Conflict of Norms or Conflict of Laws?: Different Techniques in the Fragmentation of International Law
One of the most pressing topics in current international law is fragmentation. Traditionally, most constructive attempts to deal with fragmentation have been based onanalogies what one of us, in an earlier book, called "conflicts of norms" - those rules in domestic law that deal with conflicts of norms within one legal system. In this article, we assess under what circumstances a different approach, based on an analogy to conflict of laws - those rules in domestic law that deal with conflicts of norms between different legal systems - yields a more adequate structure. The result is that public international law conflicts are likely sui generis, with aspects of both conflict of norms and conflict of laws, and that to resolve this type of conflicts one can learn and borrow from both approaches. All through this article, we do not offer a systematic analysis, but rather a number of examples to demonstrate the existence, and usefulness, of two very different sets of conflict rules.