Legal Reading Group: Rethinking the Supremacy of International Law

PhD Fellow Emma Brandon will give an introduction to 'Rethinking the Supremacy of International Law' by André Nollkaemper.


In Kadi v Council of the European Union, The ECJ refrained from giving effect to Security Council Resolution 1333 (2000) on the ground that performance of the obligations contained in the Resolution would conflict with fundamental rights under EU law. While many international lawyers feel compelled by the Court's resolution of the conflict, the question is whether and how international law can accommodate such challenges. Non-performance of international obligations with reference to fundamental rules of national law, or internal rules of international organizations, sits uneasily with the supremacy of international law. The question is how we can differentiate between challenges based on fundamental human rights, as perceived and construed in Western-Europe, and challenges based on, say, the Sharia? If we can not properly distinguish between such case, would Kadi-like challenges not undermine the enterprise of international law? This paper will review whether, and on what basis, international law can accommodate challenges to the supremacy of international law based on the protection of fundamental rules of domestic law.

The article is available here and here


The legal reading group meets on a regular basis to discuss leading publications on international courts and tribunals. The aim is to develop our understanding of an article/book chapter and how it might be relevant for our own projects, through sharing insights on its substance, merits, and broader context. The reading group managed by PluriCourts, but open to everyone that is interested.

Published Dec. 12, 2018 9:16 AM - Last modified Jan. 8, 2019 2:52 PM