Research Fellow Charalampos Giannakopoulos at 2nd TRICI-Law Conference on “Interpretation of CIL: Methods, Interpretative Choices and the Role of Coherence”
On 2–3 December 2021, Research Fellow Charalampos Giannakopoulos participated in the 2nd TRICI-Law Conference on “Interpretation of CIL: Methods, Interpretative Choices and the Role of Coherence”, which was co-organised with the PluriCourts Centre and the University of Groningen’s Department of Transboundary Legal Studies.
During the conference, Dr Giannakopoulos presented a paper entitled “Coherence and (Practical) Legal Reasoning: Goal, Method, or Both?”. The thesis of the paper was that coherence in legal reasoning is more than a goal or a results-oriented ideal — it is also a method about how to construct one’s reasoning and deliberate about one’s interpretative choices. Coherence, therefore, has a dual nature, at once substantive and methodological. In the process, the paper also sketched out three mental processes that likely account for the perceived coherence or incoherence of an interpretation of a customary international law norm, namely: (i) framing (identifying legal issue(s)/question(s) and the object(s) of inquiry); (ii) contextualising (situating the above within a normative framework); (iii) reflexivity (being self-aware of one’s choices and motives, and how these influence action).