Functions of Freedom: Privacy, Autonomy, Dignity, and the Transnational Legal Process

What is the function of freedom for the transnational legal process? This Article answers this question through the lens of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis and the deeply inconsistent international legal arguments presented by each side of the conflict. These inconsistencies suggest that criticism of international law as purely political pretense has merits. The Article shows that transnational legal process theory can account for and incorporate these facial inconsistencies and thus address the criticism leveled at international law. The Article proceeds to develop a theory of freedom as a value that is internal to, and necessary for, transnational legal process. This theory of freedom relies not upon the classical liberal understanding of freedom as positive or negative freedom. Instead, it reconstructs freedom around the value of human dignity. The Article concludes that freedom as dignity is a central value of the transnational legal process and that the transnational legal process would cease to function in its absence.