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  • Author or Editor: William E. Conklin x
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This article examines the place of Nomadic peoples in an international constitutionalism. The article claims that an important element of a Nomadic culture is its sense of law. Such a sense of law differs from a constitutionalism which has privileged fundamental principles aimed to constrain acts of the executive arm of the State. Such a constitutionalism is shared by many contemporary domestic legal orders. Public international law also takes such a constitutionalism for granted. In the focus upon rules to constrain the executive arm of the State, the sense of law in Nomadic communities has slipped through arguments which the jurist might consider inclusive of the protection of such communities. This problem is nested in a legacy which has weighted down the history of European legal thought.

The article initially identifies three forms of nomadism. The social phenomenon of nomadism has been the object of juristic commentary since the Greeks and Romans. The image of Nomadic peoples in such a legacy has imagined Nomadic peoples as lawless although the article argues that a sense of law has existed in such communities. Such a sense of law contradicts a State-centric international legal order. Public international law has reserved a special legal space relating to Nomadic peoples. The article identifies four arguments which might be rendered to protect Nomadic peoples in such a State-centric international community. Problems are raised with each such argument

In: Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law Online

In an effort to gain a deeper understanding of an important referent of contemporary international law, the international community as a whole, this article retrieves four senses of such a community as elaborated by early modern European jurists: the Christendom highlighted by Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, the community constituted from customary norms as featured by Vitoria, Jean Bodin, Suárez, and Grotius, Kant’s “league of nations”, and Hegel’s “world history”. The shared theme of each sense of an international community is that, despite the universality attributed to the community, some societies are excluded from recognition and membership. This exclusionary character of the international community raises the question whether a sense of an international community is emerging which overcomes the problems leading to such an exclusionary character.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law