What is a rule of law society, and why does this matter? Does an international community actually exist and, if not, how might it be created? Events of recent times suggest that such matters are not as undisputed as we may have once thought. The war in Ukraine, successive coups in the Sahel and an almost paralysed UN Security Council (to give just three examples) indicate that the world remains some distance from having (at both the municipal and international level) a rules-based order.
Professor Tim Potier is an international lawyer who has been living in and working on difficult places for his entire career. He was living in Moscow on 24 February 2022. Now, recently returned to the UK, after 28 years abroad, he will present for the first time to an academic audience the initial findings of his ongoing project (inter alia) to describe what constitutes a rule of law society (at the municipal law level) and how an international community can be established (in international law terms) for the first time (in his opinion) in history.
In order to answer these and other important questions, Professor Potier has written the first in a series of three books, “International Law at a Crossroads”. These three books (the second is currently being prepared) are, according to the author, a further development of the work of Locke, Rousseau and Rawls. In the first book, which he shall be discussing in this presentation, Professor Potier introduces two new concepts: (in municipal law terms) the “justification for society” and in international law terms (but of relevance within a municipal legal setting, also) the “admittance of right and responsibility”. He also gives attention to the notion of justice, equity and the relationship between natural law and positivism. The feedback received, from this event, will be helpful to the author as he prepares the remaining (two) volumes in the series.
Professor Tim Potier is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Law and Governance, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; and a Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
In February of this year, I finished writing the book “International Law at a Crossroads”. It is the first book in a series of three. The three books aim to describe what constitutes a rule of law society (at the municipal law level) and how an international community can be established (in international law terms) for the first time (in my opinion) in history. “International Law at a Crossroads” provides an introduction to the two subsequent books in which, respectively, these two principal issues will be considered (at greater length).
“International Law at a Crossroads” introduces two new concepts. First, in municipal law terms, the “justification for society”. Second, principally in international law terms (but of relevance within a municipal legal setting, also) the “admittance of right and responsibility”. These two concepts are central to what an understanding of a rule of law society and an international community should be. The book also evaluates familiar terms such as justice in a new way; emphasises the importance of equity; and, claims to have settled (finally) the historic struggle between natural lawyers and legal positivists.
This event will be the first occasion in which the author will be presenting his argument. It will be interesting (particularly, but not exclusively) to international lawyers, constitutional lawyers and legal theorists. The feedback received will be helpful to the author who is currently preparing the second book (in the series), as well as for his future preparation of the third.
Speaker: Professor Tim Potier; Senior Fellow, Centre for International Law and Governance, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; Senior Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Chair: Professor Susan Breau, Interim Director of Research Students and IALS Senior Associate Research Fellow
This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees in advance.