"Normative Development in the International Legal System"

Michigan Law Authors
Publish Date
Commitment and Compliance: The Role of Non-Binding Norms in the International Legal System
Publication Type
Book Chapter

This chapter analyzes the structure of traditional international law and the conceptual bases for a distinction between legally binding and non-binding norms. It considers the debate of whether ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law are distinct categories or end points on a continuum. It reviews various non-binding instruments and their uses, developing a criteria for identifying ‘soft’ law among the multitude of international texts adopted by international actors.

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