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The Role of the United Nations in the Formation of Customary International Law in the Field of Human Rights

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image of International Community Law Review

The present work addresses the role of UN in the formation of customary international law from a constructivist perspective. It dialogues with the International Law Commission and, in contrast with the latter, it argues that the importance of the UN is a matter to be defined empirically. Its organs are capable of acting as norm entrepreneurs, articulating and promoting new norms. They are capable of affecting social processes in order to create pressure on the states that resist emergent norms. Thus, instead of a mere agent of states the UN is capable of deeply influencing them both in behavioural and attitudinal terms. Furthermore, the UN promote the formalization and institutionalization of new norms, elucidating their scope, application, and embedding them in consistently coherent amalgamation of norms and practices. Hence, it is capable of fostering the processes that lead to the crystallization of norms as customary international law.

Affiliations: 1: University of São Paulo


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