International Legal Pluralism

This symposium has sought to examine the fragmentation of the international legal system. Such a task presupposes that international law is, in fact, undergoing some form of fragmentation. A range of recent scholarship has described this so-called fragmentation in various ways and generally considered it a negative development, a threat to the legal system as we know it. This commentary challenges both these assumptions by suggesting that international law is not fragmenting, but rather is being transformed into a pluralist system. Instead of being undermined by fragmentation, the rules, the institutions, and practices of the international legal order can be strengthened by the emergence of an international legal pluralism.