Crystallising the International Rule of Law: Trump’s Accidental Contribution to International Law

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There is a significant amount of political and legal anxiety surrounding
the presidency of Donald Trump, particularly from those who view the world
from a globalist or internationalist perspective. His initial executive orders
have indicated a protectionist and nativist approach to international law: the
infamous order to restrict entry to the U.S. by nationals from select countries
received widespread coverage in the media. Others, such as the nominal
withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the undertaking to build a
wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, are indications of intention rather than
decisions with wide-reaching consequences. His policies on international
relations are viewed here as expressions of intention without concrete effect:
they appear as chaotic, political statements, rather than efficiently executed
decisions set to achieve specific goals. Many authors have already indicated
his Presidency signals the beginning of the corrosion of legal norms, but there
is limited evidence to support the idea that Trump’s Presidency will have any
significant effect. Conversely, his edicts have provided a timely lesson in the
limitations of the power of the President.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-506
Number of pages16
JournalWashburn Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017


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