The Role of the Individual in the Process of International Law Creation
Dunk, Thomas Leslie
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
If cited, please reference author
This work set out to assess and examine the position of the individuals as non-state actors within the process of international law creation, in essence taking an existing problem and bringing a new idea. In undertaking this aim three new classifications of non-state actor have been identified in which the evidence gives a better informed theory. These new classifications, the authorised, independent and unauthorised individual, give a more realistic account between the theoretical narrative of the individual and realities seen within international law creation. In contrast to the current theories which are heavily theoretical and abstract, this work has an evidence based approach informing on a new theoretical framework. The authorised individual is someone mandated to perform negotiations of future international law on behalf of an authorised-decision maker, usually a state government. The principal features of the authorised individual are that they are briefed to act on behalf of states, usually conforming to a strict mandate to which they are expected to follow. The independent authorised individual is similarly related to the authorised individual in that they are mandated by an authorised decision maker. The main differences being they are given more freedom to perform the role and are asked to fulfil more general aims and expected outcomes set down by the individual’s home government. John Ruggie and the process used by him in the creation of the UNGP’s provide an excellent example of the work of this category of individual. Finally, the unauthorised individual is someone who by conventional standards and expectations wouldn’t be expected to have a role in the negotiations for international law making, i.e. they have no mandate, and are not acting on behalf of a state. Examples are Raphael Lemkin and John Peters Humphrey. To demonstrate that individuals have a role in law-making, this alternative approach has a focus on the realities of the international system. In using Rational Choice theory models of analysis the effectiveness of the different categories of the individual can be seen, with clear benefits of the work of independent authorised individuals demonstrated as effective law makers within the system.
PhD in Law