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Elusive Coherence in International Law and Institutions: The Labour – Trade Debate

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Chapter Summary

In his most recent and monumentally learned tome on "International Economic Law in the 21st Century", Petersmann, the honoree of this global Festschrift, takes a professional lifetime's expert look at International Economic Law (IEL). The labour-trade debate is not new. It was already embedded in the dense web of trade and investment relations following the industrial revolution, but vanished with them when they were torn up by wars and protectionism between 1914 and 1945. With ever greater density and specialization, international law fragmentation is bound to increase. The importance of the role of judicial bodies in maintaining the rule of law in the international legal order has increased significantly, and with it their exercise of hitherto unprecedented judicial powers including inherent powers. These can be and have been used for the resolution of conflicts through harmonizing interpretations of supposedly external rules of international law.

Keywords: Festschrift; International Economic Law (IEL); international law fragmentation; international legal order; investment relations; judicial powers; labour-trade debate; protectionism



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