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Vanderbilt University Law School

2009

International Law

International law

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Soft Law As Delegation, Timothy Meyer Jan 2009

Soft Law As Delegation, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article examines one of the most important trends in international legal governance since the end of the Second World War: the rise of "soft law," or legally non-binding instruments. Scholars studying the design of international agreements have long puzzled over why states use soft law. The decision to make an agreement or obligation legally binding is within the control of the states negotiating the content of the legal obligations. Basic contract theory predicts that parties to a contract would want their agreement to be as credible as possible, to ensure optimal incentives to perform. It is therefore odd that ...