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Title: Towards a human-centred international law : self-determination and the structure of the international legal system
Author: Sparks, Thomas Matthew Smith
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 2773
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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In recent years a number of scholars (most notably Anne Peters, Christian Tomuschat, Ruti Teitel and Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade) have identified an ongoing process of change in the international legal system’s relationship with individuals and groups of individuals. That change has been referred to as a humanisation of international law. This thesis contributes to that area of study by offering an account of the deep level changes to the foundations of the international legal system, which it argues are both driving and are recursively driven by changes in substantive international law. It finds the explanation for these changes in the idea of the self-determination of the individual, and it argues that this concept has now become a structural principle (a term borrowed from Giddens, 1984) of the international legal system. The thesis takes a twin methodological approach to the question, using both an analysis of the history of ideas and a sociological lens (particularly Giddens’s theory of structuration) to demonstrate that the foundations of the international legal order have changed through time, and that the operation and scope of the system’s basic concepts has altered concomitantly. It argues that the institution of a principle of self-determination as the structural principle of the system is another such change, and one that will produce the kind of changes in the substance and operation of international law that have been identified by Peters and others. Its finding that the interests of individuals and of communities are now embedded in international law at the structural level strongly supports the conclusion that Peters and others have drawn from the examination of substantive international law, that there is a process of humanisation occurring, and that the humanisation process is occurring at all levels within the system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available