Handbook on the Rule of Law
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Handbook on the Rule of Law

Edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester

The discussion of the norm of the rule of law has broken out of the confines of jurisprudence and is of growing interest to many non-legal researchers. A range of issues are explored in this volume that will help non-specialists with an interest in the rule of law develop a nuanced understanding of its character and political implications. It is explicitly aimed at those who know the rule of law is important and while having little legal background, would like to know more about the norm.
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Chapter 18: The rule of law, new constitutionalism, and transnational legality

A. Claire Cutler


This chapter examines the global rule of law, which is argued to have little in common with the rule of law in domestic societes. The globalization of the rule of law gives rise to distinctively new forms of constitutionalism and legality: new constitutionalism and transnational legality. Both forms break the historic unity of the state and law in significant ways, transforming state-society relations. The transnational rule of law, evident in the operations of the investor-state regime, challenges conventional understandings of the rule of law by turning the concept of the rule of law on its head. Instead of protecting society from excesses of governmental powers, this regime in fact limits the exercise of governmental powers and subordinates societies to the discipline of investment rules that protect foreign investors. The transnational rule of law significantly delinks law and state, advances the interests of transnational corporate elites, often at the expense of the societies in which they are operating. The transnational rule of law thus raises concerns for all who believe that law can and should be a progressive social force in the world.

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