Skip to main content
×
Home

Categorical obligation in international law

  • Harry Gould (a1)
Abstract

International Law in its current form is dominated by positivism and voluntarism; yet, it has accepted a number of concepts from the Natural Law tradition that seem on the face of things to ill-fit the dominant normative complex. Of primary concern here are the Natural Law notions of categorical obligation that have been brought into International Law in the form of jus cogens rules. A number of interesting questions present themselves. What are positivists doing talking about categoricals? How have they found a way to make this fit within their larger doctrine? Have positivists adopted the language of categorical obligation, but only the language, not the correlative practices? Is it simply a matter of smuggling in alien concepts and shoehorning them despite the lack of fit, or have they created something new that only seems not to fit? Ultimately, what we find is that International Law has accepted this idea in a form that ultimately is limited by voluntarism's insistence on the voluntary and specific character of all obligations.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: gouldh@fiu.edu
References
Hide All
Ago Roberto. 1957. “Positive Law and International Law.” American Journal of International Law 51:691733.
American Law Institute. 1987. Restatement 3 rdof the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. Philadelphia: American Law Institute.
Austin John. 1832. The Province of Jurisprudence Determined. New York: The Lawbook Exchange (1999).
Bartelson Jens. 1995. A Genealogy of Sovereignty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bianchi Andrea. 2008. “Human Rights and the Magic of Jus Cogens.” European Journal of International Law 19:491508.
Bix Brian. 2004. A Dictionary of Legal Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bix Brian. 2005. “Legal Positivism.” In Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, edited by Martin P. Golding and William A. Edmundson, 2949. New York: Blackwell.
Brierly J.L. 1958. “The Basis of Obligation in International Law.” In The Basis of Obligation in International Law and Other Papers, edited by Hersch Lauterpacht and Humphrey Waldock, 167. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brown Chris. 1992. International Relations Theory: New Normative Approaches. New York: Columbia University Press.
Brown Chris. 2002. Sovereignty, Rights and Justice: International Political Theory Today. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Byers Michael. 1997. “Conceptualizing the Relationship between Jus Cogens and Erga Omnes Rules.” Nordic Journal of Internaitonal Law 66:211239.
Byers Michael J. 1999. Custom, Power and the Power of Rules: International Relations and Customary International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Caney Simon. 2010. “Cosmopolitanism.” In Ethics and World Politics, edited by Duncan Bell, 146163. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cassese Antonio. 2005. International Law, 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Charney Jonathan. 1985. “The Persistent Objector Rule and the Development of Customary International Law.” British Yearbook of International Law 56:124.
Charney Jonathan. 1993. “Universal International Law.” American Journal of International Law 87:529551.
Christenson Gordon A. 1988. Jus Cogens: Guarding Interests Fundamental to International Society.” Virginia Journal of International Law 28:585648.
Cochran Molly. 1999. Normative Theory in International Relations: A Pragmatic Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cochran Molly. 2001. “Rorty's Neo-pragmatism: Some Implications for International Relations Theory.” In Richard Rorty: Critical Dialogues, edited by Mattew Festenstein and Simon Thompson, 176199. Malden: Polity.
Criddle Evan J., Fox-Decent Evan. 2009. “A Fiduciary Theory of Jus Cogens.” Yale Journal of International Law 34:330387.
Damrosch Lori, Henkin Louis, Murphy Sean D., Smit Hans. eds. 2009. International Law: Cases and Materials, 5th ed. St. Paul: West Group.
Danilenko Gennady M. 1991. “International Jus Cogens: Issues of Law-Making.” European Journal of International Law 2:4265.
de Hoogh A.J.J. 1991. “The Relationship Between Jus Cogens, Obligations Erga Omnes and International Crimes: Peremptory Norms in Perspective.” Austrian Journal of Public International Law 42:183214.
Dubois Dan. 2009. “The Authority of Peremptory Norms in International Law.” Nordic Journal of International Law 78:133175.
Flathman Richard. 1993. Thomas Hobbes: Skepticism, Individuality and Chastened Politics. London: Sage.
