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Part III Soft Law and Global Migration Governance, 6 The Functions and Evolution of Soft Law in Global Migration Governance

From: International Migration Law

Vincent Chetail

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Migration — Immigration — International law and international relations — Soft law

This chapter assesses the function and the evolution of soft law in international migration law. It starts by investigating the main functions of soft law in international migration law. The relations between hard law and soft law are not always mutually exclusive; they are frequently intermingled in an incremental process of consolidation and cross-fertilization. The chapter then traces the long evolution of global migration governance that has been shaped and developed by soft law. Although its influence is not free from ambiguities, the unprecedented expansion of soft law has been decisive in building confidence and creating a routine of intergovernmental dialogue. By doing so, it has forged a common language and a growing consensus among states that unveil the role of multilateralism as a counter-narrative to populism and unilateralism.

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