The Impact of African Philosophy on the Realisation of International Community and the Observance of International Law

In: International Community Law Review
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  • 1 University of Bristol Law School

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The legal nature of international law is uncertain, despite being the foundation of the international community. Its non-universality questions the cohesion and efficacy of the international community. The international community operates as an exclusive club, coalescing around certain shared values, like liberal democracy and free market economy. Sub-Saharan Africa is usually excluded from being an active part of the international community due to differing values; a shared understanding of community which conflicts with the shared values of the core of the international community. Furthermore, their post-colonial nature deters African states from choosing their own path or adopting the norms of the ‘international community.’ A paradigmatic shift in research into sub-Saharan Africa and the international community is necessary to ensure a truly effective international community and wider observance of international law.

  • 4

    Ellis, supra note 2, p. 23.

  • 5

    William W. Burke-White, “Power Shifts in International Law: Structural Realignment and Substantive Pluralism”, University of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 14-2 (2014) p. 7; Paulus, supra note 2, p. 59.

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  • 6

    Burke-White, supra note 5, p. 7.

  • 7

    Menon, supra note 2, pp. 235–246; Samantha Besson “Ubi Ius, Ibi Civitas: A Republican Account of the International Community.” in S. Besson and Marti (eds.), Legal Republicanism: National and International Perspectives. (2009) pp. 205–238; Adeno Addis “Imagining the International Community: The Constitutive Dimension of Universal Jurisdiction”, 31 Human Rights Quarterly (2009) pp. 129–162; Philip Allott “The Emerging Universal Legal System” in J. Nijman and A. Nollkaemper (eds.) New Perspectives on the Divide Between National and International Law (2007) pp. 81–83.

  • 8

    Menon, supra note 2, p. 237.

  • 10

    Ibid., p. 33; Dino Kritsiotis, “Imagining the International Community”, 13 European Journal of International Law (2002) p. 991.

  • 11

    People’s Daily Online, supra note 2.

  • 12

    Peltonen, supra note 3, p. 475.

  • 15

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 268; Edward Kwakwa, “The International Community, International Law, and the United States: Three In One, Two against One, or One and the Same?” in M. Byers and G. Nolte (eds.), United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law (2003) pp. 33–34.

  • 16

    Menon, supra note 2, p. 235.

  • 18

    Gowers, supra note 2, pp. 32–33.

  • 20

    Paulus, supra note 2, p. 62; Georges Abi-Saab, “Whither the International Community?” 9 European Journal of International Law (1998) p. 249.

  • 21

    Abi-Saab, supra note 20, p. 261.

  • 25

    Ellis, supra note 2, p. 14.

  • 28

    Hehir, supra note 2, p. 38.

  • 29

    Annan, supra note 2, p. 31.

  • 30

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 275.

  • 33

    Owen, supra note 31, p. 118.

  • 34

    Gowers, supra note 2, pp. 32–33.

  • 35

    Ibid., 33.

  • 36

    Chomsky, supra note 24, p. 34; Kwakwa, supra note 15, p. 56.

  • 37

    Chomsky, supra note 24, p. 34.

  • 38

    Hehir, supra note 2, p. 38.

  • 42

    Paulus, supra note 2, p. 87; Kwakwa, supra note 15, p. 39.

  • 43

    Kirkpatrick, supra note 40, p. 36.

  • 45

    Ibid., p. 411.

  • 46

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 272; Kwakwa, supra note 15, p. 44.

  • 48

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 267.

  • 49

    Hehir, supra note 2, p. 38.

  • 51

    Lucas Jr, supra note 26, pp. 128, 129, 142–143.

  • 53

    Allott, supra note 44, p. 412.

  • 55

    Buzan and Gonzalez‐Pelaez, supra note 2, p. 35.

  • 56

    Ellis, supra note 2, p. 8.

  • 57

    Schimmelfennig, supra note 2, p. 427.

  • 59

    Schimmelfennig, supra note 2, p. 427.

  • 61

    Peltonen, supra note 3, p. 487.

  • 62

    Schimmelfennig, supra note 2, p. 426; Ellis, supra note 2, p. 7; Kritsiotis, supra note 10, p. 967.

  • 63

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 268.

  • 64

    Ibid., p. 271; Addis, supra note 7, p. 144.

  • 65

    Addis, supra note 7, p. 144.

  • 67

    Addis, supra note 7, pp. 150, 151; Annan, supra note 2, p. 31.

  • 68

    Addis, supra note 7, p. 151.

