Rethinking Global Parliament: Beyond the Indeterminacy of International Law

Patomaki, H 2007, 'Rethinking Global Parliament: Beyond the Indeterminacy of International Law', Widener Law Review, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 373-391.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Rethinking Global Parliament: Beyond the Indeterminacy of International Law
Author(s) Patomaki, H
Year 2007
Journal name Widener Law Review
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 373
End page 391
Total pages 19
Publisher Widener University
Abstract Modern social worlds are functionally differentiated. Many of the existing international organisations are functional rather than territorial. Different functional organisations have different memberships, consisting mostly of states and nongovernmental organisations. In other words, their membership may be overlapping but it is not identical, inclusive or exclusive, territorially or otherwise. Also new organisations can be founded. Whether old or new, any of these organisations can be (re)constructed on various democratic rules and principles. Logically, what would emerge is a non-centralised, non-territorial and non-exclusive system of complex global governance. At this point, the main reason why there is a need for a global parliament stems from the indeterminacy of international law. For instance, the principles of deciding which treaties (perhaps constitutive of functional systems of governance) should be followed in a context are contested. Law is always indeterminate at some level, but this does not necessarily pose any serious problems to the rule of law when legislators, judges and citizens share understandings, values and procedures, at least to a sufficient degree. In world politics, however, the problem of conflicting understandings and values and the absence of established procedures tends to mean trouble for the rule of law, since interpretations of what the law is are often highly divergent, or arbitrary. There is thus a need for an explicitly political body that could legitimately settle value-conflicts and decide upon the framework within which law can be determined. This would be different from the traditional ideas of a global parliament conceived either in terms of centralised legislation or mere talk and symbolic representation. The proposed world parliament would avoid the potential dangers of the blueprints for world-federalism.
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Law not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) global governance
global democracy
international law
ISSN 1933-5555
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