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Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Robert Alexy’s argument for the ‘dual’ nature of law makes unnecessary concessions to legal positivism. In my view the correct position is that law and rights have a single nature, that of moral judgment. Accordingly, the constitution is not a mechanism for producing ‘valid’ legal rights, alongside merely moral rights. There is no such mechanism. The constitution is an institutional framework with which we can make sense of our own role in a political community as free and equal citizens. It provides ethical grounds regarding the most significant political matters of the day. The constitution is part of an ongoing process of applying practical reason to political affairs in light of arguments about justice and fairness among competing political interests. The constitution is part of our moral horizon, one more element in the tapestry of reasons available to the mind.

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Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Is global justice independent of borders? Many theorists take a ‘global view’ of justice and believe that borders are irrelevant to questions of distribution. Others take a ‘political view’ and argue that institutions of self-government divide the world up into different domains of distributive justice. This chapter defends the political view by focusing on the issue of the legitimacy of self-government. Imposing one’s own view of social justice on a self-governing political society is a usurpation of that society’s functions. It shows lack of respect for its members as citizens. These conclusions follow from the argument offered by Kant for the priority of ‘constitutional justice’ as a precondition of any just distribution. Legitimacy applies to the international domain in exactly the same way that it does in the domestic case.

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Pavlos Eleftheriadis

This chapter argues that the process of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU has revealed important truths about the continuing dependence of EU law on international law. First, the deal agreed by the UK and the EU in February 2016 as part of David Cameron’s attempt to ‘reform’ the relationship between the UK and the EU was an international agreement under the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties. Second, the process of withdrawal and especially the challenges of a withdrawal agreement and a separate trade agreement also show the permanent dependence of EU law on public international law. EU law is a creation of international law and international law is a legal order, meaning it provides standards of conduct for international actors and individuals within a systematic intellectual framework, even when the EU legal order falls away.