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Cadmus  2012 

New Paradigm for Global Rule of Law

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Law is both a condition and a consequence of social development, an outcome of the broader social process, a form of social organization which channels social energies based on the relative strength of past practice and precedent, the present balance of power and emerging social values. Values are the bedrock of social process and the driving force for social activism. Historically, law evolves as a mechanism for conflict avoidance and resolution founded on the practical management of conflict and higher values, made possible by the implicit acceptance and internalization of the authority component of collective expectations. Established law acts as a conservative force of the status quo subject to continuous pressure to evolve from the changing public conscience and social values. Lasswell’s comprehensive model of social process highlights the contribution of multiple participants to the evolution of law at the macro and micro level, including the role of individual value demands and the potential assertive power of the human community as a whole. The article explores the potential role of non-states in changing international law regarding the legality of nuclear weapons. An appreciation of the integral relationship between law, politics and society is essential to a fuller understanding of social, power and legal processes and the goal of universalizing peace and human dignity.


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