course
DI037 | Autumn | 6 ECTS

Law without the State

Most lawyers, indeed most people, think that law is necessarily something created by states. National law is created by one nation-state, international law by several. In principle at least. But just why? Why do we think of law as a creation of states? Can we disconnect law from states? Would this be a good idea? Does it matter that law is anything specific? Non-state actors, generally speaking, have become stronger in creating or pushing for norms. Does this and should this mean that law - the very idea of law - will change? At some stage in the past, there weren't any states, but surely there was law. If something similar were to happen again, what would we be calling law? Nothing at all? Just anything? When lawyers describe the law in a given field, they normally focus on legislation and cases, on state and administrative practice, on treaties and other forms of state activity. This works in practice for most people and most situations. But is it quite 'correct' intellectually?