HomeIAMURE International Journal of Literature, Philosophy and Religionvol. 7 no. 1 (2015)

Interactional International Law as Theoretical Legal Framework for ASEAN Integration

Jose S. Samson

Discipline: Law



Using the Rule of Law as the theoretical framework in his paper, the author proceeds to discuss ASEAN integration. His ultimate objective is to examine the applicability of Brunnée and Toope’s Interactional International Law (IIL) to ASEAN integration. To provide the background to the process of ASEAN integration, the author cites selected works of scholars and experts in the fields of international law and international relations. The most important factor to be considered is the ASEAN Charter’s inclusion of the principle of the Rule of Law to guide its integration efforts. This is viewed by Western democracies as a commitment by the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to the Rule of Law. Interestingly, Democracy and Human Rights stand side-by-side with the Rule of Law in the Charter. Quite expectedly, scholars and practitioners of International Law and International Relations see the inclusion of these principles as an indication of ASEAN embracing the rules, norms, and values that the West hold dearly. These are the same rules, norms and values that underpin the liberal democracies of North America and Europe, and which provide the European Union (EU) its theoretical foundation. In the EU, the Rule of Law is an important guiding principle. For the same reason, the emergence of supranational institutions became a matter of course in the process of their integration. In conclusion, the author suggests that IIL should provide the proper theoretical legal framework for ASEAN integration to move forward after taking into account the current heterogeneity in the political, economic, social and cultural profiles of the ASEAN Member States.