On the Quasi-Legislative Competence of the general Assembly *
The processes of law-creation in international society have never been very clearly understood by international lawyers. It has been traditional to associate the creation of international law with 'the sources of international law' contained in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. The idea of attributing quasi-legislative force to resolutions of the General Assembly expresses a middle position between a formally difficult affirmation of true legislative status and a formalistic denial of law-creating role and impact. This chapter considers the jurisprudential basis for attributing a limited legislative status to those resolutions of the Assembly that are supported by a consensus of the membership. It then provides some examples of areas wherein this exercise of quasi-legislative competence has made and might continue to make a contribution to world legal order. The assessment of the possibilities for quasi-legislative action by the Assembly cannot be dealt with in general terms.