Is It International Law or Not, and Does It Even Matter?

Joost Pauwelyn

in Informal International Lawmaking

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658589
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742248 | DOI:
Is It International Law or Not, and Does It Even Matter?

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This chapter addresses one of the fundamental issues in the research on informal international lawmaking (IN-LAW): ‘Is it International Law or Not, and Does it Even Matter?’. The universe of norms is larger than the universe of law. At the same time, within the realm of law, not all law imposes or proscribes specific behaviour or legally binding ‘rights and obligations’. The question of the distinction between ‘law’ and ‘non-law’ has kept legal theorists busy for ages, but it continues to pop up when lawyers feel the need to mark their territory. The main question raised (and answered) in this chapter is whether ‘output informality’ implies that IN-LAW output is not international law.

Keywords: international law; informal law; lawmaking; legal theory; soft law

Chapter.  19825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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