Legal Pluralism: Challenging ‘Default Settings’ in IHR

This paper argues employs the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case of the Bakassi Peninsula (2002) as a lens through which to consider fertile intersections of legal pluralism and human rights, with a focus on two particular issues. First, the challenge of addressing contemporary border disputes that can trace their origins to colonialisation, and; second, the matter of human rights’ effectiveness in producing changes to international legal mechanisms and practices. This paper draws attention to the purportedly neutral definitions, practices and forums that permeate both international law and international human rights law, and presents a legal pluralism as a vital resource in both recognising and combatting such default settings.