• Lecture
  • Related Materials

Prof. Edward McWhinney

Mr. Edward McWhinney
Professor of International Law
Past President
Institut de Droit International

Biography Biography in PDF

International Law
Legal Theory
Peaceful Coexistence and
Contemporary International Law
The juridical "great debate" of the Cold War era between jurists from the two rival political-military blocs, Soviet and Western, over the Soviet call for an immediate drafting and adoption of a Code of International Law Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, may have lessons to offer for other historical eras characterized by competing political-ideological systems or colliding civilizations. Its deliberate de-ideologising of the agenda and process of inter-bloc discussions and negotiations in favour of more consciously pragmatic, empirically-based and problem-oriented approaches sought to resolve concrete and immediate tension-issues between the two blocs.

Video | Audio
(37 minutes)


Multiculturalism and Contemporary
International Law Making
The United Nations organisation as founded in 1945 was the creation of a numerically limited, special legal community, the members of the soon-to-be-victorious Wartime Alliance against Fascism. Tthe enemy States and also neutral States had been deliberately excluded, as also, of course, were the not yet decolonised overseas European territories in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Today the United Nations has expanded to just under 200 Member-States and is thus more nearly representative, in its main institutions and decision-making arenas and processes, of the plural, multi-cultural international society in which we all live today. The challenge for international lawyers today, in an historical era of competing ideologies and colliding civilisations, is to ensure that the corpus of Classical International Law— the historical legacy of the post-Westphalia Western Nation-States founded on the rise of commerce and on trade and territorial expansion overseas— is progressively developed and expanded, in accord with the UN Charter mandate, so as to more fully and more fairly reflect, in its substantive principles and rules, the new political reality of the new pluralism of the contemporary World Community.

Video   (1 hour 27 minutes)


The New Pluralism and International Law
The New Pluralism is the last in a trilogy of lectures on General Theory of International Law and the changing basic premise of the World public order system. The New Pluralism represents a logical consummation of the drives for acceptance of Multiculturalism as ordering principle of the World public order system with its introduction of a more programmatic, pragmatic, operational response to the demands for fundamental change and modernisation in a UN constitutional-legal system thought still to reflect the political-military status quo at War's end in 1945.

Video   (1 hour 26 minutes)
International Law
Legal Theory
Peaceful Coexistence and Contemporary International Law
Outline of Lecture PDF document (21.7 KB)
A. Legal Instruments
League of Nations, Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism, Geneva, 16 November 1937.

Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice, San Francisco, 26 June 1945.

Constitution of India, 1950.

Agreement (with exchange of notes) on trade and intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India, Peking, 29 April 1954, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 299, p. 70.

The Antarctic Treaty, Washington, 1 December 1959, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 402, p. 71.

Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, Moscow, 5 August 1963, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 480, p. 43.

Treaty on principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, New York, 19 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 610, p. 205.

General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 (Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations).

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, The Hague, 16 December 1970, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 860, p. 105.

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, Montreal, 23 September 1971, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 974, p. 177.

Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems, Moscow, 26 May 1972, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 944, p. 14.
B. Documents
The Common Program of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, First Plenary Session, Beijing, 1949.

International Law Association, Report of the Forty-Seventh Conference, Dubrovnik, 1956.

International Law Association, Report of the Forty-Eight Conference, Manila, 1958.

International Law Association, Report of the Forty-Ninth Conference, Hamburg, 1960.

International Law Association, Report of the Fiftieth Conference, Brussels, 1962.

General Assembly resolution 1966 (XVIII) of 16 December 1963 (Consideration of principles of international law concerning friendly relations and co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations).
C. Doctrine
B. Boutros-Ghali, “Symposium on Fiftieth Anniversary of Pancha Shila Agreement of 1954: Statement by Boutros Boutros-Ghali”, Chinese Journal of International Law, vol. 3, 2004, p. 373.

J.N. Hazard, “Codifying Peaceful Coexistence”, American Journal of International Law, vol. 55, 1961, p. 109.

J.N. Hazard, “Coexistence Codification Reconsidered”, American Journal of International Law, vol. 57, 1963, p. 88.

W. Jiaobao, “Symposium on Fiftieth Anniversary of Pancha Shila Agreement of 1954: Statement by Wen Jiaobao”, Chinese Journal of International Law, vol. 3, 2004, p. 363.

