n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Some remarks on fragmentation of international law : disintegration or transformation?

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In the last few decades international law has been faced with the process of proliferation and specialisation of its primary norms (directed to the regulation of more and more complex international relations), as well as with the proliferation of secondary norms and international bodies directed to the interpretation and application of these primary norms.

Being aware of such a process, the International Law Commission (ILC) at its fifty-second session in 2000 decided to include this 'syndrome', already called the 'fragmentation of international law', in its long-term programme of work. Two years later, at its fifty-fourth session (2002) the commission included the topic in its programme of work and determined that it should be carried out during the quinquennium 2003-2006.
Starting from the recent works of the International Law Commission from 2004 to 2005, this article deals with the problem of 'substantive' fragmentation of international law in the sense of the proliferation of, not only international primary and secondary norms, but also international legal subsystems including self-contained regimes of international law ( diplomatic law, EC / EU law, human rights law) analysing at the same time their relation to the international legal system as a whole.
Finally, the paper analyses the phenomenon of fragmentation in the light of principles of legal logic trying to give an answer to the question of the place of such a phenomenon in the development of international law.

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