After the World War II and its atrocities, a new international institution, the United Nations (UN) was created in 1945 to focus on the new challenges faced by the international community. One of the major challenges was the wave of decolonization which started between the two World wars. It was particularly difficult and painful for the two states, the colonial state and the colonizer state. International law and more precisely the UN charter were requested by the post-colonial States to justify their anti-colonial struggle and their right to self-determination.
These new independent States, most of time grouped under the label Third World, tried through the project of Nation Building to catch up with the West . This means that during the second part of the 20th century, the Third World was doing everything to become a strong State with its own kingly prerogatives, and to narrow the gap between the North, i.e. the United States and Europe and the South equivalent to the Third World. By the end of the 1980's, some scholars coming from the Third World proposed a critical approach to the grounds of the International law, saying that International law was firmly grounded in its colonial origins. Indeed, International law brought justifications for invasion and colonization by the Europeans. Now that the process of decolonization came to an end, at least in theory, it is time to rethink the foundations of International law.
[...] Through the influence of TWAIL scholars such as Makau Mutua or Antony Anghie, mentalities are changing and head of states of the Third World are more willing to bring their claims and to defend their interests because they now have theoretical back up to challenge the dominant doctrine practically. Nevertheless, it takes a long time to be effective as shows the debate about the membership of the Security Council where there is no African State among the permanent members. In fact, the Security Council in its current structure carries on the traditional pattern between the Third World and the hegemonic West. [...]
[...] Whereas writers considering themselves as members of the TWAIL movement express various theories, they all share a common feeling; an anger against the injustices committed to the Third World whatever is the area of International law concerned. However if the Third World approaches are gradually taken into account, its contributions are sometimes smeared of weaknesses due to the youth of the movement as well as its own contradictions. TWAIL brought its important contributions on the evolution of the conflicting forces which are running International law. [...]
[...] (2007), Past, Present and Future of International Law : A Critical Third World Approach” Melbourne Journal of International Law , Vol.27, No pp 499-500 Mutua,M (2000), “What is Proceedings of 94th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), p31 Mutua,M (2000), “What is Proceedings of 94th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), p31 Mickelson, K (1997-1998) “Rhetoric and Rage: Third World Voices in International Legal Discourse”, Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol 16 No pp 356-357 Rajagopal, B. [...]
[...] TWAIL scholars seem to prefer some specific areas of law such as the law of War, the International humanitarian law or the law of Human Rights. There are the laws that organize the relations between States and that preserve the well being of their populations. For instance, the use of force is a central point in international relations; it is the balance between State sovereignty and the right for another State to interfere if the human rights are hold up to ridicule. [...]
[...] To borrow the words of B.S Chimni, TWAIL gives meaning to International law in the context of the lived experiences of the ordinary peoples of the Third World in order to transform it into an International law of emancipation” . This definition shows how this movement of resistance was firmly rooted with the day-to-day life of the people from the Third World. TWAIL is ruling by three objectives, distinct but at the same time intrinsically linked and interconnected. These three aims are, reshaping international norms and institutions to get rid of the classic opposition between Europeans and non-Europeans, to propose new legal system to rule international governance and to improve the standards of living for the countries of the Third World qualified as underdeveloped. [...]
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