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November 29 , 2009

The Authority of International Law: Obedience, Respect, and Rebuttal


The question of the authority of international law over domestic authorities and the duties of state officials to international law are fundamental concerns in international legal theory and practice. The Authority of International Law: Obedience, Respect, and Rebuttal addresses these concerns by reframing the present accounts of authority in international law, construing its authority as imposing three different layers of duties on domestic officials: theduty to obey, the duty to respect, and the duty to rebut.The book provides an original interpretation of this authority - one that is not tied to prior state consent or domestic constitutional frameworks. It offers a nuanced account, arguing that whether or not international law is obeyed within any given situation depends on the type of duty it imposes on the state, and that dutys normative force. There is no strict framework in which international law always trumps domestic law or vice versa. Instead, Çal)i presents a realistic account ofwhen international law has absolute authority, and when it can afford a margin of appreciation to states.The Authority of International Law contributes to existing debates by considering the gap between consent-based jurisprudential theories of authority and self-interest and identity-based theories of compliance, and by considering monism, dualism, and normative pluralism as theories for addressing authority competition between domestic legal orders and international law.
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