Definitional Constraints Regarding Soft Law
AALCO Quaterly Bulletin 1& 2 (2007) 8-32
25 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 6, 2013
The article seeks a definition of soft law by focusing on relevant scholarly views. Conventional sources of international law appear to have certain shortcomings when it comes to the question of securing compliance. Soft law, however, creates only voluntary obligations on the parties and is comparatively unconcerned with legal formalities or compliance mechanisms. It may create permanent international cooperation amongst state and non-state actors. Despite its increasing popularity and application, there are certain theoretical difficulties in asserting that soft law is a ‘source’ of international law. However, the conceptual development of soft law has overcome most of the complexities and objections. The article concludes by providing a working definition of soft law and calls for a practical approach towards soft-law mechanisms.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation