Stretching the Idea of Jus Cogens: moving beyond standard definitions and applications
The idea of peremptory law – as norms that are valid independently from the will of states – is an old and long underused source of international law. The notion was part of a conceptual legal framework since Roman law, where a division was traced in the Digest between private and public law (respectively, peremptory law and jus dispositivum, that is, contractual law brought about by ‘will‘ of power-entities). This division reached modernity under the label of “jus cogens“, a peremptory law this time associated with public law. However, what is jus cogens today? How should we conceive it in times of crises? Which extensions of application can be imagined? Can literature help us defining fundamental traits of jus cogens? The panel investigates theoretical features and practical-legal puzzles in the definition and adoption of the jus cogens doctrine.