International Soft Law, Hard Law, and Coherence
31 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2008
Date Written: March 1, 2008
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.
Keywords: soft law, customary law, hard law
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation