The introductory chapter of this book describes a study undertaken to determine the extent to which states comply with non-binding legal principles as compared to rules of law and focused on environmental soft law. The leaders of the study provided four factors they predicted would have an effect on compliance with soft law: institutional setting, regional diversity, the type of obligation, and generality and specificity. The chapter next describes the international legal system and its recent expansion, then describes a variety of methods for resolving international issues. Next, the chapter notes a few possible reasons why states prefer to undertake international obligations in terms of soft law and concludes that soft law’s role in the international system is increasing.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-50; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-50
COMMITMENT AND COMPLIANCE: THE ROLE OF NON-BINDING NORMS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL SYSTEM (Dinah Shelton ed., 2000)