Regional Practice in International Law


Regional Approaches to International Law

International law is often presented as a universal system that applies in the same way across different countries and regions of the world. Yet in recent years this view has increasingly come under challenge. Different regions and countries, especially outside the West, have developed practices and views towards international law that show that international law is perceived and practiced differently in different parts of the world.

Such regional variations may be difficult to identify. The focus on practices from the West may make it difficult to identify regional practices. The aim of this site is to document and uncover such practices.

This can include the actual practice of states as well as academic literature that analyses a certain regional approach. We do this through locating documents that demonstrate regional approaches to international law.

Regional Practice in International Law (RPIL)

Regional Practice in International Law (RPIL) provides access to documents that show evidence of certain regional approaches to international law. RPIL is a pilot project, with the intention to expand to new countries and regions. The site currently focuses on documents from South Africa, which present that country’s approach to the development of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights.

RPIL includes legal documents including judgments of domestic, regional and international courts, policy documents, as well as references to academic literature that point towards a regional practice in international law.



Dr Jed Odermatt is a Lecturer in Law at City Law School, University of London, where he is co-convenor of the International Law and Affairs Group (ILAG). He is the co-rapporteur for the International Law Association’s Study Group on the International Law of Regional Organizations.

Jean Wilke is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen. Jean has previously worked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa where she clerked for Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo and as a Legal Advisor for the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. In 2012, Jean was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and in 2014, she was called to the Cape Bar.

Call for Contributors

RPIL seeks contributions from international lawyers from around the world. If you would like to become a contributor, please contact the editors.