Fragmentation in International Human Rights Law – Beyond Conflict of International Courts in a State of Nature: Foreword
PluriCourts co-director Andreas Føllesdal wrote the foreword to Marjan Ajevski's (ed.) Fragmentation in international human rights law: Beyond conflict of laws. London Routledge. 2015. Read the chapter (SSRN).
The subject of this fascinating volume is the fragmentation of international and regional human rights courts and treaty bodies (ICs), that is, tensions among courts which all address the same functional area, often bringing apparently similar norms to bear. The rights of concern here are widely regarded as belonging to the core of human rights: freedom of expression, right to privacy, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.
What are we to make of the conflicts that occur not only among such rights and other norms of international law – ranging from trade to the environment – but conflicts among the various human rights courts empower to adjudicate such rights – which courts and rights often conflict?
It is possible to discern at least three strands of relevance to the particular challenges of international human rights courts. Each of them have strengths and weaknesses: a) Formal hierarchy, b) federalism, c) informal networks.