Sources and the Systematicity of International Law: A Co-Constitutive Relationship?

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Abstract

This chapter illuminates the role that sources doctrine plays in construing international law as a system. It frames international law’s systemic qualities within the recursive relationship between sources doctrine and debates over international law’s systematicity. Sources doctrine reinforces and buttresses international law’s claim to constitute a legal system; and the legal system demands and requires that legal sources exist within it. International law’s systematicity and the doctrine of international legal sources exist in a mutually constitutive relationship, and cannot exist without one another. This recursive relationship privileges unity, coherence, and the existence of a unifying inner logic which transcends mere interstate relations and constitutes a legal structure. In this respect, the social practices of those officials who are part of the institutional workings of the system, and especially those with a law--applying function, are of heightened relevance in conceiving of international law as a system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law.
EditorsSamantha Besson, Jean d’Aspremont
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages604-624
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780198745365
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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    Hernández, G. I. (2018). Sources and the Systematicity of International Law: A Co-Constitutive Relationship? In S. Besson, & J. d’Aspremont (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law. (pp. 604-624). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/law/9780198745365.003.0029