Die Fragmentierungsdebatte. Zwischen Einheit, Diversifikation und self-fulfilling prophecy
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The proliferation of international treaties and international courts has long been discussed – until today – under the topic of fragmentation. In the absence of an international legislative authority and a Supreme Court of international law the phenomenon has been described- not without cause – as worrisome. The present article is primarily engaged in exploring, why a further refinement of international legal doctrines does not seem to offer a sustainable and practicable solution to the problem. In this end it gives a brief overview of the various theoretical approaches that have been discussed. It starts in the 1950s, works up to the respective report of the International Law Commission in 2006 and finishes with a workshop recently held at the University of Vienna concerning the European Court of Human Rights and fragmentation. It becomes clear, that the complexity of the debate derives from the lack of consent about the term fragmentation. Another reason is the different thematic focus each author sets: they either focus on the multiplicity of treaties seeking to generate tools that might avoid or resolve conflicts or they focus on the multiplicity of courts. The main reason for complexity, however, is that the varying offered solutions are closely related to each authors preconception of international law as a whole – unity or diversity – and extremely different perceptions of its capacity to control social systems.