Civil Disobedience and International Law: Sketch for a Theoretical Argument

34 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2008 Last revised: 5 Mar 2014

See all articles by Frederic Megret

Frederic Megret

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 19, 2008


This article argues that there is an increasing trend of civil society resorting to civil disobedience in relation to international legal values. International law, however, has not caught up with this trend. In fact, both international law and civil disobedience can gain much from a better understanding of their interaction. The article briefly traces the record of arguments drawn from international law in civil disobedience cases, highlights the theoretical constraints of the debate, and seeks to throw some basic foundations for an international legal theory of legitimate civil disobedience.

Keywords: international law, civil disobedience, state, sovereignty, resistance, civil society, authority, legitimacy

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K14, K3, K33, K42

Suggested Citation

Mégret, Frédéric, Civil Disobedience and International Law: Sketch for a Theoretical Argument (July 19, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Frédéric Mégret (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information