Possible Indirect Legal Effects under International Law of Non-Legally Binding Instruments

KFG Working Paper Series, No. 48, May, 2021, Berlin Potsdam Research Group 'The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?'

24 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021

Date Written: May 2021

Abstract

As part of the current overall process of de-formalization in international law States increasingly chose informal, non-legally binding agreements or ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ (‘MOUs') to organize their international affairs. The increasing conclusion of such legally non-binding instruments in addition to their flexibility, however, also leads to uncertainties in international relations. Against this background, this article deals with possible indirect legal consequences produced by MOUs. It discusses the different legal mechanisms and avenues that may give rise to secondary legal effects of MOUs through a process of interaction with and interpretation in line with other (formal) sources of international law. The article further considers various strategies how to avoid such eventual possible unintended or unexpected indirect legal effects of MOUs when drafting such instruments and when dealing with them subsequent to their respective ‘adoption’.

Suggested Citation

Zimmermann, Andreas J and Jauer, Nora, Possible Indirect Legal Effects under International Law of Non-Legally Binding Instruments (May 2021). KFG Working Paper Series, No. 48, May, 2021, Berlin Potsdam Research Group 'The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?', Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3840767

Andreas J Zimmermann (Contact Author)

University of Potsdam ( email )

August-Bebel Strasse 89
Potsdam, 14482
Germany

Nora Jauer

University of Potsdam ( email )

August-Bebel Strasse 89
Potsdam, 14482
Germany

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