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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Margin of Appreciation

Jean-Pierre Cot

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 08 December 2023

General principles of international law — Comity — Peremptory norms / ius cogens — Sovereignty — International organizations, practice and procedure — Margin of appreciation — Democracy

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The margin of appreciation introduces a degree of flexibility into the operation of the law. It is woven into the fabric of international society. (International Community) Decentralization in the elaboration and application of norms calls for a certain deference towards the principal actors of society, the Nation-States (State; see also Non-State Actors; Subjects of International Law). As the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) stated in The Lotus Case (Lotus, The), international law leaves States ‘a wide measure of discretion which is only limited...
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