New Forms of Normative Relationing in a Pluralist Legal Order: Interface Interactions in the Area of Corporate Social Responsibility

International law is confronted with an unprecedented density of normative frameworks of differing degrees of normativity (hard law, soft law) – across governance levels (international, regional, national, transnational) and around a multiplicity of topics (environment, trade, human rights). This paper addresses the overarching question of how different bodies of norms relate to each other by looking at instances and sites of relationing in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). What happens, for example, when non-binding CSR norms are brought into relation with human rights obligations addressed to states? The ultimate aim is to develop a typology of how vertical and horizontal legal interfaces are managed through mechanisms of coupling or distancing. The findings suggest that, contrary to the diagnosis of increasing fragmentation, the international order is becoming increasingly enmeshed, as demonstrated by the interlinkages between various regulatory instruments.

Legal interactions in the global governance of international finance

The article provides a theoretically grounded analysis of selected instances of legal interactions between bodies of norms emanating from formal and informal sources of regulatory authority in the issue area of global financial regulation. It discusses such interactions by looking at examples from global financial and accounting standards, credit rating agencies, banking and derivatives market regulation, anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standards. The focus is on relationships and tensions between different kinds of norms created by multiple regulatory networks and other private and public standard setters in the field of global governance of finance, characterised by transnational legal pluralism. Ultimately, the analysis seeks to shed light on the forms of legal interactions, between distancing and linkages of legal norms, and on the ways through which these interactions are dealt with in practice from the perspective of regulators and addressees of these norms.

Entangled Legalities: Interface Law in the Global Order

It is widely accepted today that the global order contains a multiplicity of different normative orders. While the legal status of some of these normativities – especially those of an informal character and private origin – is still debated, the importance of multiplicity for understanding and theorizing law beyond the state is hardly disputed. Yet unlike some in the pluralist literature assume, this multiplicity is not one of parallel existence, but of intense entanglement and interaction. This paper is interested in the shape of this interaction: it seeks to shed light on how the different legalities in the global order interact and what interface norms are emerging at the points where legalities intersect. It will present a typology of interface norms, both formal and substantive, and a set of examples in which we observe these norms, with a view to providing a prism that can help us structure deeper inquiries into the interface law that is emerging in the global realm.

Conflict managers or avoiders? The role of global courts in entangling normative orders

What do the Lockerbie and US-Shrimps cases, the Swordfish dispute and the Southern Bluefin Tuna arbitration have in common? Often cited when addressing norm conflicts in international law, they were instrumental in moving interface conflicts center-stage, raising more general questions about unity and pluralism in international law. But a common terminology focused solely on conflict of norms does not account for the institutional setting in which conflict management takes place. This contribution focuses on global courts, arguing that in order to assess their institutional dimension, a better understanding of their respective judicial hermeneutics is needed. Through comparing landmark cases from three different international jurisdictions, and contrasting them with cases that could have, but did not, raise questions of conflicting regimes, I develop a framework to further investigate the conditions under which courts address conflicts and the legal tools they use to solve them.