Realism in International Legislation


  • Jasper Doomen Department of Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands



The status of ‘international law’ is examined critically. In the first section, the basis of (national) legislation is described. This consists of an inquiry into a credible meaning of ‘natural law’. It is focused on the question whether universal principles exist and, if so, of what kind. Section 2 deals with the issue of enforcement. National legislation invariably realizes this, but this is not obvious at the international level. Section 3 deals with human rights. It is discussed whether their presence points to the existence of ‘international law’. To this end, a possible reason for these rights to have developed is expounded.


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