rules (the rules of morality). Is the law therefore flawed? Is it cynical? One might object and say that if the prohibition …



A Pebble in the Shoe

Assessing International Uses of Do No Harm

My paper published in the last edition of ‘Law and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America’ (VRU) is the product of bureaucratic wanderings. Over a number of years, in a meetings on a variety of international topics, I repeatedly heard the same phrase being uttered: “we take a Do No Harm approach.” At first blush, those words had an immediate appeal. Doctors have followed that principle for centuries (primum …