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: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is generally recognized that interpretations do not take meanings from norms but give meanings to them. In this way, the practice of interpretation contributes to the process of international law-making. The chapter takes as a starting point the understanding of interpretation in international law as an argumentative practice about the meaning of legal norms. It asks which meaning interpreters should give to a norm and how they should justify their interpretative choices. Turning from the rule of interpretation to the reality of the practice, the chapter further asks, ‘What do interpreters do when they interpret?’ It draws attention to the power that interpreters exercise and to the biases that they maintain. In conclusion, the chapter stresses that it is necessary to keep a keen eye on the role of power and rhetoric in the interpretative practice that makes international law.

Keywords: Choice of law, General principles of international law, Sources of international law, Treaties, 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.