JPIL Vol 2 Issue 1 2007 - A1

A critical analysis of orthodox approaches to customary international law and the search for transcendence

Dr Chalen Westaby

Lecturer, Liverpool Hope University



The aim of this article is to highlight the consequences of employing an orthodox approach to the analysis of customary international law.  This will be achieved by analysing the methodology of a number of international legal scholars, including the seminal article by Mendelson which deals with the subjective element in international law.


It will also tackle whether a methodology that incorporates another discipline, can allow the international lawyer to transcend the boundaries created by adopting an orthodox approach.  In the first instance, approaches that incorporate the disciplines of international relations, diplomatic history will be considered.  However, the article will then move on to argue for the extension of the interdisciplinary approach, with the presentation of a law and literature approach which combines thick description and a way of reading.

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