The impact of the international economic order on the quality of people’s lives and its segmentation across levels of authority and issue areas raises urgent normative questions: Which substantive and procedural principles should be brought to bear upon international economic law? How can international economic law take account of non-trade values and relate to other global governance mechanisms? At which level of governance should principles of justice be realised and who are the subjects of a global constitution?
These questions still await a systematic answer. The Centre addresses them through individual and edited publications with a view to putting forth a plausible and coherent account of the constitution of international economic law. An individual research project at the Centre examines the potential for conflict between trade liberalisation in services through the WTO’s GATS and labour law through the lens of distributive justice and seeks to develop a theory of global distributive justice feasible for international economic law.
The Centre also organises the lecture series Trade in Goods, Law and Global Justice on the normative quality of international economic law in the autumn 2008, which brings together prominent international economic law scholars and philosophers. An international conference on the constitution of international economic law is planned in the year 2011, where legal theorists, international economic law scholars and political philosophers will be invited to debate these issues.