(2012) 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law
29 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 May 2016
Date Written: May 16, 2011
Soft law is often seen as a way to overcome certain problems of legitimacy in international law, notably the weaknesses of a voluntaristic conception of international law’s validity. Other perceived benefits of soft law include flexibility, speed of adoption and modification, and even effectiveness. Yet soft law is seen by others as a threat to law, because it effaces the border between law and politics. This paper explores different approaches to the boundary between law and not-law which seek both to maintain this boundary and to reconceptualise it in a way that better anchors the validity of international legal rules.
Keywords: Soft law, validity of international law, internal morality of law, autopoietic theory, publicness of law
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Ellis, Jaye, Shades of Grey: Soft Law and the Validity of Public International Law (May 16, 2011). (2012) 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2201817