chapter  1
Combating the tragic fl aw in the UN
Pages 113

The architects of international law have long been driven by the need to fi nd a unifying element to the chaos of inter-state relations. To this end Hans Kelsen developed the concept of the grundnorm , a fundamental legal principle or basic norm against which all other legal duties could be assessed and validated, or not as the case may be. In international law, this would be regarded as the fundamental principle from which all subsequent international legal rules fl ow. Even though Kelsen himself doubted that sovereignty was the grundnorm of international law, 1 prevailing practice and scholarly opinion have long regarded sovereignty as the grundnorm of international law, purporting that it govern all aspects of relations between states and also foundational aspects of the institutions of global governance.