Research Paper Number


Document Type


Publication Date



legal education; Transnational law; Transnationalized legal decisionism; Transnationalized legal traditionalism; Trnasnational socio-legal pluralism


The purpose of this article is to identify three understandings of transnational law, all of which have a certain integrity depending on one’s premises about the nature and institutional operation of law. The approach adopted is not to make an argument for the single best reading of the concept of transnational law but instead to outline three candidate conceptions of that notion. For purposes of the article, these conceptions are not assumed necessarily to be competing conceptions. Rather, their potential compatibility is left open for future consideration. In this sense, 'transnational law' is presented in the article as a kind of fuzzy or suggestive 'proto-concept.' After a scene-setting discussion of various caveats concerning the notion of “transnational” within 'transnational law,' the three conceptions - transnationalized legal traditionalism, transnationalized legal decisionism, and transnational socio-legal pluralism - are briefly discussed in turn. Alongside the conceptual discussion, the article uses the implications for legal education as one way of expressing the significance of each conception. The article ends with the contention that 'transnational law' is an idea that pushes the boundaries of the legal imagination in such a way that, at the very least, legal theory and legal education based entirely on ‘domestic’ (state) and ‘international’ (interstate) constructs of law must be open to developing in ways that might take all concerned out of current conceptual comfort zones.