The Fight for Inclusion: Non-State Actors and International Law

Andrea Bianchi

in From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588817
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725272 | DOI:
The Fight for Inclusion: Non-State Actors and International Law

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This chapter argues that the debate on non-State actors mirrors the difficulties that international law is currently facing in terms of redefining the boundaries of its own discipline. The traditional view, which hinges on the doctrine of subjects and on its flexible reading provided by the ICJ in the Reparation for Injuries case, lays claim to be able to accommodate all necessary adjustments by granting relative personality to additional entities, if the need arises. Yet a widespread sentiment exists, among international lawyers, that the traditional subjects doctrine is no longer able to provide a satisfactory account of the social realities underlying international law. Hence, the need to rethink afresh the fundamental tenets of international law theory, including the doctrine of subjects. Alternative theoretical frameworks have been put forward, but so far they have failed to impose themselves as accepted terms of reference in international legal scholarship. Meanwhile, the discourse about non-State actors continues to be carried out in a myriad of different contexts.

Keywords: non-state actors; international law; International Court of Justice; Reparation of Injuries; doctrine of subjects

Chapter.  9357 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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