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Comparative International Law$
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Anthea Roberts, Paul B. Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, and Mila Versteeg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697570.001.0001

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Crimea and the South China Sea

Crimea and the South China Sea

Connections and Disconnects among Chinese, Russian, and Western International Lawyers

(p.111) 6 Crimea and the South China Sea
Comparative International Law

Anthea Roberts

Oxford University Press

Although we often hear reference to the “invisible college” of international lawyers, it may be better to understand international lawyers as constituting a “divisible college” whose members hail from different states and regions and often form distinct, though sometimes overlapping, communities with their own understandings and approaches, as well as their own influences and spheres of influence. This chapter draws on two recent high-profile controversies—Crimea’s annexation by, or reunification with, Russia in 2014, and the legality and legitimacy of the award in the South China Sea arbitration in 2016—to explore how the divisible college of international lawyers operates with respect to Chinese, Russian, and Western international lawyers. It looks at the extent to which international lawyers in these case studies operated in their own silos or made an effort to communicate across national and geopolitical divides.

Keywords:   China, Russia, Western, Crimea, South China Sea, international lawyers, divides

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