RSIS Seminar Series on Multilateralism Studies: “International Law as a Constraint on Foreign Policy” by Dr Math Noortmann
Louis Henking’s statement that “Almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time” is an ontological truism. But ‘why do States obey international law?’, Harold Koh rhetorically asked in his famous 1997 review article. There are many answers to that question. International Law constrains Foreign Policy in a number of ways. That however is not to say that international law dictates all foreign policy of all states. All of the answers are context dependent and require a proper analysis of the facts of the case, the interpretation if the applicable rules and the attitude of the stakeholder in question.
The lecture provides first of all a basic overview of how international law works and what is. It familiarizes the student with important theoretical approaches and transdisciplinarity in the field of international affairs. Secondly, it sets out the basics of the process of international law making, dispute settlement and enforcement. Finally, the lecture will be provided examples/cases from various fields of international law, including the law of the sea, the use of force, (diplomatic) immunity law and international criminal law.
About the Speaker:
Math Noortman is Professor of Transnational Law and Non-State Actors at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK. He leads the Research Group on Transnational and Maritime Security. He worked for universities in the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and the UK. Math’s research interests encompass private military and security companies, maritime crimes, transnational law and security.
Math is the (co-)author or (co-)editor of 9 books such as: Non-state Actors and International Law (Hart, 2016); Human Security, International Law and Non-State Actors (Intersentia,2014); Enforcing International Law (Ashgate, 2005); and numerous chapters and articles on subjects like transnational criminal organisations, terrorism, international law, human security and sanctions.
Math has consulted for a wide range of organisations including NGOs, the Asian Development Bank, the Beijing Municipality, the European Union and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe. He sits on the board of several journals and organisations addressing inter alia, humanitarian law, ASEAN, transnationalism, and the UN.
Math Noortmann holds an LLB and LLM, and PhD in International Law from the University of Utrecht, and a MSc in political Science from the VU University Amsterdam, and a certificate in European Law from the TMC Asser Institute, The Hague
Reading 1: Noortmann (2005) the basics of IL
Reading 2: Koh (1997) IL enforcement