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Fiduciaries of Humanity – How International Law Constitutes Authority - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Fiduciaries of Humanity: How International Law Constitutes Authority

Evan J. Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent


This book addresses an enduring puzzle at the heart of contemporary international law: the apparent tension between state sovereignty and state responsibility. The authors offer a new theory of sovereignty that resolves this tension, a theory based on the idea that states serve as fiduciaries of the people amenable to their jurisdiction, including foreign nationals. Like other fiduciaries (e.g., agents, trustees), states bear obligations to exercise their discretionary powers for the benefit of their designated beneficiaries—the people subject to their power. The fiduciary theory explains cont ... More

Keywords: international law, sovereignty, fiduciary, trustees, humanity, human rights, armed conflict, refugees, international institutions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199397921
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199397921.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Evan J. Criddle, author
Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School

Evan Fox-Decent, author
Associate Professor, McGill University, Faculty of Law