chapter  4
13 Pages

Soft Law

ByDinah Shelton

The conventional understanding of international law sees its “legal” nature as deriving from the consent of states to binding obligations. However, states have engaged in a host of other normative commitments through means such as declarations and General Assembly resolutions that, while not having the binding force of formal treaties, may still have law-like consequences of the kind that the term “soft law” has been coined to describe. In practice, the distinction between “hard” and “soft” law may become increasingly blurred over time.