Ranyta YusranDoctoral Student, LLM in International Human Rights Law, LLB in Transnational Relations
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Public International Law, Legal History, third world, Rule of law, treaties
This project tells an account of the rise and fall of the discourse of the rule of law in international law since the crystallization of the standard of civilization in international society in the early 20th century until the consolidation of the rule of law as an international development strategy after the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The rule of law discourse in this regard refers to what this project perceives as the continuous and evolving ‘exchange’ within the modern international society on the (evolving) expectations in international law that domestic legal systems of member states of the international society respect certain elements of the rule of law and the responses of states, especially postcolonial states, to such expectations. The ‘exchange’ is not straightforward as it has never been framed as a rule of law discourse, albeit the clear presence of the rule of law requirements as a compulsory prerequisite in the fulfilment of the ‘standards’ in international society as part of the ongoing project of the universalization of international law.
This perceived continuation and evolution rule of law discourse in international law suggests to me that, despite the dual quality of the discourse (colonial and universal dimensions), the discourse constitutes a powerful tool for the normalization and transformation of norms in international law. Following this strand of thought, I argue that, first, the evolving rule of law expectation in international law has become a leitmotif in the universalization of international law vis-à-vis the first and third world states relationship. In the beginning, the ostensible fulfilment of the international expectation by postcolonial/third world states would gain them status as members of the international society and attest to their ability to meet their international obligations. Later on, the expectation of the rule of law vis-à-vis third world states would take a more invasive tone as it requires actual changes in the domestic laws, institutions and politics to domestically implement their international obligations. Second, I argue that these exchanges serve as continuing internalization process of the rule of law in postcolonial states which informs the domestic implementation of their international obligations; the more internalize the rule of law is in the domestic legal system of a state the more likely for that state to implement most, if not all, of its international commitments.
The project will take three ‘universalizing’ standards in modern international law to trace the rule of law discourse in the course of the universalization of international law and to test the above hypotheses: the standard of civilization; the standard of human rights; and the standard of development. In the discussion of each of the standard, the project will look into the exchanges between the evolving international expectations on the rule of law and the responses of postcolonial states toward such expectations.
With regard to the responses of postcolonial states toward rule of law expectations, I intend to put into use a case study approach to capture the granular details of the responses of individual postcolonial states to the rule of law expectation in each standard. This is because analysis in individual postcolonial states responses to evolving expectations on the rule of law in international law remains largely unknown. Furthermore, despite their shared colonial history, they experienced different processes and challenges in internalizing the rule of law in their respective domestic legal system which resulted in different level of internalization of the rule of law. These are the nuances that this project wishes to capture with the aim to explain how the rule of law discourse in international law affects the domestic implementation of their international commitments. To this end, I decided to look into the rule of law responses and internalization processes in Indonesia and the Philippines.
The two postcolonial states are chosen mainly because they were among the first postcolonial states that declared independence in the wake of World War II. Both states adopted their constitutions prior to their declaration of independence in which they appropriated the standard of civilization vis-à-vis the domestic rule of law component and yet international society’s reaction to their independence and their admittance as members of the international society could not have been more different – The Phillippines gained immediate recognition to its sovereignty and admitted to the United Nations (UN) in 1945 while Indonesia still fought its war of independence against the Netherlands (with the help of the British and the United States) until 1949 and was only admitted to the UN in 1950. Another consideration is both states participation in the international legal process vis-à-vis international human rights – while the Philippines was an active participant in the drafting of international human rights conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Indonesia was an active proponent of the Asian Values which advocated, among others, the context of cultural relativism in the application of universal human rights. These similarities and dissimilarities are among the reasons that draw this project to choose these two states as case studies.
Recent research outputs
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article