Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reflects on how sources function as a vehicle of legal forms in international legal thought and practice. It specifically examines the extent to which the sources of international law are instrumental in the formalization of the determination of the contents of international legal rules as well as the formalization of the ascertainment of international legal rules. The chapter starts by distinguishing between two types of formalist theories—namely, content-determination formalism and law-ascertainment formalism—before offering some comparative insights. It then evaluates the extent to which sources contribute to the formalization of content-determination and law ascertainment in international legal thought and practice. In doing so, this chapter demonstrates that the sources of international law turn out to be a very poor vehicle of formalism and that international lawyers should accordingly cease to think of the sources of international law as conducive to the formalization of international legal argumentation.

Keywords: Choice of law, General principles of international law, Rules of treaty interpretation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.