The U.S. Supreme Court and International Law —A Liaison dangereuse? Reflections on Medellín v. Texas



The outsider interested in U.S. law will often try to link the approach taken in the United States in various fields of law with similar or functionally equivalent legal concepts and institutions with which the reader is more acquainted from his home legal order. Insofar the task presents itself as one of comparative law which has been as famously as unpretentiously defined as “comparison of the different legal systems of the world” (Zweigert/Kötz 2). Yet when it comes to public international law, the situation seems to be utterly distinct. By its nature, international law presents itself as a legal system transcending national legal orders and being common to them. In this respect, one would tend to sympathize with an observation widely shared by comparative lawyers: “At first sight there is little in common between comparative law and public international law, for [it] [...] is essentially a supranational and global system of law” (Zweigert/Kötz 7; emphasis omitted).


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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Europarecht und VölkerrechtUniversität InnsbruckAustria

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