Transitional Cosmopolitanism through Courts

Convenor: Claudio Corradetti, University of Oslo (

During the last decades, cosmopolitan justice has become one of the major fields of multidisciplinary research. Mostly starting from various reinterpretations of Kant’s Perpetual Peace, theories about cosmopolitan justice have emphasized either the relevance of centralized agencies, or have combined – alternatively – nation-state approaches showing a ‘universalist’ scope. Issues concerning the advancement of a cosmopolitan condition have also involved the role of the global civil society, civil disobedience and social activists and so on. Yet, little weight has been given to the assessment of the role of courts, either at the local or at the international level in the promotion of a “cosmopolitan law” and, finally, in the constitutionalization of international law. This flaw may reflect a deep scholarly divergence in understanding the multi-faced aspects of transnational law, either regional (i.e. EU), international or – still in progress – cosmopolitan.  Particularly in this latter case, the ever growing influence of international courts as in the case of the International Court of Justice or in the “constitutional moment” in the European Union with the European Court of Justice as well as the hierarchization of international law requires the clarification of what is the philosophical and legal significance, if any, of the constitutionalization of cosmopolitan law.
The goal of the session will be to present a general Kantian framework of analysis of the idea of “transitional cosmopolitanism” and proceed to the analysis of the role of International Courts in their advancement of the constitutionalization of international law.

Some of the key questions are:

  • How can transitional cosmopolitan law be defined?
  • How can it be said to play a “transitional” function?
  • How can human rights courts and international criminal courts, respectively, address the problem?


2-3 Papers Presentations – 1 Session 3hrs

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