Prologue to a Theory of Non-Treaty Norms
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: ESSAYS ON INTERNATIONAL LAW IN HONOR OF W. MICHAEL RESIMAN, M. Arsanjani, J. Cogan, R. Sloane & S. Wiessner, eds., Brill, 2010
16 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2009 Last revised: 9 Jun 2010
Date Written: November 1, 2009
This short contribution to a festschrift for Professor Michael Reisman addresses the problem of non-treaty norms. In lieu of the traditional categories of custom, general principles, and soft law, the essay proposes an alternative categorization of non-treaty norms, focusing on three variables: first, whether a non-treaty norm is accepted directly or because it satisfies a secondary rule of recognition; second, whether a non-treaty norm is the result of a conscious, purposive process, with identifiable authors, or arises in a more organic, non-purposive way; and third, whether a non-treaty norm reflects a behavioral or discursive regularity. The essay suggests that this categorization provides a more useful starting point to explore the normative and explanatory questions about the origin and influence of non-treaty norms.
Keywords: international law, norms
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation