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Journal Article

The Trouble with Global Constitutionalism

01 Jan 2003-Texas International Law Journal (University of Texas, Austin, School of Law Publications, Inc.)-Vol. 38, Iss: 3, pp 527
TL;DR: The notion of "global constitutionalism" was introduced by as discussed by the authors, who argued that international norms are increasingly called upon to play the role that constitutional principles play in the domestic legal order.
Abstract: I. INTRODUCTION It is becoming more and more obvious that those of us who study the American structural constitution need to broaden our horizons. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is the longstanding-if also long-neglected-value of comparative insights from the constitutional experience of other countries. Another is the fact that you tend to get invited on better trips if you do comparative or international law. What I want to talk about today, however, is a more fundamental set of reasons lurking within the title of this symposium. By "globalization," we might mean the blurring of the line between "domestic" and "international" concerns in areas from economic policy to the environment to human rights.1 "Judicialization," on the other hand, signifies a broad change in the way that international law is created and enforced-by the establishment of supranational legislative and interpretive bodies, on the one hand, and sometimes by the direct effect of international norms in domestic fora on the other.2 These tendencies make it increasingly incomplete to think about the institutional balances of federalism and separation of powers in their American context, without also paying heed to the international context in which our institutions operate. My topic today is "global constitutionalism," which is an awfully vague and possibly sinister term. I do not mean to conjure up images of black helicopters disgorging hordes of blue-helmeted UN troops on the Texas capital lawn here in Austin.3 What I mean by "global constitutionalism" is that international norms are increasingly called upon to play the role that constitutional principles play in the domestic legal order. This has been true for some time in the area of international human rights law, which has long striven to protect individuals against governments in much the same way that our own Bill of Rights protects Americans. But international law is more recently coming to overlap with the real heart of constitutional law-the part that constitutes a government by setting up structures for the legislation, interpretation, and enforcement of legal rules. The World Trade Organization agreement, for example, does not simply prescribe rules governing international trade; it also sets up quasi-legislative procedures and adjudicatory institutions for interpreting and enforcing those rules.4 Global constitutionalism has the potential to profoundly alter domestic constitutional balances governing the making and enforcement of American law. When I was little we learned how law was made in America from a three-minute cartoon short called "I'm just a Bill." (All the kids saw this because they broadcast it in between Saturday morning cartoons in a futile attempt to keep our brains from rotting.) The cartoon began with a piece of legislation named Bill, who was "sittin' here on Capitol Hill" in hopes of becoming a law someday. We followed him through committees and floor votes in both houses of Congress until the glorious moment when he was signed by the President and became a law. But we also knew that most of Bill's colleagues-other bills, on other subjects-didn't make it. Thus did everyone learn the rigorous lawmaking gauntlet that Article One of the Constitution prescribes for federal legislation. "I'm just a Bill" was incomplete even before the Lexus met the olive tree.6 Many of us did not realize until we read Justice White's dissent in INS v. Chadha7-many, many years later-that most federal law is not made by Congress but by federal administrative agencies.8 And none of the Schoolhouse Rock cartoons on American government said a word about federalism and state governments-something I've always chalked up to a sinister conspiracy by East Coast liberals to discredit the remnants of "states' rights." But despite the oversimplifications, the two basic truths that Bill taught us remained valid: law in this country is made through an intricate, carefully balanced process that is deliberately designed to be difficult to navigate. …

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors apply the constitutionalist lens to international environmental law and conclude that although individual treaty regimes have constitutional features, international environmental laws as a whole lack the hallmarks of a constitutional order.
Abstract: The surge of interest among international lawyers in "constitutionalism" represents one of several efforts to reconceptualize international governance; others include the research projects on global administrative law and legalization. The paper applies the constitutionalist lens to international environmental law - one of the few fields of international law to which constitutionalist modes of analysis have not yet been applied. Given the protean quality of the terms "constitution" and "constitutionalism," the paper begins by unpacking these concepts. By disaggregating these concepts into a number of separate variables, which have a more determinate, unambiguous meaning, we can answer the question, "is there an international environmental constitution?", in a more nuanced way - not in an all or nothing fashion, but by considering the extent to which international environmental law has constitutional dimensions. The paper concludes that, although individual treaty regimes have constitutional features, international environmental law as a whole lacks the hallmarks of a constitutional order.

45 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors apply the constitutionalist lens to international environmental law and conclude that although individual treaty regimes have constitutional features, international environmental laws as a whole lack the hallmarks of a constitutional order.
Abstract: The surge of interest among international lawyers in "constitutionalism" represents one of several efforts to reconceptualize international governance; others include the research projects on global administrative law and legalization. The article applies the constitutionalist lens to international environmental law—one of the few fields of international law to which constitutionalist modes of analysis have not yet been applied. Given the protean quality of the terms "constitution" and "constitutionalism," the article begins by unpacking these concepts. By disaggregating these concepts into a number of separate variables, which have more determinate, unambiguous meanings, we can answer the question, "Is there an international environmental constitution?", in a more nuanced way—not in an all or nothing fashion, but by considering the extent to which international environmental law has constitutional dimensions. The article concludes that, although individual treaty regimes have constitutional features, international environmental law as a whole lacks the hallmarks of a constitutional order.

37 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: This Seminar is and is meant to be a continuation of the Conference in November 2003 on Developments of International Law in Treaty Making as discussed by the authors, but it was not in the focus either of the conference or of individual contributions.
Abstract: This Seminar is and is meant to be a continuation of the Conference in November 2003 on Developments of International Law in Treaty Making.1 The issue of the legitimacy of new forms of international law-making was touched upon, but it was not in the focus either of the Conference or of the individual contributions. This Seminar should equally be seen as a continuation of the “American-European Dialogue: Different Perceptions of International Law”2 Workshop since it is the question of the legitimacy of international law which is at the roots of such different perceptions.3

27 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the construction of transnational normative orders needs to be placed, in a sociological dimension, on a clearer continuum with classical constitutional models, and that such normative structures extend the original functions of constituent power and rights.
Abstract: This article proceeds from a critical sociological revision of classical constitutional theory. In particular, it argues for a sociological reconstruction of the central concepts of constitutional theory: constituent power and rights. These concepts, it is proposed, first evolved as an internal reflexive dimension of the modern political system, which acted originally to stabilize the political system as a relatively autonomous aggregate of actors, adapted to the differentiated interfaces of a modern society. This revision of classical constitutional theory provides a basis for a distinctive account of transnational constitutional pluralism or societal constitutionalism. The article argues that the construction of transnational normative orders needs to be placed, in a sociological dimension, on a clearer continuum with classical constitutional models. Although contemporary society is marked by multiple, nationally overarching, and often functionally specific constitutions, such normative structures extend the original functions of constituent power and rights. The article sets out the concluding hypothesis that rights form a running constitution in contemporary society, facilitating highly improbable acts of transnational structural construction and systemic inclusion. It is around the code rights-relevant/rights-irrelevant that transnational society constructs its processes of politicization and political inclusion. This code, however, brings to light a subsidiary or skeletal coding, which was latently co-implied in the political exchanges of modern society, and which was already expressed in early constitutionalism.

24 citations

Dissertation
05 Oct 2015
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the effect of the use of substances and methodes interdites of dopage in the sports domain and propose different approches reglementaires.
Abstract: Plusieurs problemes lies a l'utilisation de substances et methodes interdites de dopage dans les sports posent de grands defis a la gouvernance antidopage. Afin de lutter contre le dopage, certains pays ont mis en oeuvre des cadres juridiques bases exclusivement sur le droit penal tandis que d'autres pays ont plutot mise sur des mecanismes et organismes specialises trouvant fondement en droit prive ou sur un regime hybride de droit public et prive. Ces differentes approches reglementaires ont pour consequence de faire en sorte qu’il est tres difficile de lutter efficacement contre le dopage dans les sports, notamment parce que leur execution requiert un degre de collaboration internationale et une participation concertee des autorites publiques qui est difficile a mettre en place. A l’heure actuelle, on peut par exemple observer que les Etats n’arrivent pas a contrer efficacement la participation des syndicats et organisations transnationales lies au crime organise dans le marche du dopage, ni a eliminer des substances et methodes de dopage interdites par la reglementation. Par ailleurs, la gouvernance antidopage basee sur les regles prescrites par l’Agence mondiale antidopage prevoit des regles et des normes distinctes de dopage distinguant entre deux categories de personnes, les athletes et les autres, placant ainsi les premiers dans une position desavantageuse. Par exemple, le standard de responsabilite stricte sans faute ou negligence impose aux athletes exige moins que la preuve hors de tout doute raisonnable et permet l'utilisation de preuves circonstancielles pour etablir la violation des regles antidopages. S'appliquant pour prouver le dopage, ce standard mine le principe de la presomption d'innocence et le principe suivant lequel une personne ne devrait pas se voir imposer une peine sans loi. D’ailleurs, le nouveau Code de 2015 de l’Agence attribuera aux organisations nationales antidopage (ONADs) des pouvoirs d'enquete et de collecte de renseignements et ajoutera de nouvelles categories de dopage non-analytiques, reduisant encore plus les droits des athletes. Dans cette these, nous discutons plus particulierement du regime reglementaire de l’Agence et fonde sur le droit prive parce qu’il ne parvient pas a repondre aux besoins actuels de gouvernance mondiale antidopage. Nous preconisons donc l’adoption d’une nouvelle approche de gouvernance antidopage ou la nature publique et penale mondiale du dopage est clairement reconnue. Cette reconnaissance combine avec un modele de gouvernance adapte base sur une approche pluraliste du droit administratif global produira une reglementation et une administration antidopage mieux acceptee chez les athletes et plus efficace sur le plan des resultats. Le nouveau modele de gouvernance que nous proposons necessitera toutefois que tous les acteurs etatiques et non-etatiques ajustent leur cadre de gouvernance en tenant compte de cette nouvelle approche, et ce, afin de confronter les defis actuels et de regler de maniere plus satisfaisante les problemes lies a la gouvernance mondiale du dopage dans les sports.

21 citations