The international way of expertise : the first World Court and the genesis of transnational expert fields
Title: The international way of expertise : the first World Court and the genesis of transnational expert fields
Author: VAUCHEZ, Antoine
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2014/80; Global Governance Programme-122; European, Transnational and Global Governance
The article argues that “international expertise” is not just a mere continuation of national forms of expertise “at the international level”, but has a distinct social and professional pattern (defined as constitutive of a ‘weak expert fields’), one that needs to be considered in order to account for the definitional power of experts in global governance. The paper tracks the genesis of this specificity in the case of international legal expertise, arguably the template against which other forms of expertise have historically built their own professional projects. Getting back to the immediate post-WWI period and the League of Nations as the inaugural scene for the power-knowledge nexus at the international level, the paper analyses the drafting of the first World Court in 1920 as a critical formative moment for the definition of the “international expert”. While drafters agreed on the creation of the first permanent and professional court, they simultaneously renounced to define who the permanent professionals of that court would have to be, therefore depriving international law of any strong supranational governance unit. The paper argues that this initial uncoupling between the autonomy (of the court) and the heteronomy (of the international lawyer) has shaped the enduring “weak” structure of transnational expert fields.
Subject: International Courts; Lawyers; Expertise; Transnational fields
Type of Access: openAccess