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Institutionalisation of Emerging Norms of Customary International Law through Resolutions and Operational Activities of the Political and Subsidiary Organs of the United Nations

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The paper looks at resolutions and operational activities of the UN as parts of processes of institutionalisation of nascent norms of CIL. It argues that institutionalisation clarifies the scope of the norm and of its application; and improves mechanisms of persuasion and compliance with the norm, thereby increasing social pressure on resilient States. Hence, institutionalised norms have a higher potential to affect both the behaviour and attitude of States than non-institutionalised norms. Crucially, the paper argues that UN resolutions and activities foster processes of institutionalisation of new norms. Although the work acknowledges that is not possible to foresee whether a norm will crystallise as CIL, it suggests that its potential increases if it matches and draws on the normative framework provided by the UN Charter; if it does not excessively challenge the predominant expectations of States, and if UN organs work together in promoting it.

Affiliations: 1: University of São Paulo


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