International law derives its authority from its superior position vis-à-vis the nation state. In textbooks on international law it is common to represent the domestic legal order of the nation states at a lower level than the international legal order, which encompasses the various national legal orders. This notion of a hierarchical relationship between the global and the national is at the core of legal and political science approaches to international law, arguably best exemplified by Kelsen’s (1934) theory of law. It also informs representations of the quickly expanding field of international criminal law which invariably place the international war crimes tribunals in The Hague and Arusha above national courts. This verticality is crucial to the legitimacy of these tribunals. They are promoted as impartial adjudicators of large-scale human rights violations and war crimes committed in regions where courts are either not functioning or deeply compromised by particularistic interests.
|Title of host publication||Spatializing Law|
|Subtitle of host publication||An Anthropological Geography of Law in Society|
|Editors||Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||20|
|ISBN (Print)||9780754672913, 9781138274525|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Apr 2009|