Monday, August 18, 2014

Submitting to International Law: What’s the Incentive?

“The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement, and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith, instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal, only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace.”[1]
- President Grover Cleveland

I.                   Introduction
Compliance is an essential element of international law. Theories of states compliance with international law not only facilitate in explaining the trend towards law as a positive phenomenon, but they also provide for an vital empirical ground for testing the value of interdisciplinary work and policies for the regulation of organizations and contracts. If States had no incentive to adhere to international norms and standards, international legal regimes and institutions would have no purpose and perhaps the concept of international law would have existed only on paper.

Although a great deal has been written on the validity of international law and its effect on sovereign states, a suitable theory of adherence to it has not ye been developed.[2]