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Jan Klabbers

This chapter aims to discuss the ever-fraught relationship between law and ethics in foreign policy. Its argument boils down to the suggestion that however much legal rules are needed, no foreign policy can succeed without practical wisdom on the part of the decision-makers. Following brief case studies of a minor judicial saga involving EUPM and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the chapter explores in what ways virtue ethics, and in particular the Aristotelian virtue of practical wisdom (phronesis), can offer a helpful perspective when it comes to both making and discussing foreign policy decisions.

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Jan Klabbers

Legal thinking about international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), is dominated by functionalist theory. This ties the existence and operation of organizations to their functions, as framed by the member states, with the consequence that debates about controlling international organizations by anyone else are, almost literally, a theoretical impossibility. With this in mind, it is hardly an accident that some have suggested that a more constitutional approach to organizations such as the UN is needed. This contribution discusses the dominance of functionalism, explains how it works and what its blind spots are, and then scrutinizes the leading constitutional approach to the UN. It concludes that thus far, the constitutionalist alternative falls short, precisely on the point of accountability to third parties.

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Jan Klabbers

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Jan Klabbers

This chapter discusses some ways in which international law and ethics are interrelated. After discussing deontological and consequentialist approaches to ethics, it zooms in on virtue ethics, and suggests various ways in which virtue ethics may provide a helpful additional perspective on international relations.

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Jan Klabbers

The chapter aims to investigate whether the EU serves as a model for other international organizations or whether it does not really fit that mould, and concludes that it does both simultaneously. The EU is an organization unlike any other, but has in important respects paved the way for others - not only by its particular structure and concrete activities, but also, and perhaps most importantly, on the epistemological level: it was the EU which was largely responsible for stimulating the possibility for international organizations to not only affect their member states, as traditionally supposed, but to directly reach individuals within those member states.

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Jan Klabbers

This article, first delivered as the keynote at the ‘Transforming Institutions’ conference, discusses the increasing relevance of relations between different international organisations. It provides a discussion of what sort of forms these relations can take, and of the relevant legal questions that arise, relating to the form of instruments, treaty-making powers and procedures, accountability for joint activities, and related issues. It concludes by providing a preliminary assessment in light of some of the relevant theoretical literature.

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Jan Klabbers and Åsa Wallendahl

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Edited by Jan Klabbers and Åsa Wallendahl

This pioneering Research Handbook with contributions from renowned experts, provides an overview of the general doctrines making up the law of international organizations.