International Law and Pragmatics. An Account of Interpretation in International Law

Jennifer Smolka, Benedikt Pirker

Abstract


In this interdisciplinary paper, a legal scholar and a linguist aim to combine the scientific strands of linguistics and international law. Linguistics, and especially pragmatics, has not yet been fully integrated into the study of interpretation in international law, although some international legal scholars have started to apply the labels “linguistic” or “pragmatic” to their work on interpretation. While they do take into account research in the field of law and language, there is a tendency to follow very traditional approaches according to which semantics and pragmatics are divided into neatly separated domains. We posit a parallel between legal interpretation and pragmatics. Pragmatics has evolved from the so-called “waste-basket” of linguistics to become a fully-fledged discipline. The same should be true of legal interpretation and its study in international law, which should no longer be considered merely a legal afterthought – as if meaning were “all in the text”. We argue that scientifically grounded pragmatics should be applied to legal interpretation. Recent research in linguistics and pragmatics, and the concepts that such research has provided, may also help us to build a stronger scientific foundation for the debate within international law on interpretation. Integrating pragmatics may allow for a more suitable model of legal interpretation than the sociological approaches some international lawyers have turned to. This may also provide a plausible link between the actors and structures of legal interpretation.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abi-Saab, Georges (2010). The Appellate Body and Treaty Interpretation. In Fitzmaurice et al. (Eds.), Treaty Interpretation and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: 30 Years on (pp. 99–110). Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Adam, Jean-Michel (2005). La linguistique textuelle. Introduction à l'analyse textuelle des discours. Paris: Armand Colin.

Akhavan, Payam (2008). Reconciling Crimes against Humanity with the Laws of War. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 6, 21–37.

Asher, Nicolas & Lascarides, Alex (2003). Logics of Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Auchlin, Antoine (1990). Analyse du discours et bonheur conversationnel. Cahiers de linguistique française, 11, 311–328.

— (1998). Les dimensions de l'analyse pragmatique du discours dans une approche expérientielle et systémique de la compétence discursive. In Verschueren (Ed.), Pragmatics in 1998. Selected Papers from the 6th International Pragmatics Conference (pp. 1–22). Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association.

Aust, Helmut Philipp & Nolte, Georg (Eds.) (2016). The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts – Uniformity, Diversity, Convergence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baron-Cohen, Simon (1995). Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Bastarache, Michel (2012). Bilingual Interpretation Rules as a Component of Language Rights in Canada. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 159–174). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bechara, Antoine, Damasio, Hanna, Damasio, Antonio & Lee, Gregory (1999). Different Contributions of the Human Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex to Decision-Making. The Journal of Neuroscience, 19(13), 5473–5481.

Benavides Casals, María Angelíca (2010). Die Auslegungsmethoden bei Menschenrechtsverträgen : die Rechtsprechung des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte und des Interamerikanischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Benett, Robert (2012). Constitutional Interpretation. In Solan & Tiersma (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 114–127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bianchi, Andrea (2010). Textual Interpretation and (International) Law Reading: The Myth of (In)Determinacy and the Genealogy of Meaning. In Bekker et al. (Eds.), Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy (pp. 34–55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bianchi, Andrea, Peat, Daniel & Windsor, Matthew (Eds.) (2015). Interpretation in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bix, Brian (2012). Legal Interpretation and the Philosophy of Language. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 145–155). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Blakemore, Diane (1992). Understanding Utterance: Introduction to Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Börjesson, Kristin (2014). The Semantics-Pragmatics Controversy. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter.

Cannizzaro, Enzo (Ed.) (2011). The Law of Treaties: Beyond the Vienna Convention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carston, Robyn (2002). Thoughts and Utterances. London: Blackwell.

Clark, Billy (2013). Relevance Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Corrigan, Gordon (2001). Wellington: A Military Life. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Corten, Olivier & Klein, Pierre (Eds.) (2011). The Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties: A Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Damasio, Antonio (1997). Descartes' Irrtum – Fühlen, Denken und das menschliche Gehirn. Munich: List.

de Beaugrande, Robert & Dressler, Wolfgang (1981). Introduction to Text Linguistics. New York: Longman.

Dennett, Daniel (1987). The Intentional Stance. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Dunoff, Jeffrey & Pollack, Mark (Eds.) (2013). Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Engberg, Jan (2012). Word Meaning and the Problem of a Globalized Legal Order. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 175–186). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fernández de Casadevante Romani, Carlos (2007). Sovereignty and Interpretation of International Norms. Berlin: Springer.

Filliettaz, Laurent & Roulet, Eddy (2002). The Geneva Model of Discourse Analysis: an Interactionist and Modular Approach to Discourse Organization. Discourse Studies, 4(3), 369–393.

Fish, Stanley (1980). Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

— (1989). Doing what comes naturally : change, rhetoric, and the practice of theory in literary and legal studies. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Fitzmaurice, Malgosia, Elias, Olufemi & Merkouris, Panos (Eds.) (2010). Treaty Interpretation and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: 30 Years on. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.

Frijda, Nico & Mesquita, Batja (2000). Beliefs through emotions. In Frijda et al. (Eds.), Emotions and Beliefs: How Feelings Influence Thoughts (pp. 45–77). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Galdia, Marcus (2009). Legal Linguistics. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Gardiner, Richard (2008). Treaty Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Glennon, Michael (2010). The Fog of Law: Pragmatism, Security, and International Law. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Gotti, Maurizio (2012). Text and Genre. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 52–66). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grawe, Klaus (2000). Psychologische Therapie. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Grice, Herbert Paul (1975). Logic and Conversation. In Cole & Morgan (Eds.), Syntacs and Semantics 3: Pragmatics (pp. 41–58). New York: Academic Press.

Hirsch, Moshe (2005). The Sociology of International Law. University of Toronto Law Journal, 55, 891–939.

— (2008). The Sociology of International Economic Law: Sociological Analysis of the Regulation of Regional Agreements in the World Trading System. European Journal of International Law, 19(2), 277–299.

— (2014). The Sociology of International Investment Law. In Douglas et al. (Eds.), The Foundations of International Investment Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Horn, Laurence (2004). Implicature. In Horn & Ward (Eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics (pp. 3–28). Oxford: Blackwell.

— (2006). The border wars: A neo-Gricean perspective. In von Heusinger & Turner (Eds.), Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics (pp. 21–48). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Jaszczolt, Kasia (2016). Meaning in Linguistic Interaction – Semantics, Metasemantics, Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Keller, Reiner (2006). Wissenssoziologische Diskursanalyse. In Keller (Ed.), Handbuch Sozialwissenschaftliche Diskursanalyse: Theorien und Methoden (pp. 115–147). Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Kennedy, David (2005). The Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kolb, Robert (2006). Interprétation et création du droit international. Esquisse d’une herméneutique juridique moderne pour le droit international public. Brussels: Bruylant.

Krauthausen, Udo (2009). Die Moralphilosophie des David Hume und ihre Aktualität in der Rechtsphilosophie. Munich: Utz.

Lammers, Claas-Hinrich (2007). Emotionsbezogene Psychotherapie. Grundlagen, Strategien und Techniken. Stuttgart: Schattauer.

Lang, Andrew (2011). World Trade Law after Neoliberalism – Re-imagining the Global Economic Order. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Linderfalk, Ulf (2007). On the Interpretation of Treaties. The Modern International Law as Expressed in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Dordrecht: Springer.

— (2013/2014). The Functionality of Conceptual Terms in International Law and International Legal Discourse. European Journal of Legal Studies, 6(2), 27–50.

Mahlmann, Matthias (2009). New Trends of Cognitive Science in Ethical and Legal Reflection. In Vöneky et al. (Eds.), Legitimation ethischer Fragen im Recht (pp. 15–49). Berlin: Springer.

Mattila, Heikki (2012). Legal Vocabulary. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 27–38). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

— (2013). Comparative Legal Linguistics (2 ed.). Farnham: Ashgate.

McAuliffe, Karen (2012). Language and Law in the European Union: The Multilingual Jurisprudence of the ECJ. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 200–216). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Merkouris, Panos (2015). Article 31(3)(c) VCLT and the Principle of Systemic Integration – Normative Shadows in Plato's Cave. Leiden: Brill.

Mey, Jacob (1993). How to do good things with words: A social pragmatics for survival. Pragmatics, 4(2), 239–263.

Miller, Carolyn (1984). Genre as Social Action. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 151–167.

Moeschler, Jacques (2009). Pragmatics, Propositional and Non-Propositional Effects. Can a Theory of Utterance Interpretation Account for Emotions in Verbal Communication? Social Science Information, 48(3), 447–463.

— (2010). Is Pragmatics of Discourse Possible. In Capone (Ed.), Perspectives on Language, Use and Pragmatics. A Volume in Memory of Sorin Stati (pp. 217–241). Munich: Lincom Europa.

Moeschler, Jacques & Auchlin, Antoine (2009). Introduction à la linguistique contemporaine (3 ed.). Paris: Armand Colin.

Moeschler, Jacques & Reboul, Anne (1994). Dictionnaire encyclopédique de pragmatique. Paris: Seuil.

