International Soft Law, Hard Law, and Coherence
Northwestern University - School of Law
March 1, 2008
Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-01
A rule of law is a norm coupled with coercive power. International soft law is only the norm. There is a vast number of such non-coercive norms, and many recent papers have been preoccupied with their apparent normative tilt toward respect for human rights and democracy. In criticizing the entire soft-law enterprise, I feel like the Grinch who stole Christmas. But I do try to put in a good word or two for the time-honored sources of the 4000 year-old public international law. This paper will be a chapter in the forthcoming The Philosophy of International Law, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: soft law, customary law, hard law
JEL Classification: K33
Date posted: March 18, 2008
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