Epistemic Forces in International Law

Epistemic Forces in International Law

Foundational Doctrines and Techniques of International Legal Argumentation

Elgar International Law series

Jean d’Aspremont

Epistemic Forces in International Law examines the methodological choices of international lawyers through considering theories of statehood, sources, institutions and law-making. From this examination, Jean d'Aspremont presents a discerning insight into the way in which international lawyers shape their arguments to secure validation within the international law community.

Chapter 10: Expert blogging

Jean d’Aspremont

Subjects: law - academic, public international law

Extract

In the quest for persuasiveness and social validation of their legal arguments, certain professions of international lawyers will consider the resort to legal blogging as a communicative tool geared towards dissemination (transmission). Such a resort will usually be supplementary and will not replace other communicative tools. Legal blogging on current (legal) developments undoubtedly remains a hazardous exercise in which one should engage with the greatest care in one’s quest for persuasiveness and social validation – if not with the greatest self-restraint. At the same time, it comes with important virtues. This chapter reviews the pros and cons of expert blogging in the light of the common misunderstandings thereof found among international lawyers, with a special emphasis on its role in the social validation of legal exponents. In some strands of the international legal scholarship, many still resent blogging – and hence tend to despise those who engage in blogging – for two main reasons. First, legal blogging is scorned for the superficiality of the analyses and the absurd ideas it disseminates. Second, it is berated for disinhibiting scholars and bolstering their disregard of the – unwritten – codes and hierarchies of the profession. These two objections are surely not ill-founded. Indeed, posts on legal blogs are often quickly written notes on current legal developments without much critical distance and replete with unfinished thoughts.

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