Originally uploaded at SSRN.


This short essay, prepared for a panel on “The Impact of a Wider Dissemination of Human Rights Norms: Fragmentation or Unity?,” explores the connection between two popular, but seemingly contradictory discourses in international law: fragmentation and constitutionalization. After disentangling and categorizing the various types of fragmentation international law may be experiencing, the essay focuses in on one form in particular, the “fragmentation of the legal community.” This most radical version of fragmentation, the essay argues, has spurred a number of responses, many of which suggest the beginnings of a constitutional conflicts regime for international law. The essay ends by suggesting and exploring three types of constitutional conflicts rules already in limited use: (1) constitutional comity rules, (2) constitutional hierarchy rules, and (3) constitutional abstention rules.