Principles Matter: On the Legal Status of the Principles on Responsible Sovereign Financing
Forthcoming in C. Espósito, Y. Li and J.P. Bohoslavsky (eds.), Sovereign Financing and International Law. The UNCTAD Principles on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing (Oxford University Press, 2013)
26 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 21, 2013
This chapter considers the role of international law in sovereign financing, a legal area currently underdeveloped. It briefly presents the content and implications of the Principles and analyses whether and to what extent international law supports them. The Principles are embodied in a itself so called soft law instrument. However, a few principles are backed by international treaties and customary international law, and some others could even be considered as general principles of international law. This chapter argues that the legal character of the Principles is not determined by its soft law shell and will mainly depend on two variables: (a) the extent to which each principle is supported by hard rules of international law, including general principles of international law, and; (b) their intrinsic value to persuade stakeholders that they are necessary in international sovereign financing to overcome global problems. The fact that the Principles are well-rooted and broadly tested in domestic laws influences these two variables.
Keywords: soft law, informal sources of international law, general principles of law, general principles of international law, soft law instrument, treaties, customary international law
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation