Home

Por Nicolás Carrillo Santarelli

Leyendo la sección sobre interpretación de cine y literatura en un libro de Jonathan Culler sobre “Literary Theory”, vinieron a mi mente algunos argumentos de Andrea Bianchi y Dworkin, entre otros, sobre los puntos de contacto y semejanzas entre el derecho y la literatura. Sin embargo, en lugar de pensar sobre la función de las autoridades como “escritores” de una novela o las discusiones sobre cuestiones jurídicas y su planteamiento crítico en obras literarias, lo que llamó mi atención fue cómo los debates sobre su interpretación adecuada se asemeja en parte a las reglas de interpretación de las normas convencionales y otras normas del derecho internacional. Al respecto, al discutir sobre el significado, Culler recuerda cómo algunos sostienen que “meaning of an utterance is what someone means by it, as though the intention of a speaker determined meaning”; otros consideran que “meaning is in the text […] as if meaning were the product of the language itself”; algunos sostienen que “context is what determines meaning”; otros consideran que las posturas críticas o aproximaciones (marxistas, feministas, etc.) contribuyen a encontrar significados y, finalmente, “[s]ome critics claim […] that the meaning of a text is the experience of a reader”. Así, sería el lector quien ve confirmadas o no sus expectativas en una obra, y sus experiencia y posturas influirían en los significados que encuentra.

Pues bien, sin que necesariamente esto se aplique exclusivamente a los jueces (realismo judicial), sino a cualquier intérprete o agente que interactúe con el derecho, me parece que esta dinámica no presente en el artículo 31 de la Convención de Viena sobre el Derecho de los Tratados (lo que se explica por la incertidumbre que supondría abrazar abierta y explícitamente esta postura), no obstante, sí prevalece con frecuencia en la práctica. Los intérpretes muchas veces “ven” en una norma lo que creen o quieren ver, bien sea en términos de efectos (por ejemplo, considerando que una norma de soft law es vinculante, algo que en ocasiones parecen hacer órganos como la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (ver, por ejemplo, el párrafo 45 de la opinión consultiva OC-23/17) o agentes colombianos) o de contenido (según convenga a determinada agenda; por prejuicio en la formación académica, o por otras razones como la “solidaridad” profesional con algunos círculos, siendo algunas posturas non sanctas, otras algo más inocentes). Y, así, la idea de que en la práctica la jurisprudencia, a pesar de ser formalmente inter partes y carecer de staredecisis, tiene un peso bastante grande en la práctica y el desarrollo del derecho internacional (gracias a la simbiosis entre activistas y autoridades, o gracias a la agencia propia del staff de las organizaciones, como sostiene la teoría liberal de las relaciones internacionales), puede explicarse junto a otras dinámicas.

La ESIL Lecture de la profesora Anne Orford sobre “Histories of International Law and Empire” está disponible en el website de la ESIL website. En su conferencia, la profesora Orford defiende que “el pensamiento de derecho internacional debe ser anacrónico”. Copio el abstract:

ESIL Lecture Series
and
CYCLE DE CONFERENCES SORBONNE-DROIT

Histories of International Law and Empire
Professor Anne Orford

 Abstract

There is a growing body of international legal scholarship concerned with the question of whether and how the imperial past is relevant to the internationalist present. The exploration of this question brings international lawyers into conversation with scholars studying similar issues in world history, philosophy, politics, literature, postcolonial studies, critical geography, intellectual history, and  political economy. Yet as is often the case with interdisciplinary work, the resulting discussions have been riven by conflicts and territorial disputes over the proper way to interpret, understand, and study particular texts, events, or figures. This lecture addresses some of the methodological challenges that international legal scholars face when we attempt to write histories of international law and empire.

More particularly, this lecture is a defence of the place of anachronism in international legal thinking. The claim that we might want to study the imperial past because of its implications for the present represents an implicit challenge to the approach to the history of political thought that has dominated much Anglophone scholarship over the past forty years. The contextualist Cambridge school of intellectual history has cultivated a sensitivity to anachronism amongst historians of European political thought, particularly that of early modern Europe. Historians influenced by that school argue that past texts must not be approached anachronistically in light of current debates, problems and linguistic usages, or in a search for the development of canonical themes, fundamental concepts, or timeless doctrines. The clear demarcation between past and present that underpins much modern historical research requires that everything must be placed in the context of its time, and present-day questions must not be allowed to distort our interpretation of past events, texts, or concepts. Anachronism is one of the most regularly denounced sins of historical scholarship.

