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Commitment and ComplianceThe Role of Non-binding Norms in the International Legal System$
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Dinah Shelton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270989.001.0001

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Normative Development in the International Legal System

Normative Development in the International Legal System

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 Normative Development in the International Legal System
Source:
Commitment and Compliance
Author(s):

Christine Chinkin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270989.003.0002

This chapter analyzes the structure of traditional international law and the conceptual bases for a distinction between legally binding and non-binding norms. It considers the debate of whether ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law are distinct categories or end points on a continuum. It reviews various non-binding instruments and their uses, developing a criteria for identifying ‘soft’ law among the multitude of international texts adopted by international actors.

Keywords:   international law, legally binding norms, non-binding norms, hard law, soft law

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