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(p. 137) 6. International Law and ‘Relative Normativity’ 

(p. 137) 6. International Law and ‘Relative Normativity’
(p. 137) 6. International Law and ‘Relative Normativity’

Dinah Shelton

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date: 18 October 2019

This chapter discusses relative normativity, which concerns the nature, structure, and content of the international legal system. Relative normativity involves issues of hierarchy and implicates the rules of recognition by which law is distinguished from norms that are not legally binding. The chapter considers debates on the existence, content, and impact of superior or peremptory norms that override other norms and bind all States; conflicts emerging from the expansion or ‘fragmentation’ of international law into many new subject areas; and the adoption of soft law by States and international institutions.

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