Rafael Domingo Osle

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Rafael Domingo Oslé, born in 1963 in Logroño, La Rioja (Spain), is a Spanish jurist, legal theorist and professor of law who is specialized in ancient Roman law, Comparative law, law and religion, and Global law. Domingo holds the positions of Professor of Law and ICS Research Professor at the University of Navarra, and Francisco de Vitoria Senior Fellow at Emory University.

Rafael Domingo Oslé


Rafael Domingo received his university law degree (1985) and doctorate in law (1987) from the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), both with the highest honors. He was a Humboldt research fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany (1989 and 1995), a visiting fellow at the University of Rome-La Sapienza (1995), and a visiting scholar at the Columbia Law School in New York (2000 and 2009).

Academic and professional activities[edit]

Domingo joined the faculty of the University of Navarra as an assistant professor in 1987. In 1989, Domingo was awarded tenure at University of Cantabria and promoted to the rank of associate professor. In 1993 Domingo was elevated to the rank of professor of law. After spending a sabbatical leave at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich as a Humboldt Foundation fellow, in 1995, Domingo joined the University of Navarra School of Law, where he served as dean (1996–1999) and founding director of the Anglo-American Law Program (AALP), International Business Law Program (IBLP), and Global Law Program (GLP). In 2011–12, Domingo served as Straus and Emile Noël joint Fellow at New York University (NYU) School of Law. Since 2012 he has served as Francisco de Vitoria Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at the Emory University.

Domingo is member of the Spanish Academy of Legal Science and Legislation, the Spanish Academy of Moral Sciences and Politics, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Social Sciences in Cordoba (Argentina), the Inter American Academy of International Law and Comparative Law, and the Peruvian Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Domingo has been awarded the Toribio Rodriguez de Mendoza Medal of Honor from the Peruvian Constitutional Court (2006); the Rafael Martinez Emperador Award from the Spanish Council of the Judiciary (2007); the Medal of Honor from the Paraguayan Academy of Law (2009), the Silver Medal of the University of Navarra (2011), the Jose Barandiaran Medal of Honor from the National University of Saint Mark (2016), and the Honorary Diploma from the Congress of the Republic of Peru (2016). Domingo received honorary doctorates in law from the Inca Garcilaso University (2012), and the University of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (2016), both in Lima (Peru). Rafael Domingo is founding director of the The Global Law Collection by Thomson Reuters Aranzadi (2005), and president of the Maiestas Foundation (2007),

Global law[edit]

Domingo believes that the dislocassions of the worldwide economic crisis, the necessity of a system of global justice to address crimen against humanity, and the notorious democratic deficit of international institutions highlight the need for an innovative and truly global legal system -one that permits humanity to reorder itself according to acknowledged global needs and evolving consciousness. This new global law will constitute, by itself, a genuine legal order and will not be limited to a handful of moral principles that attempt to guide the conduct of the world's peoples.

According to Domingo, the main difference existing between international law and global law is that international law is based on the idea of state sovereignty, while global law is based on the inherent dignity of the human person (ius ex persona oritur). The global law paradigm considers the person, not only in and of itself, nor as a member of a specific political community, but instead as the integral constituent part of humanity as a whole. In the statist international paradigm, the state takes the place of the person, whereas in this new global paradigm, the global community (that is to say, humanity) neither replaces, nor displaces, the person, but naturally integrates it therein. Thus, in this new global law system the person is the primary subject and focus, and is not relegated to a secondary role as happened with the application of the international law.

The establishment of a global legal order demands the full harmonization of the various legal systems, as well as a global authority that would exist above the states themselves. The only conceivable institution which would be capable of bringing this global authority into reality would be none other than a Global Parliament, the democratic institution par excellence. Using the terminology of H.L.A Hart, the “rule of recognition” of this new global law could be expressed with the old Latin aphorism: “quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbetur” (Law which affects all must be approved by all). This basically means that rules governing issues affecting all humanity (and only those issues, and only to the extent they affect all) would have to be approved by humanity as a whole. This would be, according to Domingo, the way to democratize the new global law paradigm right to its core.

The organization of humanity as a political community must not be like that of a global super-state or a sort of world-dominating empire, but rather it must be set up as an Anthroparchy. This is the name that Domingo proposes for humanity’s form of government under global law. Anthroparchy would be governed by a chief institution known as United Humanity, the heir and successor to the UN (which would ultimately be disbanded), upon which the remaining global institutions would depend.

Roman law and comparative law[edit]

In the field of Roman law, Domingo has carried out critical studies of Otto Lenel’s proposed reconstruction of Edictum Perpetuum, offering a new reconstruction of the first edictal title on the jurisdiction of the praetor (De iurisdictione). He also has analyzed the nature of the Roman concepts of auctoritas (authority) and potestas (power). These two concept are key to understand the deepest legal structure of Roman Republic as well as the limitations of political power in Antiquity.

In the area of comparative law, Domingo has focused on the origin of common legal rules and aphorisms in both civil law and common law tradition, the historical development of the civil law tradition. He also has focused on the civil law influences in American law, and the formation of modern Japanese Civil Code.

Major publications[edit]

  • Estudios sobre el primer título del Edicto del Pretor [Studies on the First Part of the Praetor’s Edict] (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 1992, 1993, 1995)
  • Auctoritas [On Authority] (Ariel, 1999)
  • Código civil japonés. Estudio preliminar, traducción y notas [The Japanese Civil Code. Preliminary Study, Translation and Notes] (Marcial Pons 2000), in collaboration with Nobuo Hayashi.
  • Juristas universales [Universal Jurists] (editor and coordinator), 4 vols. (Marcial Pons, 2004)
  • Ex Roma ius [From Rome, Law] (Thomson Aranzadi, 2005)
  • Álvaro d’Ors, una introducción a su obra [Alvaro d’Ors, an Introduction to his Works] (Thosmon Aranzadi, 2005)
  • Principios de Derecho Global. 1000 reglas jurídicas y aforismos comentados [Principles of Global Law. 1000 Legal Rules and Commented Aphorisms] (editor and coordinator) (Thomson Aranzadi, 2006)
  • ¿Qué es el Derecho Global? [What is Global Law?] (Thomson Reuters Aranzadi, 2008)
  • The New Global Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  • Gaius, Vattel, and the New Global Law Paradigm (European Journal of International Law, 2011): http://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/3/627.full.pdf+html
  • The Global Human Community (Chicago Journal of International Law, 2012): http://www.law.nyu.edu/ecm_dlv2/groups/public/@nyu_law_website__academics__colloquia__global_and_comparative_public_law/documents/documents/ecm_pro_069886.pdf

External links[edit]