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Commitment and Compliance – The Role of Non-binding Norms in the International Legal System - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Commitment and Compliance: The Role of Non-binding Norms in the International Legal System

Dinah Shelton


This book evaluates the impact on state behaviour of international norms adopted in forms that are not legally binding. The use of such ‘soft law’ has increased dramatically with the proliferation of international organizations. Whether and how such norms can be used effectively to supplement or substitute for legally binding obligations forms the heart of this discussion. The study examines four areas of international law: human rights, the environment, arms control, and trade and finance. For each area, they assess the use of non-binding norms and ask whether such norms engender state compli ... More

Keywords: non-binding norms, international legal system, state behaviour, international norms, soft law, international organizations, legally binding obligations, human rights, arms control, state compliance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199270989
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270989.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dinah Shelton, editor
Professor of International Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School

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