This lecture argues in contrast that international legal thinking is necessarily anachronic – that is, that the operation of modern law is not governed solely by a chronological sense of time, in which events and texts are confined to their proper place in a historical progression from then to now. The past, far from being fixed and immutable, is constantly being retrieved by lawyers as a source or rationalisation of present obligation. Thus while some legal historians identify as historians, and preach against the sin of anachronism, lawyers are and must be sinners in this sense. If the self-imposed task of today’s contextualist historians is to think about concepts in their proper time and place, the task of international legal scholars is to think about how concepts move across time and space.

Para proponer una ESIL Lecture, por favor siga estas  indicaciones.

IMG_4709

Hay plazo hasta el 1 de mayo para presentar propuestas para esta interesante conferencia sobre interpretación en el derecho internacional. Aquí está el ‘call for papers’:

Interpretation in International Law

University of Cambridge

August 27, 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS

The relevance of interpretation to the academic study and professional practice of international law is inescapable. Yet interpretation in international law has not traditionally been examined as a distinct field. Given that international law is constituted, in practical terms, by acts of interpretation, there is a need for greater methodological awareness of interpretive theory and practice in international law.

The ‘Interpretation in International Law’ conference at the University of Cambridge in August 2013 aims to attract submissions focusing on the divergent processes of interpretation that exist in international law, whether these be differentiated linguistically, culturally, politically or socially. Submissions will be encouraged that deal with the interpretation process per se, as well as the place of interpretive process within the larger scheme of international law (such as divergent interpretations of concrete provisions, or the impact of interpretation on the sources of international law). The conference welcomes submissions from both philosophical and practical perspectives ensuring exposure of ideas and concepts that may otherwise have been confined to their own sub-fields.

The following speakers will give keynote presentations:

  • Sir David Baragwanath (President, Special Tribunal for Lebanon)
  • Professor Andrea Bianchi (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
  • Dr Ingo Venzke (University of Amsterdam)

A wide variety of proposals are welcomed. Proposed panels include:

  • Interpretation and Legal Doctrine: this panel will highlight the doctrinal exposition of particular contested legal standards – for example, “fair and equitable treatment” and “cruel and unusual punishment” – as well as the methodologies behind such expositions in a range of international and regional courts and tribunals.
  • Interpretation and the Sources of International Law: this panel will focus on how interpretive practice interacts with, and institutes hierarchies amongst, the sources of international law. Where can the line be drawn between “dynamic” and “progressive” interpretive practice and law-making? Submissions dealing with treaty interpretation and the place of interpretation in the formation of custom are encouraged.
  • Interpretation and the Interpreters: this panel will examine how disparate interpretations of international law are granted the imprimatur by functionally specialized interpretive communities who use international law as a professional vocabulary (for example, judges, diplomats, legal advisers, arbitrators and regulators). To what extent is the interpretation of international law a competition for “semantic authority” (Ingo Venzke)?
  • Interpretation and the International Legal Order: this panel will consider the extent to which one’s interpretive posture depends on the vision of the international legal order that one advocates, such as constitutionalism or global administrative law. How are particular values, such as dignity and comity, foregrounded or neglected in the interpretive process? Do interpretive practices have the potential to bridge conceptual divides between public and private international law?
  • Interpretation and Cultural Contingency: James Crawford has recently stated that international lawyers must possess a “technique of plurilingual interpretation”. This panel will provide a forum for the exposition of culturally distinct interpretive practices, as well as a consideration of the benefits and drawbacks of divergent interpretations stemming from cultural differences.
  • Interpretation and Indeterminacy: this panel focuses on interpretation in light of the critical challenge to international law. How is interpretive practice affected by the allegation that apolitical rules are impossible and that values used to justify such rules are subjective? Given the fragmentation of international law, is an interpretive lingua franca attainable or is interpretive pluralism inevitable?

Abstract submissions must be between 300-500 words in length and should be accompanied by a short resume. Please submit your documents to cambridgeinterpretation@gmail.com. Any queries may be directed to the conference conveners, Daniel Peat (dcp31@cam.ac.uk) and Matthew Windsor (mrw48@cam.ac.uk).

The closing date for submissions is 1 May 2013. We will notify successful applicants by late May 2013, who must submit their papers by early August 2013. Conference papers should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words. Selected submissions will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: