San Diego International Law Journal


Rafael Domingo

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The parallel between contemporary issues and Roman history often fascinates and illuminates. In this Article, I argue how Roman law can serve today as an inspiration toward global constitutionalism given it was one of the several sources of inspiration for the American founders. Looking to Roman law helps reduce certain prejudices derived from the current privileging of the sovereign state and the positivist paradigm as the only genuine and possible models for international law. These prejudices constitute an actual hindrance to the right development of global constitutionalism. Global constitutionalism inherently moves beyond sovereignty, nationalism, and positivism. Roman law enables constitutionalists to eliminate from global constitutionalism any nonfoundational elements derived from a highly statist paradigm, mostly due to its precedence to the notions of sovereignty, nationalism, and positivism. Roman law also constitutes a good antidote to any kind of extreme global constitutionalism that seeks to extend the language and modes of national constitutionalism without sufficiently filtering and refining them.