Challenges in the Development of International Legal Regimes : Coherence, Interpretation and Diversity

  • Zebo Nasirova

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The dissertation focuses on the challenges in the development of international legal regimes: coherence, interpretation and diversity. The goal is to investigate the nature, potential and problems of interpretation of international law by domestic courts acting as international courts for purposes of creating a coherent system in international regulatory regimes. Fulfilment of this objective is desirable for several reasons. Interpretation of international instruments is under-investigated, leading to incoherent and weak international legal regimes.
    Further, the relationship between international law and domestic law is under-theorised. Finally, the distinct approaches of civil law and common law judiciaries to international legal interpretation is inadequately investigated in terms of positive outcomes. This research work investigates these issues with particular reference to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods.
    The dissertation is divided into two main parts: theoretical and positive. The theoretical part examines the legal coherence, theories of interpretation and theories of institutions. The positive part of the dissertation is focused on the interpretation of an international instrument by the courts of diverse legal systems, in this case, the CISG. The dissertation seeks to examine, analyse and evaluate the interpretative methods used by domestic courts acting as international courts in interpreting international legal norms and their contribution to the development of coherent or incoherent international legal regimes.
    The CISG is chosen in the positive part of the dissertation because it is considered as the most successful uniform law that has been adopted by diverse legal systems. It also blends civil and common law doctrines with relative success. The Convention has been implemented into the domestic law of ninety-three Member States and, therefore, the ultimate success or failure of the CISG is dependent on its correct interpretation by domestic courts. Accordingly, the research examines whether the interpretation of international norms by the courts of diverse legal systems is in accordance with the purposes of the CISG, bearing in mind that taking recourse to domestic principles and concepts would put the uniformity and coherence at risk.
    In order to contribute to the development of a coherent international legal regime, the courts of diverse legal systems should apply similar interpretive rules and methods to interpret international law. Only a coherent uniform law can provide a solution for courts that cannot come to an agreement on an interpretative approach or cannot decide which method to apply in cases where the text is ambiguous. Therefore, the research attempts to answer one of the main questions of the dissertation, namely, what are the obstacles to developing a coherent international legal system?
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDalma DEMETER (Supervisor), Benedict Sheehy (Supervisor), Maree Sainsbury (Supervisor), Jenny Fu (Supervisor) & Bruce Baer Arnold (Supervisor)

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