VINGT ANS APRÈS: Rainbow Warrior, Legal Ordering, and Legal Complexity

Christopher Harding

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The intention in this paper is to explore some basic questions concerning the ordering and identity of contemporary international law by reference to what at first sight appears to be a single, though significant incident of international law and relations. The analytical method employed for this purpose is to take a number of narratives relating to the incident and by aligning and comparing such narratives draw some conclusions about the way in which international law interrelates with and affects the operation of other legal orders. In this way, both the role and identity of the itnernational system and its normative sitting, may be clarified. The actual focus for this discussion and basis for narrative analysis is provided by the well - known 'rainbow warrior incident' in the mid 1980s (hence 'vingst ans apres') and its aftermath : the destruction by french government agents of the greenpeace ship the rainbow warrior in auckland harbour in new zealand in july 19885 and the political and legal resolution of that incident.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
Number of pages18
JournalThe Singapore Yearbook of International Law
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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