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Cynical International Law?

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Abuse and Circumvention in Public International and European Law. , Springer, 2021

‚Cynical International Law? – Abuse and Circumvention in Public International and European Law‘ was the general topic of the conference organised by the Working Group of Young Scholars in Public International Law and the German Society of International Law, held at Freie Universität Berlin in September 2020. Analysing international law through the prism of „cynicism“ makes it possible to look beyond overt disregard for international law, currently discussed in terms of a backlash or crisis. The concept allows to analyse and criticise structural features and specific uses of international law that seem detrimental to international law in a more subtle way. Unlike its ancient predecessor, cynicism nowadays refers not to a bold critique of power but to uses and abuses of international law that pursue one-sided interests tacitly disregarding the legal structure applied. From this point of view, the contributions critically reflect on the theoretical foundations of international law, in particular its relationship to power, actors such as the International Law Commission and international judges, and specific fields, including international human rights, humanitarian, criminal, tax and investment law.