Title of research: Reconceptualizing the Intertwinement of Legal Orders: Perspectives from Legal Theory.
Promotor: Prof. H.S. Taekema
International law has become intertwined with domestic legal orders in many ways because of the influence of international legal norms. This intertwinement of legal orders presents us with two problems. Firstly, national and international legal orders interact with each other, resulting in norm conflicts. Secondly, tensions between legal actors arise because of the overlap between different legal orders. These issues force legal philosophers to evaluate the explanatory power of legal theories.
It is difficult to articulate the relations between national and international legal orders within the existing traditions of legal theory. Legal positivists are unable to clarify how domestic and international legal norms interact, and interpretivists have difficulty explaining the authority of international courts. An underdeveloped school in legal theory - legal pragmatism - offers more potential for grasping the intertwinement of legal orders, but does not present a comprehensive theoretical account of law. By drawing on the work of Philip Selznick, a comprehensive account of the concept of law from this perspective will be constructed. The research project aims at assessing the explanatory power of the aforementioned three schools in the light of the intertwinement of legal orders.
The research is twofold, and consists of both a theoretical and a legal doctrinal component. In the theoretical part, the strong and weak points of the three theoretical schools will be investigated. In the legal doctrinal part, the two conceptual problems are examined in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this part of the research the strong and weak points of the theoretical accounts of law can be assessed in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Thomas Riesthuis (1989) studied law and philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds an LL.M. degree in constitutional & administrative law and a M.A. degree in philosophy of law. During his studies he worked as a student assistant at the department of jurisprudence. In 2013, he started as a PhD candidate. His research interests lie in the fields of social philosophy, jurisprudence and legal methodology, especially issues surrounding the nature of legal scholarship and the role of law in the context of globalization.