This chapter ties together some of the threads woven in the previous chapters. It discusses the history of thought in the field of international organizations law, as it applies to a “common law” of international organizations’ constitutions. It also discusses the case against such a common law. Legal researchers have seen the folly of trying to develop a unified law of international organizations, even if they did not have access to a database like the one at the heart of this book. This chapter reviews some of this thinking and shows how the analysis of these constitutions bolsters their case. It also describes the developing jurisprudence, particularly in international tribunals, against the idea of a single, solitary, unifying law of international organizations. As reflected in the diversity observed in the network analyses and legal analyses of constitutions provided in the preceding chapters of this book, this chapter sees laws of international organizations, not a singular law of international organizations. Any attempt in the future to describe the law of international organizations must accept this variegated plurality, this differentiated heterogeneity, in the principles underpinning our international organizations’ constitutions.
This book quantifies international organizations’ affiliation with particular values in their constitutions, like cooperation, peace and equality. The statistical and legal analyses tease out from the data the actual values contained in international organizations’ constitutions and their relationship with one another. Values like cooperation, representation and communication often appear together in international organizations’ constitutions. However, divide these organizations into groups – like regional versus universal organizations – and a kaleidoscope of different patterns in these values emerges. In the kaleidoscope, the reader clearly can see distinct groupings of organizations and values. With data pointing the way, many new – and seemingly contradictory – interpretations of international organizations law emerge. Not only does this book provide a map of international organizations’ values, it provides a healthy start towards fully understanding that map, thereby helping global governance take a quantum leap forward.
The chapter documents the capacious and immensely promising newish discipline of cine-legality, represented in this collection. The archive – what Gabrielle Simm calls ‘the panorama of world cinema’ – is immense, and in this chapter, the author tries to identify some fruitful directions it might take.
Cinema has been an object of study for the social sciences for some time now. The relationship between law and cinema has been the subject of a certain number of reflections by jurists who work essentially within a national legal framework, and from the true genre that courtroom movies have become. One can point also to studies linking cinema and international relations. In short, the relationship between international law and cinema has never been the subject of a specific book. The objective of the present book is to show what image of international law and its norms is conveyed in films and series. Beyond a strictly legal analysis, the ambition is to take into account, in a broader perspective marked by interdisciplinarity, the relations between international law, cinema and ideology. The volume is aimed at a readership made of scholars, researchers as well as practitioners, in the field of international law, and related fields, all of whom will benefit from being introduced to a variety of perspectives on core international legal questions present in movies and TV series. Further, the volume can also be used with advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying international law, politics and international relations because it will provide the possibility of introducing students to a variety of perspectives on key issues in international law present in movies and TV series.
This chapter analyses the cinematic representations of the principle of distinction, one of the cornerstones of the law of armed conflict. In general, the view presented in these films and TV series is that it is extremely difficult or even impossible to effectively apply the principle of distinction in the field. Law is depicted as being ill adapted to properly regulate armed conflicts, too burdensome and out of touch with the dictates of the realities on the ground. In most cases, legal norms are submitted to the viewers’ scrutiny, either implicitly, or explicitly. Cinematic productions convey a specific stance as to the relevance, usefulness and applicability of the law of armed conflict. Sometimes, the principle of distinction is applied very flexibly and the rule is interpreted very (sometimes too) extensively. In other cases, the rule is simply put aside in the name of (military) necessity. Other productions, rather than focusing on the applicability or interpretation of the rule, use the legal framework as a broader narrative to (de)legitimize an armed conflict or a specific State-led operation.
Exploring the intersection of legal science and science fiction is hardly a novelty. Many publications have used beloved genre classics as a gateway to discuss topics as varied as cloning, climate change and criminal justice. In contrast to their colleagues at international relations departments, international lawyers seem less inclined to boldly go in this direction. This is unfortunate, as major themes can fruitfully be debated through sci-fi movies and television series, such as ‘intergalactic’ legal orders, the law of treaties, environmental law and so on. In an effort to fill this gap, the present chapter will delve into this world of speculative fiction and in so doing presents the following central thesis: future worlds portrayed in science fiction reproduce the tensions underlying contemporary theoretical approaches to the international legal order. This includes illustrations of constitutionalism, idealism and realism. The basic tenets of each doctrine will be outlined, after which movies and television series will be dissected that best convey the approach in question. In the final part, the chapter will seek to explain why contemporary approaches have come to be reproduced in science fiction and highlight some factors influencing the choice of certain theoretical approaches over others.
The aim of this introductory chapter is to provide some reflections with regard to methodologies that are used when analysing films and TV series from an international law perspective. Different tendencies may be distinguished in the existing literature. Among them, critical studies focus on the connection between cinema and ideology, both from legal scholars already associated with critical schools of legal thought and from specialists in international relations or political science. This approach has been shared by all the authors of this book, with a double objective: first, to identify representations of international law in cinematographic productions; and, second, to try to determine some of the functions of these representations in the (international) society. In doing so, the authors will contrast the narratives of international law depicted in film and TV with the corresponding narratives advanced by legal scholars. This will lead to the identification of a cognitive dissonance between them and an assessment of its implications for general perceptions of international law.
On Earth, interspecies relationships are mainly based on one rule: the fittest species (the human being) has the right to exploit other species at its own discretion. It can hunt, imprison, enslave and kill them. This is at the core of international trade law, which considers non-human animals as mere products destined to fulfil human needs. While dominant, this model of interspecies relationships is not exclusive. Other regimes provide for obligations either to protect certain weaker species from extinction or to foster their general well-being. Currently, however, these models are underrepresented. This chapter aims to understand if and to what extent science fiction movies convey a representation of interspecies relationships similar to the one embodied by current international law. Relying on non-existent models of alterity these movies often question the relations the fittest species should entertain with the weaker one. Based on the study of various mainstream science fiction movies, this chapter concludes that they often offer an alternative vision of interspecies relationships, based on an obligation of coexistence and respect. The chapter provides some insights as to the factors that could explain the difference between the existing legal models of interspecies relationships and the fantasized version offered cinematic productions.
Cinema has devoted increasing attention to international criminal justice, especially in the last two decades. Viewers of films and TV series related to the prosecution of international crimes note that cinema can be very supportive of what international criminal justice is and how it works, either by conveying romanticized images about its aims and achievements, or by explaining – not to say justifying – its weaknesses. In some movies, it is depicted as an adequate and efficient tool to fight the impunity. It is also frequently pictured as a mechanism requested by victims, or at least called for in their names. Movies also show the fragility of international justice in the face of politics, underlining and condemning the reluctance of States and international organizations to cooperate, have suspects arrested and evidence collected. These films, however, do not fundamentally undermine the legitimacy of international criminal justice as we are frequently left with the impression that prosecutors and judges do their best to fight impunity and often succeed in overcoming political obstacles. Fundamental scepticism is also sometimes voiced suggesting that international justice is but a spectacle, a diversion, or subject to instrumentalization. These critiques, however, do not override the heroic role with which cinema generally entrusts international criminal justice.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has inspired an abundant filmography, which traces the main events and addresses many aspects of the conflict. Based on a material composed of about eighty feature films and television series, the chapter studies the way international law with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is represented on screen. Three major themes emerged in this regard, which are analysed successively: the creation of the State of Israel and its consequences on the Palestinian people; the Israeli occupation; the peace process in the Middle East and the ways to achieve it. The chapter concludes with a broader reflection on the place occupied by cinema in the conflict, as a means of struggle, as the object of controversy or as a symbol.