Lessons from the Discontent with Formalism

d'Aspremont Jean

in Formalism and the Sources of International Law

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696314
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732201 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs in International Law

Lessons from the Discontent with Formalism

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This chapter elaborates on the lessons learnt from some of the objections formulated against the classical theory of the sources of international law. It argues that these objections help critically appraise the limits of the source and social theses. In particular, it explains that it is only once we assume formalism as a political project and accept the relative indeterminacy of formal law-ascertainment criteria as well as the normative character of the empirical methodology inherent in the social thesis that we can engage in its rejuvenation in the context of international law.

Keywords: critical appraisal; relative indeterminacy; formalism; empirical methodology; social thesis

Chapter.  5867 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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