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Formalism and the Sources of International LawA Theory of the Ascertainment of Legal Rules$
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Jean d'Aspremont

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696314.001.0001

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Lessons from the Discontent with Formalism

Lessons from the Discontent with Formalism

(p.137) 6 Lessons from the Discontent with Formalism
Formalism and the Sources of International Law

d'Aspremont Jean

Oxford University Press

This chapter elaborates on the lessons learnt from some of the objections formulated against the classical theory of the sources of international law. It argues that these objections help critically appraise the limits of the source and social theses. In particular, it explains that it is only once we assume formalism as a political project and accept the relative indeterminacy of formal law-ascertainment criteria as well as the normative character of the empirical methodology inherent in the social thesis that we can engage in its rejuvenation in the context of international law.

Keywords:   critical appraisal, relative indeterminacy, formalism, empirical methodology, social thesis

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