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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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Commentary Compliance With International Soft Law

Commentary Compliance With International Soft Law

(p.115) Chapter 4 Commentary Compliance With International Soft Law
Commitment and Compliance

Jonathan L. Charney

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses compliance with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law. The international community has developed ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ norms to serve many of the same systemic functions, that is, to order relations among entities in a society and to satisfy the desire of groups within that society to promote their own value preferences. Often, no explicit, reasoned choice is made between ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ norm solutions, instead the character of the norm may result from confluence of various unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Thus, while the status as law or non-law may be important to compliance in some respects, in most situations it is not. More important is the contribution of that the norm provides to the ordering of relations within the international community.

Keywords:   international law, soft law, hard law, compliance

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