Economic Analysis of International Law (E. Kontorovich & F. Parisi, eds.) (Elgar Publishing, 2016).
42 Pages Posted: 18 May 2014 Last revised: 1 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 16, 2014
In this chapter, we summarize the existing literature on international soft law. We then extend the insights developed therein to explain why states use international legislative institutions — intergovernmental bodies such as the UN General Assembly or the Conferences of the Parties to a number of multilateral treaties — to develop soft law rules. We contend that international legislative institutions do the bulk of their work in the form of soft law and argue that the move toward legislative soft law in international affairs reflects an effort to enhance international law’s effectiveness by weakening the status quo bias inherent in hard law rules to which each state bound must consent.
Keywords: international law, non-binding, binding, international organizations
JEL Classification: K33
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