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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter endeavours to identify common assumptions characterizing the sources doctrine in international law. Those are: the autonomy of international law from politics, morality, economics, etc.; the focus on binding, enforceable rules; and State consent as the source of legitimacy of international law. Today, each of these assumptions is being challenged. To address these challenges, the chapter proposes to further develop the sources theory. It elaborates the concept of principles of international law (as they ensure international law’s autonomy), a concept of authority (as non-binding acts may have similar effects as binding law), and to distinguish international legal rules (or authoritative acts) which require democratic legitimacy from those which do not.

Keywords: Choice of law, General principles of international law, Treaties, binding force, Enforcement

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