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International Law And Multiculturalism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with a discussion of the universality of human rights, emphasizing the importance of focusing on non-Western traditions in our analyses. It then treats the question of multiculturalism within the International Court of Justice, focusing on Article 9 of the Statute, which requires "the representation of the main forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems of the world" among the judges, and Article 38, which defines applicable law including the "principles of law recognized by civilized nations". The chapter discusses the de facto weaknesses in the multicultural legal order, where otherwise neutral international legal norms have a disproportionate impact on developing, often non-Western, countries when applied in the context of current geo-political realities. Finally, it describes the new trans-civilizational perspective as an alternative to international and transnational approaches to multiculturalism. The question of multiculturalism in international law is a complex one deserving a multi-facetted response.

Keywords: civilization; human rights; International Court of Justice; international law; multiculturalism; trans-civilizational perspective



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