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previous quotes



‘Law is politics, not because law is subject to political value choice,

but rather because law is a form that power sometimes takes’


[Pierre Schlag (1991) ‘Foreword: Postmodernism and Law’,
University of Colorado Law Review 62: 439–45, p. 448]



‘It is only after saying goodbye to all objective and universal principles

that the real debate on the “real possibilities” of international law can begin’


[Siegfried Schieder, ‘Pragmatism as a Path towards a Discursive and Open Theory of International Law’,

11 European Journal of International Law 663, p. 680]




'Jurists, imbued with traditional law, have regarded international law
as being of a strictly juridical character; they only consider what they describe as pure law,
to the entire exclusion of politics as something alien to law.
But pure law does not exist: law is the result of social life and evolves with it;
in other words, it is, to a large extent,the effect of politics
—especially of a collective kind—as practised by the States.
We must therefore beware of considering law and politics as mutually antagonistic.

Each of them should be permeated by the other.'


[Corfu Channel Case, Judgment of 9 April 1949, ICJ Rep, Individual Opinion Judge Alvarez, pp. 41-2]




'To conclude that international law must adjust to political reality ... is to miss the point,
since international law is part of political reality and serves as an institutional means of developing and
rejecting a general consensus on the nature of international reality'


[WD Coplin (1965), 'International Law and Assumptions about the State System', World Politics 48: 615-34, p. 633]



'[E]xperiencing law as manipulable rhetoric is not the same as experiencing law as wrong or worthless'

[Fleur Johns, Non-legality in International Law: Unruly Law (Cambridge University press, 2013), p. 20]




‘By a strange twist the rule of law has changed from an empowering instrument of citizens taking their fate into their own hands to a construct that gives the individual pride of place as a pre-political being endowed with subjective rights. But such a shift places man’s social and political existence at the mercy of those who are ministering to “humanity” at large’  


[Friedrich Kratochwil, ‘Has the “rule of law” become a “rule of lawyers”?’ in: Friedrich Kratochwil (2011) The Puzzles of Politics. Inquiries into the genesis and transformation of international relations (London/New York: Routledge) p. 137]




'judicial power is an integral part and an important manifestation of the concrete social, political, and economic struggles that shape a given political system and cannot be understood in isolation from them' 

R. Hirschl (2009), Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism 
(Cambridge University Press), p.11