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VII Specialities: jus cogens, Obligations erga omnes, Soft Law

From: The Sources of International Law (2nd Edition)

Hugh Thirlway

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 September 2023

Erga omnes obligations — Soft law

This chapter discusses the sources of obligations erga omnes, sources of norms of jus cogens, and soft law. It shows that the concepts jus cogens and obligations erga omne are related, and neither can be discussed in complete isolation from the other. The existence and nature of soft law is more controversial. This is the case even though examples of texts that seem to merit that designation are far more numerous than is the case for jus cogens. On the basis that soft law does exist and is correctly classified as a form of ‘law’, its manifestations seem to be fully explicable on the basis of the operation of traditionally recognized sources—custom and treaty—and not to require any new or additional source to be postulated.

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