E. McWhinney, “International Law Making in times of competing ideologies or clashing civilizations: Peaceful Coexistence and Soviet-Western legal dialogue in the Cold War era”, Canadian Yearbook of International Law, vol. 44, 2006, p. 421.

E. McWhinney, ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ and Soviet-Western International Law, A.W. Sythoff, Leyden, 1964.

E. McWhinney, The International Law of Détente: Arms Control, European Security, and East-West Cooperation, Sijthoff and Nordhoff, Alphen aan den Rijn, 1978.

K.R. Narayanan, “Symposium on Fiftieth Anniversary of Pancha Shila Agreement of 1954: Statement by K.R. Narayanan”, Chinese Journal of International Law, vol. 3, 2004, p. 369.

F.S.C. Northrup, The Meeting of East and West: An Inquiry Concerning World Understanding, Macmillan, New York, 1947.

I. Sinclair, “Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States”, in M.K. Nawaz (ed.), Essays in International Law in Honour of Krishna Rao, Thomson Press, Faridabad, 1975, p. 139.

G.I. Tunkin, “Coexistence and International Law”, Hague Recueil Des Cours, vol. 95, 1958, p. 1.

G.I. Tunkin, “Sorok let sosyshestvovania i mezhdunarodnoe pravo”, Sovetskii Ezhegodnik Mezhdunarodnogo Prava, 1958, p. 15

S. Yee/J. Morin (eds.), Multiculturalism and International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston/Leiden, 2009.


Multiculturalism and Contemporary International Law Making
Outline of Lecture PDF document (21 KB)
A. Legal Instruments
Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, Versailles, 28 June 1919.

Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice, San Francisco, 26 June 1945.
B. Documents
C. Jurisprudence
D. Doctrine
E. McWhinney, United Nations Law Making: Cultural and Ideological Relativism and International Law Making for an Era of Transition, UNESCO, Holmes & Meier, Paris, New York, 1984.

E. McWhinney, Les Nations Unies et la formation du droit: relativisme culturel et idéologique et formation du droit international public pour une époque de transition, UNESCO, Edition Pedone, Paris, 1986.

S. Yee/J. Morin (eds.), Multiculturalism and International Law: Essays in Honour of Edward McWhinney, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/ Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 2009.


The New Pluralism and International Law
Outline of Lecture PDF document (17 KB)
A. Legal Instruments
B. Jurisprudence
C. Doctrine
R. Ago, “Pluralism and the origins of the International Community”, Italian Yearbook of International Law, vol. III, 1977, p. 29.

S. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996.

E. McWhinney, United Nations Law Making: Cultural and Ideological Relativism and International Law Making for an Era of Transition, Holmes & Meier Publishers/UNESCO, New York/Paris, 1984.

E. McWhinney, Self-Determination of Peoples and Plural-Ethnic States in Contemporary Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2007.

R. Mullerson, Ordering Anarchy: International Law in International Society, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Cambridge/Dordrecht, 2000.

F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West, Macmillan Co, New York, 1950.

H. Thirlway, International Customary Law and Codification, A.W. Sijthoff, Leiden, 1972.

C.G. Weeramantry, “The International Court of Justice in the Age of Multiculturalism”, Indian Journal of International Law, vol. 36, 1996, p. 17.

V.S.Vereshchetin & G.M. Danilinko, "Cultural and Ideological Pluralism and International Law", German Yearbook of International Law, vol. vol. 29, 1986, p. 56.

C.G. Weeramantry, “Cultural and Ideological Pluralism in Public International Law”, in N. Ando, E. McWhinney and R. Wolfrum (eds.), Liber Amicorum: Judge Shigeru Oda, vol. 2, Kluwer Law International, 2002.

S. Yee and J.Y. Morin (eds.), Multiculturalism and International Law, Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston, 2009. Especially:

  1. D. Jielong, “The Concept of the 'Harmonious World': an important contribution to International Relations”, p. 59.
  2. A.G. Koroma, “International Law and Multiculturalism”, p. 79.
  3. R. Mullerson, “From E Unum Pluribus to E Pluribus Unum in the journey from an African Village to a Global Village?”, p. 33.
  4. M. Rama-Montaldo, “Universalism and Particularisms in the Creation Process of International Law”, p. 129.
  5. S. Sucharitkul, “Legal Multiculturalism and the International Law Commission”, p. 301.
  6. H. Thirlway, “Reflections on Multiculturalism and International Law”, p. 94.
  7. V.S. Vereshchetin, “Cultural and Ideological Pluralism and International Law: revisited 20 Years on”, p. 113.