Natural Law And Legal Positivism : Integrative Jurisprudence And The Legality Of Humanitarian Intervention
International Law is an evolving dialogue between competing approaches and cannot be simply categorized. There is usually a choice put forward between Legal Positivism and Natural law in order to understand international law, however, this choice need not be made. International actors actually employ international law according to both approaches and neither, entirely or partly. The natural law tradition can be traced back to the time of Socrates and the Stoics. The legitimacy of it relies on its obedience to higher values of justice and morality. Over time, Natural Law was criticized as legal theorists maintained that morality and law need to be kept separate. This led to the development of Legal Positivism, implying what is posited. Law as it is, rather than law as it should be.
International Law has always faced a legitimacy problem, grounded on the idea of authority. Positive Law at state level has clear legitimacy because of a clearly delegated sovereign and people’s acceptance of that authority, however, international law cannot enforce policies on states as they see this as an attack on their sovereignty and autonomy. Natural law exists not only as the foundation of positive international law, but as the reason international law is possible. The upsurge of Legal Positivism led to the demise of Natural Law theories (NLT); however NLT experienced…