Bindingness

J. d’Aspremont and S. Singh (eds), Concepts for International Law, Contribution to Disciplinary Thought, Edward Elgar, 2019, 67-82

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-44

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-19

20 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2015 Last revised: 19 Mar 2019

See all articles by Jean d'Aspremont

Jean d'Aspremont

Sciences Po Law School; University of Manchester - School of Law

Date Written: November 13, 2015

Abstract

In the last decades of international legal thought, the defining role of bindingness has been growingly approached with skepticism. It is less and less construed as the exclusive genetic code that provides the instructions for the identification and autonomous development of international legal discourses as international lawyers have sought to emancipate themselves from their own genetic heritage. Since the second half of the 20th century, many international lawyers have come to feel that international legal discourses ought no longer to be structured and developed around the dichotomy between the ‘legally binding’ and the ‘legally non-binding’. Their emancipatory moves have arguably brought about refreshing dynamism and excitement in international legal thought. And yet, as this article argues, bindingness has proved resilient. After recalling the modern understandings and ontological functions of bindingness in international legal discourses (1), a few observations are formulated on the emancipatory experiments found in recent international legal thought (2). This paper ends with some remarks on the resilience of the idea of bindingness as a result of the anxiety and suspicions that have accompanied the attempts to alter the genetic code of the discipline (3).

Keywords: International law, legal theory, international obligation, autonomy, source, normativity, legitimacy, authority, tradition, international law as a discipline

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

d'Aspremont, Jean, Bindingness (November 13, 2015). J. d’Aspremont and S. Singh (eds), Concepts for International Law, Contribution to Disciplinary Thought, Edward Elgar, 2019, 67-82; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-44; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2690155

Jean D'Aspremont (Contact Author)

Sciences Po Law School ( email )

13 rue de l'université
Paris, 75007
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.sciencespo.fr/ecole-de-droit/en/profile/daspremont-jean

University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M139PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Jean.daspremont/

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