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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Methodology of International Law

Martti Koskenniemi

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

Legitimacy — Sovereignty — Customary international law — Equity — Peremptory norms / ius cogens

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 International law is an argumentative practice. It is about persuading target audiences such as courts, colleagues, politicians, and readers of legal texts about the legal correctness—lawfulness, legitimacy, justice, permissibility, validity, etc—of the position one defends. What passes for method, in other words, has to do with what counts as persuasive arguments in international law. Key to persuasiveness is that the argument is recognizable as a good legal argument and not, for example, a strong moral point, a plausible political position, or a convincing...
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