© 2018

Global Justice, Human Rights and the Modernization of International Law

  • Riccardo Pisillo Mazzeschi
  • Pasquale De Sena

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxx
  2. Global Justice and Changes in the International Community

  3. Global Justice and Modernization of the Sources of General International Law

  4. New Goals for Humanity in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 269-272

About this book


This book is based on the observation that international law is undergoing a process of change and modernization, driven by many factors, among which the affirmation and consolidation of the role of the individual and of the theory of human rights stand out. 
In the contemporary world, international law has demonstrated an ability to evolve rapidly. But it is still unclear whether its modernization process is also producing structural changes, which affect the subjects, the sources and even the very purpose of this law. Is it truly possible to speak of a paradigmatic and ideological change in the international legal system, one that also involves a transition from a state-centred international order to a human-centred one, and from inter-state justice to global justice?
The book addresses three fundamental aspects of the modernization process of international law: the possible widening of the concept of international community and of the classic assumptions of statehood; the possible diversification of the sources of general international law; and the ability of international law to adapt to new challenges and to achieve the main goals for humanity set by the United Nations.
The overall objective of the book is to provide the tools for a deeper understanding of the transition phase of contemporary international law, by examining the major problems that characterize this phase. The book will also stimulate critical reflection on the future prospects of international law.


Modernization of international law Global justice 2013 agenda for sustainable development World constituionalism Universal community State sovereignty opinio iuris

Editors and affiliations

  • Riccardo Pisillo Mazzeschi
    • 1
  • Pasquale De Sena
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political and International SciencesUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of LawCatholic University of MilanMilanItaly

About the editors

Ricardo Pisillo Mazzeschi is Full Professor of International Law at the Department of International and Political Sciences, University of Siena; Director of the Interuniversity Centre for Human Rights, Migration and Aliens’ Law. LL.M. Harvard (1973); visiting professor/scholar at Tulane Law School, University College London, Université Paris II, Keio University, Lauterpacht Centre of International Law. Lectures at The Hague Academy of International Law (2006). Former legal expert on human rights for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; member of the Italian delegation at the Human Rights Council. Arbitrator and member of the Bureau of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. He has published 4 authored books or monographs, co-edited 4 collective books and written about 90 articles and book chapters on Public International Law, Private International Law and European Union Law.

Pasquale De Sena is Full Professor of International Law and International Human Rights Law at the Faculty of Law, Catholic University, Milan (2011-); P.H.D. International Law, University of Florence (1991); visiting Professor at Université de Strasbourg (2007), Université Paris I (2010), Université Paris II (IHEI; 2012); visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law (Heidelberg 1995) and the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law (Luxembourg 2015); associate fellow of the “Centre d’études des norms juridiques” (Paris, EHESS: 2010 -). Lectures at the International Institute of Human Rights “René Cassin” (2007, 2008, 2010) and The Hague Academy of International Law (2016). Co-founder and general editor of the legal journal “Diritti umani e diritto internazionale” (2007 -). Permanent member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights of the Italian Government (2013 -). He has published 2 authored books, co-edited 2 collective books and written about 60 articles and book chapters on Public International Law.

Bibliographic information