Traditional and Modern Approaches to Customary International Law: A Reconciliation

American Journal of International Law, Vol. 95, p. 757, 2001

36 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2009 Last revised: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by Anthea Roberts

Anthea Roberts

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: October 1, 2001

Abstract

There are two contemporary approaches to the determination of customary international law: the "traditional," which emphasizes state practice, and the "modern," which emphasizes opinio juris. This article proposes a theory of custom that incorporates both approaches. It rejects analyzing custom on a "sliding scale" in favor of a reflective interpretive approach that reconciles the descriptive and normative justifications for traditional and modern custom.

Keywords: Custom, International law, Customary international law, traditional, modern, descriptive, normative, state practice, opinio juris, Dworkin, Kirgis, Tasioulas, Rawls, Fit, Substance, Sliding scale, Reflective equilibrium

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Anthea, Traditional and Modern Approaches to Customary International Law: A Reconciliation (October 1, 2001). American Journal of International Law, Vol. 95, p. 757, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1514331

Anthea Roberts (Contact Author)

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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