Focarelli Carlo. 2008. “Promotional Jus Cogens: A Critical Appraisal of Jus Cogens’ Legal Effects.” Nordic Journal of International Law 77:429459.
Gaius, The Institutes of Gaius.
Gaja Giorgio. 1981. “Jus Cogens Beyond the Vienna Convention.” Recueil des Cours 173:275316.
Gould Harry D. 1999. “Toward A Kantian International Law.” International Legal Theory 5:3142.
Gould Harry D. 2010. The Legacy of Punishment in International Law. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Guzman Andrew. 2002. “A Compliance-Based Theory of International Law.” California Law Review 90:18261887.
Hannikainen Laurri. 1988. Peremptory Norms in International Law: Historical Development, Criteria, Present Status. Helsinki: Finnish Lawyers’ Publishing Company.
Hart H.L.A. 1958. “Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals.” Harvard Law Review 71:593629.
Hart H.L.A. 1961. The Concept of Law, 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1997).
Hayden Patrick. 2005. Cosmopolitan Global Politics. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Henkin Louis. 1995. International Law: Politics and Values. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Himma Kenneth Einar. 2001. “Philosophy of Law.” In Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by James Fieser and Bradley Dowden (April 2001). http://www.iep.utm.edu/law-phil/ (April 2, 2011).
Himma Kenneth Einar. 2002. “Inclusive Legal Positivism.” In Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law, edited by Jules Coleman, Scott Shapiro, and Kenneth Einar Himma 125165. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hobbes Thomas. 1651. Leviathan.
Hoekstra Kinch. 2007. “Hobbes on the Natural Condition of Mankind.” In The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes’ Leviathan, edited by Patricia Springborg, 109127. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hume David. 1739–1740. A Treatise of Human Nature.
Janis Mark W. 1988. “The Nature of Jus Cogens.” Connecticut Journal of International Law 3:359363.
Jones Charles. 1999. Global Justice: Defending Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kahgan Carin. 1997. Jus Cogens and the Inherent Right to Self-Defense.” Journal of International and Comparative Law 3:767827.
Kant Immanuel. 1785. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Kawasaki Kyoji. 2006. “A Brief Note on the Legal Effects of Jus Cogens in International Law.” Hitotsubashi Journal of Law and Politics 34:2743.
Kelsen Hans. 1967. Pure Theory of Law. Clark: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd (2005).
Kingsbury Benedict. 1998. “The Concept of Compliance as a Function of Competing Conceptions of International Law.” Michigan Journal of International Law 19:345372.
Koh Harold Kongju. 1997. “Why Do Nations Obey International Law?Yale Law Journal 106:25992658.
Koskenniemi Martti. 2005. From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kreça Milenko. 1982. “Some General Reflections on Main Features of Jus Cogens as Notion of International Law.” In New Directions in International Law, edited by Rafael Girardot, H. Ridder, M.L. Sarin, and Th. Schiller, 2740. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
Linderfalk Ulf. 2008. “The Effects of Jus Cogens Norms.” European Journal of International Law 18:853871.
MacDonald R. St. J. 1987. “Fundamental Norms in Contemporary International Law.” Canadian Yearbook of International Law 25:115149.
Martin Francisco Forrest. 2002. “Delineating a Hierarchical Outline of International Law Sources and Norms.” Saskatchewan Law Review 65:333368.
May Larry. 2005. Crimes Against Humanity: A Normative Account. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morgenthau Hans J. 1940. “Positivism, Functionalism, and International Law.” American Journal of International Law 34:260284.
Neff Stephen. 2006. “A Short History of International Law.” In International Law, 2d ed., edited by Malcolm Evans, 2955. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nussbaum Martha C. 1995. “Kant and Cosmopolitanism.” In Perpetual Peace: Essays on Kant's Cosmopolitan Ideal, edited by James Bohman and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, 2558. Cambridge: MIT Press.
