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Community Interests Across International Law$
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Eyal Benvenisti and Georg Nolte

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825210

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825210.001.0001

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Community Interests in the Identification of International Law

Community Interests in the Identification of International Law

With a Special Emphasis on Treaty Interpretation and Customary Law Identification

(p.50) 3 Community Interests in the Identification of International Law
Community Interests Across International Law

Samantha Besson

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies the ways in which community interests are channeled into the identification and interpretation of international law and assesses these developments normatively. It argues that the rules pertaining to the interpretation of treaties and the identification of custom provide many routes for states, their domestic authorities and international institutions to include and protect community interests. Unlike the formation of a given abstract norm, its identification and interpretation in a concrete case may actually allow for other interests, including community interests, and/or distinct or more recent conceptions thereof, to be taken into account. The chapter argues however, that secondary rules of identification and interpretation should be put into practice more transparently. In short, the chapter considers that there is nothing extraordinary in states’ ability to act for the protection of community interests, but that, in line with the findings of the previous chapter, states should be organized democratically so as to enhance their ability to do so.

Keywords:   international law, community interests, identification of international law, treaty interpretation, identification of customary international law, secondary rules, democratic state consent, fragmentation, constitutionalization, general principles

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