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Secret, secret service, State secret service. "Reasons of State" and Institutions of Sovereignty

Lecture of Visiting Professor Petar Bojanic

Mar 18, 2009 from 06:00 PM to 07:00 PM

Where Residenza Studi Superiori

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The dichotomy of International Relations and Law Theory around the question of the concrete observance of international law is false. It is not a question of whether states observe the law, but of what can be made of the way states behave in relation to it. They are in control of the "facts" with respect of which norms are to be observed, especially where security issues are involved. In other words external relations, especially where national security is supposed to be engaged, is covered in secrecy. A vital aspect of this research has to be the ethos of the particular European state, its constitution and role of law in the particular country. The two paradigms dialectically opposed are the Raison /Secret d’Etat approach, where the individual state has to protect its national community against a lawless exterior and a constitutionalist approach, which sees the state anchored in a law-governed, democratic, international polity, with respect to which national decision-making can be an open deliberation about the application of norms already forming part of an evolving international consensus.