Adjudicators, Guardians, and Enforcers: Taking the Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in Customary International Law-Making Seriously
Jean d'Aspremont and Sufyan Droubi (eds), Non-State Actors and the Formation of Customary International Law (Manchester University Press, 2018, Forthcoming)
27 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: December 1, 2017
The chapter offers a constructivist account of the proliferating roles of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the making of customary international law (CIL). While these roles are largely informal, and NGO influence on the content and interpretation of CIL norms is primarily indirect, NGOs contribute to the formation of CIL through an increasingly diverse set of activities, which has been particularly influential when implemented in a strategic and concerted manner. NGO documentation, litigation, lobbying, and other forms of advocacy have contributed to treaty-making and -ratification; to the domestication and internalisation of international norms and processes, including domestic accountability and remedies; and to codifying the obligations of, and stimulating practice by non-state actors such as business and armed groups. Despite a broad acknowledgment of the increasing involvement of NGOs in global governance by scholars and practitioners, their role in CIL-making remains under-appreciated. To understand the increased influence of NGOs on the identification, formation, and application of customary international law rules, the chapter offers a differentiated, effects-based account of NGO participation in CIL-making.
Keywords: Non-Governmental Organisations, Customary International Law, Norm Entrepreneurship, Norm Propagation, Mobilisation of Law, Technical Frames, Informal Law-Making, Constructivism
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