Legal reasoning as web design: the Advisory Opinions of the International Court of Justice

with Professor Pauline Westerman

The seminar series in jurisprudence and the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice

invites you to a seminar with

Professor Pauline Westerman


Legal reasoning as web design: the Advisory Opinions of the International Court of Justice

In her recent paper, “Legal Reasoning as Web Design” Professor Westerman takes the perspective of law as an activity with a focus on the different strategies and methods of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in particular its advisory opinions. What are the strategies and methods? In the paper Professor Westerman argues that in analysing law as an activity rather an as an aggregate of “things” such as standards, principles, rules and guidelines, it is easier to make sense of the special way in which the activities of the ICJ are carried out when delivering its advisory opinions. The legal reasoning of the ICJ can instead be explained as the designing of an argumentative web, where legal actors and a multiplicity of norms can be said to be anchorpoints. At the seminar Professor Westerman will present her research on the topic.

Pauline Westerman is Professor in Philosphy of Law, at the Faculty of Law, University of Groeningen, the Netherlands. She is also a Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Professor Westerman has published extensively, in particular regarding the theory of legislation and regulation as well as the methodology of legal scholarship, the importance of procedures and the history of ideas. In her latest book, “Outsourcing the Law” from 2018 (Edward Elgar Publishing) she analyses this outsourcing from a philosophical perspective, its implications for democracy, rule of law, judicial decision-making and legal research.

Please inform Katarina Fast Lappalainen of your participation by 30 September. Use the following Zoom-link: