Do the structure and processes of the institution of international law limit the actions that can be justly performed in the international arena and how? This question can be separated into two steps: First, is there a reason to think that some proposed individual principle of global justice is necessarily incompatible with international law? Second, does that give us a reason to think that that proposed principle is wrong, i.e. that we ought not to act in accord with it? I argue that some of the time the answers to both of these questions are `yes'. If we can without too much controversy develop a set of conditions necessary for international law and develop an analysis of international law based on those necessary conditions, we can answer the first question. If we can give a principled account of which types of solutions to global justice dilemmas require compatibility with international law, we can answer the second of the two questions. Together these two answers can help us in narrowing not simply and not primarily the field of policy options, but in fact the field of philosophical and theoretical options.
My primary aim, then, is to suggest an appropriate place for the institution of international law in discussions of global justice. I argue that the necessary features of the institution of international law can and should be used to reject some and accept other principles of global justice. The necessary features of international law I start from are the rule-of-law conditions. My second aim is to show how this argument would work with respect to some particular problems of global justice, like those raised by the principle of the moral equality of combatants in war and secession.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2011. Major: Philosophy. Advisor: Michelle Mason. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 162 pages,
International law and global justice: why institutional features of international law matter to discussions of global justice..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.