(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents. An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/5351.htm)
Countries can create a collaborative legal framework by signing treaties which assign jurisdiction to an international court such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, or they can set up their own judicial system; the European Union is the prime example of the latter approach, and some other groups of countries are following a similar path:
- The East African Court of Justice was instituted by a treaty.
- The Andean Community has made legally binding agreements; its founding was reported by the BBC on 9 December 2004: S America launches trading bloc. It is now affiliated to a wider grouping: UNASUR.
- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay formed MERCOSUR in 1991, which later joined UNASUR.
- The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was “created in 2008 to propel regional integration on issues including democracy, education, energy, environment, infrastructure, and security and to eliminate social inequality and exclusion” according to Britannica.
These examples are less fully developed than the EU, so the latter is described here in more detail in the following sub-sections.