International Courts and Informal International Law

Jan Klabbers

in Informal International Lawmaking

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658589
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742248 | DOI:
International Courts and Informal International Law

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Accountability requires some yardstick, and in the conduct of global affairs the most obvious yardstick is that of international law. This chapter discusses the position of international courts and tribunals in respect of informal international lawmaking (IN-LAW) instruments. In doing so, the chapter empirically tests the plausibility of what is termed ‘presumptive law’, the argument being that in international affairs, emanations that are of normative significance and that are based on some form of consent by the relevant actors, must be presumed to be legally binding, if only because the alternative (non-bindingness) makes no sense. The chapter tests this assumption on the basis of case law of the International Court of Justice, complemented by some references to decisions of the European Union’s courts and the non-compliance procedure set up under the Kyoto Protocol.

Keywords: international law; informal law; lawmaking; accountability; soft law; international courts

Chapter.  12074 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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