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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

International law is central to both the discourse and practice of global justice. It offers a critical institutional site for transforming theories about global justice into binding rules with institutional enforcement; many of its rules have strong claims to morality; and it can offer insights into the nature of just arrangements at the international level. This chapter first introduces the key participants and fundamental norms of international law that respond to the various claims of those participants. Second, it elaborates on the range of engagement by international legal scholarship with questions of global justice. Legal scholars have incorporated concepts of justice in their work even as their overall pragmatic orientation has limited the nature of their inquiries. Third, the chapter synthesizes the different encounters of political and moral philosophical work on global justice with international law. While some philosophers have directly inquired into the morality of legal rules and others have relied on those rules as part of broader moral arguments, others exhibit skepticism about and distance from international law. Some of that distance stems from different missions of philosophy as compared to law, but some is based on an unjustified suspicion of legal rules. It concludes with some suggestions for future collaboration between philosophical and legal approaches to global justice.

Keywords: international law, global justice, institutional enforcement, morality, legal rule

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