O'Neill Onora. 2000. Bounds of Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O'Neill Onora. 2001. “Bounded and Cosmopolitan Justice.” In How Might We Live? edited by Ken Booth, Tim Dunne, and Michael Cox, 4560. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Onuf Nicholas Greenwood. 1989. World of Our Making. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Onuf Nicholas Greenwood. 1998. “Constructivism: A User's Manual.” In International Relations in a Constructed World, edited by Vendulka Kubálkova, Nicholas Onuf, and Paul Kowert, 5878. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.
Orakhelashvili Alexander. 2006. Peremptory Norms in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Parker Karen, Neylon. Lyn Beth 1989. Jus Cogens: Compelling the Law of Human Rights.” Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 12:411463.
Paul Vladimir. 1971. “Legal Consequences of Conflict Between a Treaty and an Imperative Norm of General International Law.” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Öffentliches Recht 21:1949.
Paulus Andreas L. 2005. Jus Cogens in a Time of Hegemony and Fragmentation.” Nordic Journal of International Law 74:297334.
Pellet Alain. 1988–89 “The Normative Dilemma: Will and Consent in International Law-Making.” Australian Yearbook of International Law 12:2253.
Peñalver Eduardo M. 2000. “The Persistent Problem of Obligation in International Law.” Stanford Journal of International Law 36:271302.
Raustiala Kal, Slaughter. Anne-Marie 2002. “International Law, International Relations and Compliance.” In Handbook of International Relations, edited by Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth Simmons, 538558. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Rorty Richard. 2001. “Response to Molly Cochran.” In Richard Rorty: Critical Dialogues, edited by Mattew Festenstein and Simon Thompson, 200202. London: Polity.
Rozakis Christos L. 1976. The Concept of Jus Cogens in the Law of Treaties. New York: North-Holland Publishing Co.
Schachter Oscar. 1968. “Towards a Theory of International Obligation.” Virginia Journal of International Law 8:300322.
Shelton Dinah. 2006. “Normative Hierarchy in International Law.” American Journal of International Law 100:291323.
Simma Bruno. 1995. “The Contribution of Alfred Verdross to the Theory of International Law.” European Journal of International Law 6:3354.
Sinclair Sir Ian. 1984. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 2d ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Stein Ted L. 1985. “The Approach of the Different Drummer: The Principle of the Persistent Objector in International Law.” Harvard International Law Journal 26:457482.
Stephens Pamela. 2004. “A Categorical Approach to Human Rights Claims: Jus Cogens as a Limitation on Enforcement?Wisconsin International Law Journal 22:245272.
Turpel Mary Ellen, Sands. Phillipe 1988. “Peremptory International Law and Sovereignty: Some Questions.” Connecticut Journal of International Law 3:364369.
Vattel Emer. 1758. Le Droit des Gens, ou Principes de la Loi Naturelle, Appliqués à la Conduite et aux Affaires des Nations et des Souverains.
Verdross Alfred von. 1937. “Forbidden Treaties in International Law.” American Journal of International Law 31:571577.
Verdross Alfred von. 1966. “Jus Dispositivum and Jus Cogens in International Law.” American Journal of International Law 60:5563.
Weil Prosper. 1983. “Towards Relative Normativity in International Law.” American Journal of International Law 77:413442.
Wild Payson S. 1938. “What is the Trouble with International Law?American Political Science Review 32:487494.
Wittgenstein Ludwig. 1953. Philosophical Investigations, 3d ed. New York: Macmillan.
Wolff Christian. 1749. Jus Gentium Methodo Scientificum Pertractum.
Wolff Hans Julius. 1951. Roman Law. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Wouters Jan, and Verhoeven Sten. 2005. “The Prohibition of Genocide as a Norm of Ius Cogens and Its Implications for the Enforcement of the Law of Genocide.” International Criminal Law Review 5:401416.
Yarwood Lisa. 2006. Jus Cogens: Useful Tool or Passing Fancy? A Modest Attempt at Definition.” Bracton Law Journal 38:1638.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Theory
  • ISSN: 1752-9719
  • EISSN: 1752-9727
  • URL: /core/journals/international-theory
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 15
Total number of PDF views: 119 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 172 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.