  • 69

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 223.

  • 70

    Addis, supra note 7, p. 144; Annan, supra note 2, p. 30; Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 268.

  • 71

    Allott, supra note 44, p. 395.

  • 72

    Ibid., p. 398.

  • 73

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 267.

  • 75

    Ellis, supra note 2, p. 8.

  • 76

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, pp. 267–268.

  • 77

    Lucas Jr, supra note 26, p. 129.

  • 78

    Buchan, supra note 41, p. 4.

  • 79

    Lucas Jr, supra note 26, p. 124.

  • 80

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 142.

  • 82

    de Guevara and Kühn, supra note 54, pp. 145–147.

  • 85

    Paulus, supra note 2, p. 72.

  • 86

    Ake, supra note 83, pp. 240, 241.

  • 87

    Ibid., pp. 242–243.

  • 92

    Menkiti, supra note 91, p. 173; Kwame Gyekye, “The Akan Concept of a Person”, 18 International Philosophical Quarterly (1978) pp. 277–287; Kwame Gyekye, “African Ethics”, Spring Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011) no pagination; John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, “On Personhood: An Anthropological Perspective from Africa, Social Identities”, 7 Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture (2001) p. 271; Thaddeus Metz, “Toward an African Moral Theory”, 15 Journal of Political Philosophy (2007) p. 323.

  • 93

    Gyekye, African Ethics, supra note 92.

  • 96

    Bell, supra note 89, p. 36.

  • 105

    Fatton, supra note 102, p. 458.

  • 107

    Fatton, supra note 102, p. 458.

  • 109

    Ibid., 22; E. O. Isichei, History of West Africa Since 1800 (Africana Publishing Company; 1977) 303, 309; Mgbeoji, supra note 52, p. 858.

  • 110

    Mgbeoji, supra note 52, p. 858.

  • 112

    Locke, supra note 101, p. 323.

  • 118

    Ibid., p. 148.

  • 119

    Ibid., p. 162.

  • 120

    Jackson, supra note 100, pp. 526–527.

  • 121

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 131.

  • 123

    Fatton, supra note 102.

  • 124

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 125.

  • 125

    Simma and Paulus, supra note 3, p. 276.

  • 128

    Paris, supra note 126, p. 651; Mgbeoji, supra note 52, pp. 856, 858.

  • 129

    Mgbeoji, supra note 52, p. 856.

  • 130

    Paris, supra note 126, p. 652.

  • 131

    Mgbeoji, supra note 52, p. 857; Alice Lee and Karl Pearson, “Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution. On the Relative Variation and Correlation in Civilised and Uncivilised Races”, 61 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (1897) p. 354; Martens, supra note 127, pp. 344–345.

  • 132

    Lucas Jr, supra note 26, p. 129.

  • 133

    Addis, supra note 7, p. 145.

  • 134

    Ibid., p. 156.

  • 137

    Herbst, supra note 22, pp. 136–137.

  • 138

    Ibid., pp. 139, 140.

  • 139

    Ibid., p. 140.

  • 140

    Ake, supra note 83, p. 242.

  • 141

    Ibid., pp. 243, 244.

  • 142

    Fassbender, supra note 74, p. 56.

  • 143

    Buchan, supra note 41, p. 14.

  • 144

    Menkiti, supra note 91, pp. 171–180.

  • 145

    Ake, supra note 83, p. 241.

  • 146

    Buzan and Gonzalez‐Pelaez, supra note 2, p. 33.

  • 147

    Menon, supra note 2, pp. 236–237.

  • 148

    Burke-White, supra note 5, p. 38.

  • 149

    Lindberg, supra note 104, pp. 123, 124.

  • 151

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 139.

  • 152

    Ibid., p. 126.

  • 153

    Ibid., p. 131.

  • 158

    Lucas Jr, supra note 26, p. 139.

  • 159

    Ibid., p. 130.

  • 163

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 144.

  • 164

    Fassbender, supra note 74, p. 177.

  • 165

    de Guevara and Kühn, supra note 54, pp. 142–143.

  • 166

    Ibid., p. 144.

  • 167

    Peltonen, supra note 3, pp. 16–17.

  • 168

    Ellis, supra note 2, p. 24.

  • 169

    Mgbeoji, supra note 52, p. 864.

  • 170

    de Guevara and Kühn, supra note 54, p. 148.

  • 171

    Herbst, supra note 22, p. 140.

  • 172

    Ibid., p. 133.

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