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International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law$
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Sufyan Droubi and Jean d'Aspremont

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134158

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134165

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Unlearning some common tropes

Unlearning some common tropes

(p.166) Chapter 7 Unlearning some common tropes
International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law

Jean d’Aspremont

Manchester University Press

This chapter reflects on the last decade of scholarly reflections on the question of non-State actors and customary international law and revisits some of the specific argumentative constructions and presuppositions that have informed – and continue to inform – discourses on the contribution of non-State actors to the formationof customary international law. It is argued here that three tropes have been mechanically repeated in previous rounds of scholarly debates on non-State actors and customary law. These constructions can be summarised as follows: the idea that the two-element variant of the doctrine of customary international law originates in article 38 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice; the continuous attachment of international lawyers – including the International Law Commission – to the distinction between practice and opinio juris; the understanding of the concept of non-State actors as a plain and innocent descriptive category.

Keywords:   Non-State actors, Customary international law, Legal discourse, Legal scholarship, Two-element doctrine

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