North, Douglas (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oakley, Todd & Kaufer, David (2008). Designing Clinical Experiences with Words: Three Layers of Analysis in Clinical Case Studies. In Oakley & Hougaard (Eds.), Mental Spaces in Discourse and Interaction (pp. 149–178). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Orakhelashvili, Alexander (2008). The Interpretation of Acts and Rules in Public International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Orakhelashvili, Alexander & Williams, Sarah (Eds.) (2010). 40 Years of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

Pauwelyn, Joost & Elsig, Manfred (2013). The Politics of Treaty Interpretation: Variations and Explanations across International Tribunals. In Dunoff & Pollock (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art (pp. 445–473). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reboul, Anne & Moeschler, Jacques (1998a). La pragmatique aujourd'hui: une nouvelle science de la communication Paris: Editions du Seuil.

— (1998b). Pragmatique du discours. De l'interprétation de l'énoncé à l'interprétation du discours. Paris: Armand Colin.

Roberts, Andrew (2001). Napoleon and Wellington. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Sandholtz, Wayne (2007). Prohibiting Plunder: How Norms Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schane, Sanford (2012). Contract Formation as a Speech Act. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 100–113). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schreuer, Christoph (2010). Diversity and Harmonization of Treaty Interpretation in Investment Arbitration. In Fitzmaurice et al. (Eds.), Treaty Interpretation and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: 30 Years on (pp. 129–152). Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Shaffer, Gregory & Ginsburg, Tom (2012). The Empirical Turn in International Legal Scholarship. American Journal of International Law, 106(1), 1–46.

Simonnaes, Ingrid (2012). Rechtskommunikation national und international im Spannungsfeld von Hermeneutik, Kognition und Pragmatik. Berlin: Frank & Timme.

Simpson, Gerry (2015). The Sentimental Life of International Law. London Review of International Law, 3(1), 3–29.

Smolka, Jennifer (2014). Cognitivism on the Couch: Revisiting Auchlin's Experiential Approach to Pragmatic Discourse Analysis. Berlin: Lehmanns.

Solan, Lawrence (2012). Linguistic Issues in Statutory Interpretation. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 87–99). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Solan, Lawrence & Tiersma, Peter (2012). Introduction. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 1–9). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sperber, Dan & Wilson, Deirdre (1986). Relevance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

— (1995). Relevance. Communication and Cognition (2 ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.

Spitzmüller, Jürgen & Warnke, Ingo (2011). Diskurslinguistik: Eine Einführung in Theorien und Methoden der transtextuellen Sprachanalyse Berlin: De Gruyter.

Stygall, Gail (2012). Discourse in the US Courtroom. In Solan & Tiersma (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 369–380). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tiersma, Peter (2012). A History of the Languages of Law. In Tiersma & Solan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (pp. 13–26). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tomkins, Silvan (1982). Affect, Imagery, Consciousness (Vol. 3). New York: Springer.

Vagts, Detlev (1993). Treaty Interpretation and the New American Ways of Law Reading. European Journal of International Law, 4, 472–505.

Van Damme, Isabelle (2009). Treaty Interpretation by the WTO Appellate Body. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Venzke, Ingo (2012). How Interpretation Makes International Law – On Semantic Change and Normative Twists. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Villiger, Mark (2009). Commentary on the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.

von Bogdandy, Armin & Venzke, Ingo (2011). Beyond Dispute: International Judicial Institutions as Lawmakers. German Law Journal, 12(5), 979–1004.

— (Eds.) (2012). International Judicial Lawmaking: On Public Authority and Democratic Legitimation in Global Governance. Heidelberg: Springer.

von Heusinger, Klaus & Turner, Ken (2006). (By way of an) Introduction: A first dialogue on the semantics-pragmatics interface. In von Heusinger & Turner (Eds.), Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics (pp. 1– 20). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Waelde, Thomas (2009). Interpreting Investment Treaties: Experiences and Examples. In Binder et al. (Eds.), International Investment Law for the 21st Century – Essays in Honour of Christoph Schreuer (pp. 724– 781). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Waibel, Michael (2011). International Investment Law and Treaty Interpretation. In Hofmann & Tams (Eds.), International Investment Law and General International Law – From Clinical Isolation to Systemic Integration? (pp. 29–52). Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Wilson, Dan (2003). Relevance Theory and Lexical Pragmatics. Italian Journal of Linguistics, 15(2), 273–291.

Wilson, Dan & Sperber, Deirdre (2004). Relevance Theory. In Horn & Ward (Eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics (pp. 607–632). Oxford: Blackwell.

Zarbiev, Fouad (2010). Le discours interprétatif en droit international: une approche critique et généalogique. Geneva: PhD Thesis, Graduate Institute.

Zufferey, Sandrine & Moeschler, Jacques (2012). Initiation à l'étude du sens. Auxerre: Sciences Humaines Éditions.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14762/jll.2016.001

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Jennifer Smolka, Benedikt Pirker

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.