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 Spruill Family Research Professor of Law and Francisco de Vitoria Senior Fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, GA; and Professor of Law and ICS Research Professor at the University of Navarra in Pamplona.

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 conducted legal research as a Alexander von Humboldt research fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany (1989 and 1995), and as a visiting scholar at the Columbia Law School in New York City (2000 and 2009).

Academic and professional activities[edit]

Domingo joined the law faculty of the University of Navarra as an assistant professor in 1987 mentored by Alvaro d'Ors. 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 research fellow, in 1995, Domingo joined the University of Navarra School of Law, where he served as vice dean (1995-1996), dean (1996–1999) and founding director of the Garrigues Chair in Global Law, 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 Emory University in Atlanta, GA. In 2016 Domingo was appointed as the Spruill Family Research Professor at Emory University School of Law. Since 2018, Domingo has been visiting professor at Strathmore University Law School in Nairobi, Kenya. Rafael Domingo is founding director of the Global Law Collection by Thomson Reuters Aranzadi (2005-2015), president of the Maiestas Foundation (2007–present), and op-ed writer on legal, political and religious issues in the Spanish newspapers El Mundo (2005-2015), and El Español (2015–2018).

Honors and awards[edit]

Domingo is member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Legal Science and Legislation (Madrid), the Spanish Academy of Moral Sciences and Politics (Madrid), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna), the Academy of Social Sciences ( Cordoba, Argentina), the Inter American Academy of International Law and Comparative Law (Washington DC), and the Peruvian Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (Lima).

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).

Global law[edit]

Domingo believes that the dislocations 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. To this end, he is a supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which advocates for democratic reformation of the United Nations.[1] 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, comparative law, and law and religion[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 (moral authority) and potestas (constituted 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, and the formation of modern Japanese Civil Code.

In the area of law and religion, Domingo has advocated for a theistically oriented conception of the secular legal system that is able to embrace non-theistic approaches.The core of the argument is the idea that secular legal systems should treat God, religion, and conscience with respect. Respect demands not only positive feelings or deference toward these realities, but also specific actions that express and reflect that appreciation. Of the secular legal system, in the case of God, respect requires recognition; in the case of religion, toleration; and in the case of conscience, accommodation. And of citizens, in the case of God, respect requires free mention and invocation; in the case of religion, free exercise and practice; in the case of conscience, moral autonomy.

Major publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Statements". Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 2017-09-28. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]

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