How Does Inter National Law Work?

Tom Ginsburg and Gregory Shaffer

in The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542475
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

How Does Inter National Law Work?


This article deals with the gamut of international law. Empirical research on international law, charts three main factors—states and bureaucracies, private actors, and international institutions, specifically international tribunals. International law maintains the centrality of the state, which is also the functioning ground for various sub-state structures, governmental actors, and institutions. Private actors such as corporations and non-governmental organizations are instrumental in influencing the construction and outcome of international law. Regarding the relevance of international laws, some opine that while states do infact deliver on obligations, they only choose those that are easy to comply by. Hence, efficiency becomes doubtful. Further, it is claimed that state's compliance only reflects its intentions, not a behavioral shift. These opinions merit questions regarding the relevance of international law. Studies in this field concern, broadly, international human rights law, criminal law, war laws, trade laws, investment law, and regulatory laws.

Keywords: international law; states and bureaucracies; international tribunals; international human rights law; criminal law; war laws; trade laws; investment law; and regulatory laws

Article.  14182 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law

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