1 Professor, Public and International Law Department, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD in International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The approach followed by Martti Koskenniemi particularly in his “From Apology to Utopia” is one example of ‘‘regressive analysis’’. This approach could also be labelled as ‘‘deconstructive’. Koskenniemi does not use the very technical conceptual apparatus of structuralism, semiotics or deconstructive philosophy. He situates his approach within the broad framework of those fields only to highlight its holistic, formalistic and critical character. For him, expressing international legal arguments, doctrines and ‘‘schools of thought’’ are kinds of parole which refer back to an underlying set of assumptions, capable of being explicated as the langue or ‘‘deep-structure’’ of the law. A deconstruction of international legal argument will then inevitably relate the argument to a historically conditioned ‘‘code’’– or ‘‘conceptual scheme’’. Koskenniemi makes it explicit that hidden code bears a “critical potential”.


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