Soft Law

Economic Analysis of International Law (E. Kontorovich & F. Parisi, eds.) (Elgar Publishing, 2016).

UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-17

UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2437956

42 Pages Posted: 18 May 2014 Last revised: 1 Jun 2016

See all articles by Andrew T. Guzman

Andrew T. Guzman

USC Gould School of Law

Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt University Law School

Date Written: May 16, 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Guzman, Andrew T. and Meyer, Timothy, Soft Law (May 16, 2014). Economic Analysis of International Law (E. Kontorovich & F. Parisi, eds.) (Elgar Publishing, 2016).; UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-17; UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2437956. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2437956

Andrew T. Guzman

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Timothy Meyer (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-936-8394 (Phone)

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