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Part III The Functions of the Sources of International Law, s.XVI Sources and the Normativity of International Law, Ch.32 Sources and the Normativity of International Law: From Validity to Justification

Nicole Roughan

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Sources of International Law

Edited By: Jean d'Aspremont, Samantha Besson

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 September 2021

Treaties, application — General principles of international law — Sources of international law

This chapter asks what role the sources of international law can play in establishing or generating the normativity of international law. While sources of law are typically treated as determinants of the validity of international legal norms, this chapter argues that the normativity of international law is not co-extensive with the idea of legal validity. The chapter first develops a series of jurisprudential arguments which treat the full normativity of law, including international law, as dependent upon both the procedural and substantive values of its norms. It then turns to international law specifically, arguing that the sources of international law can contribute towards international law’s full normativity only if they carry forward values that respect the autonomy and responsibility of those who are subject to the law. The chapter finally concludes with a discussion of the normativity-generating potential of first treaties and custom.

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