- The idea of ‘rules’ in the sources of international law
- British Year Book of International Law
- Volume | Issue number
- 84 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
This article argues that the mainstream view according to which the sources of international law constitute a set of rules for the identification of other legal rules is a comforting parable that has eroded international lawyers’ critical attitude, contributing to the general disrepute of the sources of international law. Instead, the sources of international law are better understood as a set of communitarian constraints irreducible to rules. This article concludes that shedding the comforting idea of rules in the sources of international law allows international lawyers to avoid what will be described in the following paragraphs as the pitfalls of infinite regress and circularity inherent in ruleness while simultaneously facilitating the possibility of communication that is required for legal argumentation to take place among professional international lawyers.
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