The Relevance of International Law: Essays in Honor of Leo Gross

The Relevance of International Law: Essays in Honor of Leo Gross

The Relevance of International Law: Essays in Honor of Leo Gross

The Relevance of International Law: Essays in Honor of Leo Gross

Excerpt

This volume was originally written in honor of Professor Leo Gross, a leading, exacting and wise scholar, Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday.

The authors who have contributed to this book were all guided by the desire to reflect Professor Gross' own approach to international law -- an approach which is precisely that which students of international law, whether they are studying in schools of law or in departments of political science, ought to find most helpful and appropriate. It could be called a double refusal: the refusal to accept the utopian claims of those who see in the post-World War Two development of international law a huge step toward a world submitted to the rule of law and freed from the conflicts and obstacles to cooperation which state sovereignty breeds, and the refusal to see the fragility of international law -- its gaps in many essential areas, its ambiguity in others, its challenge by ideologies or by new nations, or by superpowers in competition, all of which find it too constraining -- used as a pretext either for complete cynicism or for a deliberate exploitation of its rules as self-serving tools of national policy. The authors of this book recognize both the present weaknesses of international law and the deep political reasons which perpetuate them in a revolutionary world torn by every conceivable kind of conflict. But they see nothing to be gained either by cheapening one of the few available instruments of world order or by overlooking the very real fact that the competition of states itself occurs in a framework of widely accepted rules without which there could be no predictability of any kind, no possibility of communications, transportation, trade, technical cooperation and scientific exchange across borders.

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