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The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law edited by Orford, Anne; Hoffmann, Florian (2nd June 2016)

Part II Approaches, Ch.19 Moral Philosophy and International Law

Samantha Besson

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law

Edited By: Anne Orford, Florian Hoffmann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 May 2019

Subject(s):
Responsibility of international organizations — Customary international law — General principles of international law — Relationship of international law & host state law — Sources of international law

This chapter offers a critical discussion of the origins, aims, and main contributions of moral philosophies of international law. Then, in moving beyond mere exposition, the chapter turns to a meta-theoretical discussion of international law, and in particular to how international legal theory should best be conceived and conducted. The chapter argues for the development of normative legal philosophies of international law that take the normativity of law and hence its legality more seriously than international legal theorists have so far, but also than moral philosophers of international law have themselves, thus breaking away from the sterile oppositions between ‘realist’ and so-called ‘moralist’ approaches to international law.

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