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How Law Changes

Used to seeing law professors walking into the university lecture rooms with effortless-seeming elegance, I always am surprised how much energy it may actually take to have the key and wire for the projector (and return them) and set up the technical facilities (I was helped today). And climb the stairs. Not talking about the hard thinking on what to wear and how to smile (despite style advice at certain sites).

I started the course in foundations of law today with general issues concerning the definitions and forms of states and governance, and the principles and structure of the Estonian Basic Law. Planning the course I was surprised how much state law was connected with international law, although I knew that the areas were connected before. I noticed that the students at the Tallinn University were not afraid of actively participating in lectures.

In the end of the first day, a student started an interesting discussion on questions of whether a passport belongs to a person or a state, and what is the difference of a passport being the property of a state or a government. Indeed, it is written in my passport that the passport is the property of the Republic of Estonia, but it is allegedly written in the most recent passports that those belong to the government (that may be a problem of translation, rather than state law).

I also received a new book today – Jan Klabbers, An Introduction to International Institutional Law. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Klabbers

CUP Website

The book begins with the motto „You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!“ that reminds me of the (already quite widely used) image of an international organization being like the Creature of Frankenstein. Taking into account that international law has changed after the 1st Edition of the book referred was published – Klabbers names the increase in the number of the EU Member States, setting aside of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, expiration of the ECSC Treaty, 9/11 (frequently referred as the main factor justifying the quasi-legislative role of the Security Council of the United Nations) – the 2nd Edition means advanced edition of the book.

If I think that the 1st Edition was published in 2002, then all the above mentioned changes have taken place after I left Tartu with the aim to study public international law as broader background of EU law.

The Cambridge University Press has very recently published: Treaty Conflict and the European Union, by the same author.



One Response to How Law Changes

  1. Hi Jaanika,
    I’m looking forward to more instalments of this blog. When I studied law in England, I opted out of EU law, so it’s largely passed me by. I would be particularly interested to hear how Estonian lawyers react to EU law, is it a given or something to be debated and reformed? Now I’d like to teach Legal English in law firms and expand my editing business to include legal academic papers, so I’m looking for as much background as possible on what’s going on in the slightly rarified air of legal theory and practice.

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