ABSTRACT

Today, a growing number of international treaties govern all our lives. When our governments negotiate these treaties they help shape laws that come to bind us. The legal fictions they create set the frameworks within which we act. Some of these treaties are relatively ‘soft’ – they set aspirations and give guidance but there are no penalties for not following their rules. Others make hard law – what is agreed internationally must be enforced nationally and failure to do so carries consequences such as sanctions.