Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. 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: 07 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter maintains that the doctrine of sources is constructed around a set of shared intuitions and accepted wisdom. One of them is that there exists no hierarchy among sources of international law and that these are, to all intents and purposes, of equal rank and status. The chapter takes a critical look at this ‘non-hierarchy’ thesis, arguing that it is descriptively problematic as it tends to conceal the fact that international legal actors (States, judges, scholars) constantly establish more or less formalized hierarchies of worth and status among law-making processes. These are, admittedly, soft and transient hierarchies that very much depend on contexts, circumstances, the identity of the legal subjects, and the projects they pursue. But these are hierarchies nonetheless inasmuch as that they involve a differentiation of sources ‘in a normative light’.

Keywords: Judges, General principles of international law, Sources of international law

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.