On the Comparative Foundations of Principles in International Law: The Move Towards Rules and Transparency in Fiscal Policy as Examples
22 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2013
This chapter argues that principles in international law have their basis in comparative and analogical reasoning. It provides a taxonomy of principles ranging from general principles of law to soft legal principles and structural principles which are devoid of normative significance. The classification of principles in international law depends on the extent to which they find confirmation in domestic and/or international law and to which their extrapolation to the international level might be suitable. In this regard, international soft law codifications like the UNCTAD Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing might corroborate the formation of principles in international law. The chapter analyzes this process by using two examples from the field of fiscal policy: Substantive fiscal policy rules on debt or deficit ceilings; and rules on fiscal transparency. In both respects, the UNCTAD Principles strengthen important trends in domestic fiscal policy and fosters the emergence of an array of principles of varying legal character.
Keywords: principles, general principles of law, soft law, fiscal policy, debt ceiling, budget deficit, fiscal transparency
JEL Classification: F53, G28, H30, H61, H63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation