Paradox of Hierarchy and Conflicts of Values: International Law, Human Rights, and Global Governance

Lee, Jootaek |

In an international society, hierarchies are set up differently among different countries and societies based on different values, which are naturally conflicting and colliding with each other and result in unstable conditions. Is hierarchy really necessary in an international society? Does more hierarchical order in international society mean more peace? Do we need a supranational organization like the European Union whose laws can pierce state sovereignty and bind citizens of each member state? Does the United Nations need to be reformed to create an effective hierarchy, which will give international society more peace, security, and protection of human rights? This article may not answer all of these questions, but will attempt to clarify hierarchical issues in international law, particularly in the human rights field.