The Sovereigntist Challenge – Backlash to International Institutions and Public Law Theories

Since the end of the cold war the proliferation of international institutions and courts have strengthened the rule of law at the international level. Today, however even liberal-democratic states question the liberal internationalism on which the international legal system has been based. I argue that the United States, South Africa and India justify the exit from or ignorance of multilateral treaties, institutions and international courts in two ways: first, the multilateral frameworks are said to be illegitimate because they only represent the interests of some states and not of a particular country or region. Second, the institutions (especially courts) are said to take a false legal approach by granting primacy to human rights over state sovereignty. Furthermore, I assess whether and how public law theories like Global Constitutionalism, Global Administrative Law and International Public Authority address these arguments.